Are you ready to bring more awareness to your brand? Consider becoming a sponsor for The AI Impact Tour. Learn more about the opportunities here.

Ethisphere released its 2018 list of the most ethical companies in the world today, which include Microsoft, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Intel, and Dell. The New York City-based institute named 135 companies in total, spanning 23 countries and 57 industries.

The assessment is based on Ethisphere’s Ethics Quotient (EQ), which factors in five categories: ethics and compliance program; corporate citizenship and responsibility; culture of ethics; governance; and leadership, innovation, and reputation.

“Once again, financial metrics support this strategy as the 2018 world’s most ethical companies have proven that operating with integrity leads to greater financial performance,” wrote Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich, in a letter.

2017 was a rocky year for many power capitals in the U.S., especially Silicon Valley. With sexual harassment allegations swarming through the tech community and reports of companies not being diverse or inclusive enough, founders and investors are gradually putting new initiatives into place to do better.

“Research from McKinsey tells us companies with more diverse workforces outperform their peers,” added Erblich. “Edelman’s Trust barometer shows employees increasingly look to their companies for societal leadership. Responsible investing continued its meteoric rise. In fact, just this month Blackrock called for the CEOs of global companies to put purpose at the forefront of their long-term vision.”

It’s important to point out that the majority of the companies recognized by Ethisphere are large, corporate, public companies that have had time to implement ethical and sustainable frameworks within their businesses. This, however, should be a cautionary tale for early-stage startups that may want to avoid the public scrutiny and backlash some tech unicorns (*cough* Uber) are now facing due to their ingrained toxic work cultures.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.