Two companies with their headquarters in Columbus have been named among the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Insttitute.
Aflac, with its corporate offices on Wynnton Road, and TSYS, its campus overlooking the Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus, both are on the 2017 list that includes Ford Motor Co., Microsoft, Pepsico, Starbucks, Target, Mastercard and Visa — 124 firms in all, spanning 19 countries and 52 industry sectors.
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Ethisphere has recognized the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” companies since 2007, focusing on “their role in society to influence and drive positive change in the business community and societies around the world,” according to its website. “These companies also consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders and leverage values and a culture of integrity as the underpinnings to the decisions they make each day.”
Companies are evaluated in several categories, including having an ethics and compliance program, demonstrating corporate citizenship and responsibility, their culture of ethics, overall governance or management, and focusing on leadership, innovation and reputation.
“Over the last 11 years we have seen the shift in societal expectations, constant redefinition of laws and regulations and the geo-political climate,” Timothy Erblich, Ethisphere chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We have also seen how companies honored as the ‘World’s Most Ethical’ respond to these challenges. They invest in their local communities around the world, embrace strategies of diversity and inclusion, and focus on long term-ism as a sustainable business advantage.”
Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos pointed out that his company is the only insurance firm to make the list all 11 years. The company, which is branded heavily with its duck commercials, sells health and life insurance policies in the U.S. and Japan, the latter making up roughly three-quarters of its business. It employs just under 10,000 worldwide, with about 4,000 of those in Columbus.
“As a company that sells a promise, it is essential that our customers can rely on Aflac to do the right thing when it comes to providing the benefits they need,” he said in a statement.
TSYS has made the Ethisphere list five of the last six years. Chairman and CEO Troy Woods in a statement attributed the “hard work and dedication” of the firm’s nearly 11,500 employees as a key to the honor. The global credit-card and payment processor does business in more than 80 countries. Its Columbus workforce stands at about 4,500.
“At TSYS we operate in a transparent, fair and ethical manner in all of the interactions with our clients, our shareholders and the local communities in which we operate,” he said.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Ethisphere Institute, which also publishes a magazine, measures corporate ethical compliance, with the organization also holding an ethics summit each year.