Since 2001 the Ethical Company Organisation has provided ethical research information on 1000s of companies & brands, promoting positive policies and development in three key areas:
- Human Rights
- Animal Rights
Thanks very much to them for answering these 10 questions for us.
- For those people who have not heard of you could you explain a bit about what you do and your philosophy in your own words?
The Ethical Company Organisation’s aim is to empower consumers with the information they need in order to make ethical purchasing decisions. We carry out detailed ethical audits into hundreds of companies and publish our findings on ethical comparison website The Good Shopping Guide. Companies which reach an ethical benchmark within our research are eligible for Ethical Accreditation membership.
- Could you tell me a bit about ‘The Good Shopping Guide’?
The Good Shopping Guide is an online ethical comparison resource, enabling consumers to compare the ethics of companies – by product sector – and make purchasing decision accordingly. The Good Shopping Guide was first published as an annually updated book back in 2002 and has made the successful transition to an online in the last couple of years. Since 2002, it has built a solid base of followers and has become a trusted and respected source of information.
The Good Shopping Guide will be 15 this year
- Can you tell us a bit about your Accreditation Scheme?
Companies which perform well in our detailed ethical research analysis can attain Ethical Accreditation. This is an independent endorsement of a company’s ethics and member companies can display our Ethical Award and Ethical Company logos to communicate this with consumers and business partners. Ethical Accreditation differs from other schemes in that it encompasses a whole spectrum of ethical criteria under the main headings of the Environment, Animals and Humans.
- Can you tell me a bit about some of your clients and where you feel you are of benefit to them?
Our Ethical Accreditation members cover a wide-range of product sectors and include Neal’s Yard Remedies, Good Energy, Highland Spring, Burns Pet Nutrition and many more. We offer these companies independent endorsement of their ethical status, in an easy-to communicate format – our Accreditation logos can be displayed on packaging, communications etc. It is easy for any company to promote their ethical credentials, but that doesn’t guarantee the company is ethical, which Ethical Accreditation does.
- How important do you view ethical marketing?
Ethical marketing is extremely important as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of potential un-ethical practices by companies. However, consumers have to be cautious of ‘greenwashing’ by companies jumping on the ethical bandwagon, which they know is important for sales and brand reputation. Ethical Accreditation is one way to avoid greenwashing.
- Is there anything, in terms of ethical marketing you’ve seen that’s stood out for you?
It is great to have seen the birth and flourishing towards the mainstream of specialist ethical companies like Good Energy or whose whole mission is something positive, in this case against carbon emissions. Similarly it is very rewarding when a company like Neal’s Yard challenges the health and beauty sector with higher ethical ideals.
- How would you define ethical marketing?
A way in which companies promote their positive ethical practices to their audience.
- What would you recommend about marketing ethically?
Only market your business as ethical if it genuinely is and use third-party endorsements to back this up.
Ethical Accreditation available from the Ethical Company Organisation
- What would you say to those companies who aren’t sure about marketing, and indeed running their whole business, in an ethical way?
Being ethical should be at the heart of a business and then the ethical message is genuine.
- What’s next for the Ethical Company Organisation?
Continue in what we are doing in order to promote companies which are doing the most for our planet and put serious questions marks over those that are not. The next major landmark for The Good Shopping Guide will be to reach ten million users. Our transition from book to digital has seen us recently grow from around 100,000 seeing the book to around a million having used the website. We love spreading our research further around the world for free.
For more information about the Ethical Company Organisation see: http://ethical-company-organisation.org/
See the ethical rankings of hundreds of well-knows brands/companies at: http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/