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News release


Ethisphere to Ring NYSE Opening Bell with Select 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Host Ethics Drives Performance Conference

Recognizing Ethics’ Role in Creating Corporate Value on September 28

NEW YORK, September 27, 2011 – The Ethisphere Institute will ring The Opening BellSM at the New York Stock Exchange with select NYSE-listed 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies September 28, 2011, recognizing the connection between ethical business practice and increased business performance.

Following the bell ringing, Ethisphere, in cooperation with NYSE Euronext, will host the Ethics Drives Performance conference during which leaders from the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies will share insights and best practices for prioritizing ethics to grow the bottom line.

NYSE-listed 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies that will ring the bell with Ethisphere include: AECOM, Aflac, Ford, General Electric, International Paper, Jones Lang LaSalle, Marriott, PepsiCo and

Over the past five years, Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical (“WME”) Companies have demonstrated that going beyond legal minimums and introducing innovative ethical standards has been a market differentiator, both improving financial performance and forcing their competitors to follow suit.
WME companies, if indexed together, have routinely and significantly outpaced the S&P 500 each year since the recognition’s 2007 inception. On average, the WME companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 7.3 percent annually. In addition to increased financial performance, ethical companies benefit from better brand reputation, consumer loyalty and higher employee retention rates.
"We are honored that Aflac was selected by Ethisphere to help ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “As a five-time recipient of Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Company award, we know that honesty and integrity help build trust in our business. We appreciate this opportunity to represent companies committed to ethical business practices.”

“NYSE Euronext is pleased to partner with the Ethisphere Institute to recognize NYSE-listed and other leading companies who conduct their businesses by the highest standards,” said Duncan Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext. “The 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies continue to set the bar for driving performance and innovative best practices in their respective fields.”

Darryl Hartley-Leonard, the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and now a member of the Board of Directors of Jones Lang LaSalle, said “As a member of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Audit Committee, I can say first-hand that it has been useful to have has had an independent review of our ethics program through Ethisphere’s Ethics Inside Certification. Developing a strong ethics program and corporate culture can be more art than science and it is not otherwise easy for an Audit Committee member to judge their true quality without measurable qualifiers.”

“PepsiCo associates around the world take great pride to be among only a handful of companies on Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for five years in a row,” said Maura Abeln Smith, EVP of Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at PepsiCo. “Under the inspirational leadership of Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, ethical behavior is the foundation of all we do as we strive to deliver Performance with Purpose—that is, our commitment to deliver long-term sustainable shareholder value by investing responsibly in a healthier future for all people and by protecting the planet whose resources we share.”

"We are honored to have been chosen to help ring the opening bell and to participate in the Ethics Conference. More importantly, we are humbled to have made this year's list of most ethical companies. At Ford, we understand that a good reputation is one of the building blocks of a good company and should not be compromised. Good ethical behavior reflects smart business practices and contributes to a company's overall success," said David Leitch, Ford Motor Company Group Vice President, Office of The General Counsel.

Ed Ryan, Marriott's Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said, "We're pleased and gratified to be included in such good company. Ethical business practices are a core value of our company, reflecting the full commitment of our senior leadership. With operations in more than 70 countries, our ethical and compliance program is guided by the simple caveat that "how we do business is as important as the business we do". 

“One of our key principles at International Paper is to uphold the highest ethical standards and remain accountable in all that we do. When faced with decisions and choices in the workplace, we choose the ethical course. IP is proud of the legacy we are creating and pleased to share a strong partnership with the Ethisphere Institute,” said Sharon Ryan, International Paper’s Vice President, Acting General Counsel.

“Studies show ethical companies command higher prices for goods and services from consumers who are increasingly choosing to do business with organizations they trust,” said Tim Erblich, Executive Vice President of the Ethisphere Institute. “Businesses that place an emphasis on ethics also attract more prospective employees. According to a Stanford Business School Study, MBA graduates value a potential employers ethics 75 percent as much as the promise of intellectual challenge and 95 percent as much as the financial compensation, which are the first and second job considerations, respectively.”

Ethics Drives Performance: The World’s Most Ethical Companies on the Correlation between Ethical Leadership and Financial Performance

Leaders from multinational companies across all industries will share insights for building and maintaining an ethical culture in concert with advancing other corporate objectives at the Ethics Drives Performance Conference, hosted by Ethisphere in partnership with NYSE Euronext, following the bell ringing September 28, 2011. Chief executives, chief financial officers, board members, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance counsel from best-in-class organizations will join Ethisphere to discuss the most pressing governance challenges and key opportunities during conference panel discussions and keynote address, including:

  • Traits of an Ethical Leader: Keys to Establishing a Strong Tone from the Top and Ethical Culture within a Global Organization
  • The Business Case for Global Compliance: Using Investments and Resources to Build an Ethical Culture and Further Company Objectives
  • Navigating High-Risk Markets: The Ethical Risks v. Rewards when Expanding Globally
  • The Future of Governance
2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies
Ethisphere is now accepting nominations for the 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies. To learn more about the World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition and selection process and to nominate your organization for consideration, please visit:

Media Credentials
A limited number of media credentials will be available for the Ethics Drives Performance conference, permitting journalists access to the executives from the select NYSE-listed 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies who will be joining the Institute on the bell ringing platform and as speakers for the conference thereafter. To apply, please contact Ethisphere’s Marketing and Media Director Jennifer L. Mitchell at
Photos are available via Associated Press/New York (212.621.1902), Reuters America (646.223.6285), and Bloomberg Photo (212.617.3420). The Opening BellSM (starting at 9:25 a.m.) feed is available via Ascent loop #4009. Media seeking footage via The Switch should contact NYSE Broadcast at 212.656.5483.

About Ethisphere Institute
The research-based Ethisphere® Institute is a leading international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. Ethisphere Magazine, which publishes the globally-recognized World’s Most Ethical Companies® ranking, is the quarterly publication of the Institute. Ethisphere provides the only third-party verifications of compliance programs and ethical cultures that include: Ethics Inside® Certification, Compliance Leader Verification™ and Anti-Corruption Program Verification™. The Institute’s premier membership group, the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance™, is a business ethics forum that includes more than 100 leading corporations, universities and institutions that collectively leverage their experience, expertise and innovative ways to address emerging compliance challenges. More information on the Ethisphere Institute, including ranking projects and membership, can be found at