Only seven honorees in the Food, Beverage and Agriculture category made it into the 2021 ranking, which in total recognised 135 companies for their unwavering commitment to business integrity.
The honorees span 22 countries and 47 industries, and includes nine first-time honorees and six companies that have been named to the list every year since its inception.
The assessment process typically includes more than 200 questions on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity and initiatives to support a strong value chain.
This year, however, the process was streamlined and the question set expanded to gauge how applicants are adapting and responding to the global health pandemic, environmental, social and governance factors, safety, equity, and inclusion and social justice.
The Institute rates the companies with its proprietary rating methodology called Ethics Quotient (EQ).
“While addressing the tough challenges of 2020, we saw companies lead – above all other institutions – on earning the trust of stakeholders through resilience and a commitment to ethics and integrity,” said Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich.
“The World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the highest values and positively impacting the communities they serve.”
This is the 13th time Kellogg’s Company has been recognised since the rankings kicked off in 2007, which chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane believes will again go a long way with today’s discerning consumers.
“Consumers support companies that make decisions with their values and reputation in mind,” he said. “Kellogg works every day to create a good and just world where everyone has a place at the table. We’re proud that Ethisphere recognises this and consumers continue to trust and enjoy our iconic foods.”
Gary Pilnick, vice chairman, Corporate Development, and chief legal officer, added, “Our company has a legacy of integrity and doing what's right.
“We continue to nurture our values-based, ethical performance culture and evolve our Code of Ethics to ensure it reflects the world we live in.”
On receiving the honour in the past, Daniel Servitje, CEO and chairman of Grupo Bimbo, said, “We must always work with an ethical and social vision. All social actors are jointly responsible with future generations for sustainability.
“I am proud that Grupo Bimbo receives this acknowledgement that reflects the philosophy of our company, and invite other companies to consider ethics as the guiding principle of their business.”
The full list of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found here. The 2021 honourees will be recognised during a virtual Gala Event on 20 April.