Corporate Citizenship

IBM Named One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies of 2020

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IBM today was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the second year in a row by the Ethisphere Institute, an organization devoted to defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices across the globe.

The list distinguishes companies that influence the business community and societies around the world in order to drive positive change, and highlights companies working with partners and clients to do the right thing, by operating with integrity every day.

And more than at any other time in recent history, governments, businesses and individuals are examining the ethics of how companies work.

A recent study conducted by IBM with Morning Consult, involving over 7,000 people in 14 countries, asked them to rank the perceived value of efforts by businesses to improve their workforce, environmental sustainability, and civil society. Research found 80% of global respondents agreed with the statement that corporations have a responsibility to prioritize their employees, the environment, and their community as much as they prioritize delivering profits to their shareholders.

That’s why for more than a century, IBM has sought to earn and keep the trust of our clients, partners, employees, and people in the many thousands of communities where we live and work.  Our holistic approach considers the impact of IBM’s products and operations on the environment, the sustainability of our global supply chain, and the governance, ethics, and integrity of how we introduce emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI) to the world. And this earned trust is why 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on IBM to handle their data.

Our company’s longstanding commitment to integrity is the foundation of our business philosophy—distinguishing IBM with clients, suppliers, partners, employees and communities, and it shows that our employees are continuing to make the right decisions every day for all of our stakeholders.

For example, IBM spent $25.8 billion with a global network of more than 13,000 suppliers in 2018, presenting an opportunity to promote our values and help drive socioeconomic progress. We work with suppliers to establish requirements and assess compliance for sustainable solutions, and we have worked for 50 years to increase supply chain diversity. Half of IBM’s top 100 suppliers published corporate responsibility reports.

From our company’s start, IBM has adopted policies that promote inclusion and treat people with dignity and respect. That legacy continues today — from our commitment to genetics privacy and LGBTQ equality for our employees to advocating for public policies that reflect our values. IBM’s Principles of Trust and Transparency are just a reflection of a new era of our ethics–one where technology increasingly influences every aspect of society, from how government services are delivered, to how we shop and entertain ourselves, to how our children learn, and also to how physicians treat patients.

This is why in the connected world of the 21st century, ethical behavior is both the right thing to do and the best business approach. The most successful organizations always focus on values and purpose to drive their long-term thinking and make the world a better place for all of its stakeholders. This has been IBM’s approach for more than a century and it is how we will continue to think and operate as new technologies arise and shape our life and our society.

This story originally appeared on the Good Tech IBM blog.

Vice President & Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM

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