When it comes to ethical actions that go beyond slick marketing and corporate mission statements, Microsoft might be outperforming some of its rivals in the tech space.
Microsoft, Adobe, eBay, T-Mobile and Salesforce were a few of the tech companies that made Ethisphere’s annual unranked list of the world’s most ethical companies. These companies have been recognized for their “real and sustained ethical leadership” across various industries.
Google, whose “don’t be evil” motto and highly visible social good activities give the company a friendly public face, wasn’t on the list; the company was present on the list in 2010, 2009, 2008 but has since dropped off for reasons unstated by Ethisphere.
As far as we can tell, this is the first time Microsoft has been recognized by this group.
So, what could have put a tarnish on Google’s ethical reputation? The ad network acquisition that raised eyebrows in the FTC? The huge lobbying budgets in a year of increased user privacy regulations? The patent lawsuit wherein Oracle claimed that parts of Android were not authorized for such use? The ongoing lawsuitsover Google Books’ copyright violations? Or the $8.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit over Buzz and its violations of users’ privacy?
In corporate America, issues like the ones we’ve stated above are rather run-of-the-mill — and Microsoft, Adobe, et al. certainly face similar and sometimes identical troubles. But as far as Ethisphere is concerned, Microsoft’s combination of corporate philanthropy, responsibility, innovation for social good, and compliance with standards makes the grade for truly ethical corporate behavior.
Ethisphere contends that these more ethical companies not only have more sustainable businesses, but that they also financially outperform their competitors in the S&P 500 and other indices of publicly traded companies.