ROI That Matters – Return On Integrity

For 11th Consecutive Year, Symantec Recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies
Feb 13, 2018 9:30 AM ET

Symantec blog | Corporate Responsibility

by the Office of Ethics and Compliance 

Healthy societies and healthy markets go hand-in-hand.  - Ms. Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

More than six billion people live in a country with a serious corruption problem[1] and according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, 69% of countries rank below 50 for perceived levels of corruption (with 100 very clean, 0 highly corrupt)[2].  Additionally, research estimates that every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes and $2.6 trillion is stolen due to corruption – totaling nearly 5% of global GDP [3]. The impact of ethics on business and society continues to be a complex challenge and one that remains core to creating an equitable, inclusive and sustainable future. 

The very nature of Symantec’s business—assuring the security, availability, and integrity of our customers' information—requires a global culture of responsibility. Ethical conduct and integrity are central to this and we are proud to announce that Symantec has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies, for the 11th consecutive year.

Lead by the Ethisphere® Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business, the ranking recognizes companies with significant levels of involvement in their communities around the world, with a focus on improving culture, leading authentically, and committing to transparency, diversity and inclusion.

The World's Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework with scores generated in five key categories including ethics and compliance program, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance and leadership, innovation and reputation.

In 2018, 135 honorees were recognized, across 23 countries and 57 industries. Symantec is one of only three software and services companies that received this honor and among the 100+ companies honored in the United States.

Ethics set the stage for how we operate as a company and community because it is our duty to protect those inside and outside our company walls. It is also proven that a strong culture of ethics leads to a stronger business in many ways including: 

The Ethics Premium - Ethics Improve Performance 
Once again, the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies have proven that operating with integrity leads to greater financial performance. Research has found that, when indexed, World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the U.S. Large Cap Index over five years by 10.72 percent and over three years by 4.88 percent. Ethisphere refers to this as the Ethics Premium.

Additionally, recognizing that privacy is a human right and one of the defining issues of our time, we are playing an integral role in shaping data privacy regulation in Europe, providing key input into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We are enhancing our “privacy by design” framework to ensure that data privacy is considered at all stages of product development and deployment, resulting in “privacy by design” certifications at every product stage.

Ethical Companies Make Society Better

Global corporations operating with a common rule of law around the globe are now society’s strongest force to improve the human condition. Not only is being ethical the right thing to do, it is proven by research to be the best long-term strategy.

McKinsey research tells us that companies with more diverse workforces outperform their peers. We continue to make diversity a priority, implementing our four-pronged diversity strategy and working towards our goal to, by 2020, increase the percentage of women globally, and underrepresented minorities in the United States, by 15 percent.

Among numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives, our CEO recently signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge now joining over 350 CEOs - and their companies – demonstrating the power of collective action to advance diversity and inclusion. Additionally, we have rolled out Unconscious Bias training with all recruiters and human resources business partners, and embedded aspects into our Pay and Performance and New Manager trainings. By the end of FY19, we aim to roll out our Mitigating Bias training to all employees.

Edelman’s Trust barometer shows employees are increasingly looking to their companies for societal leadership. At Symantec, we can be proud to be part of an organization that is committed to ethical behavior in all we do. As we continue building a culture of transparency among our employees, we also increase customer trust, causing us to stand out for the right reasons.

We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards, designing ethically-sound programs that are inclusive, delivering benefits to all of our constituents—from our customers to our shareholders to the world at large. In 2006, we became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) and are part of the UNGC LEAD Program. We continue to follow the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, joining business peers that recognize the opportunity to drive value for a company while supporting our world and society. 

As our CEO Greg Clark stated in his letter opening our annual corporate responsibility report, “We are working each day to create a secure and sustainable future through our dedication to each other, our customers, and society.”

Symantec has earned the trust of consumers, businesses, and governments to secure their information, and we continue to be committed to helping shift the world onto a sustainable path.  To achieve this our people, our peers, our communities, and the world must be able to trust that business is doing the right thing, doing their part to set the stage for an equitable, inclusive, fair and transparent society.

[1] Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index Video:

[2] Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index

[3] United Nations: International Anti-Corruption Day Website - United Against Corruption