ETHICAL BRAND NON-STARTER POLICY
This policy document is published by the Ethical Brand Foundation ("Ethical Brand") at www.ethicalbrand.com (the "website").
The Ethical Brand Foundation employs a proprietary methodology for authenticating registered ethical brands. This has been specifically and thoughtfully designed to avoid, if not eliminate the need for foundation personnel to make subjective judgements about whether or not a particular practice, arrangement or activity that a registered entity may be engaged in is either good, appropriate or acceptable. All Stakeholders are jointly accountable for the social, environmental and commercial outcomes associated with the brands they do business with. Stakeholders are therefore, the best, if not the only qualified point of reference for making these judgments.
To this end our authentication process is largely automated and functions on the principles of game theory whereby all de-facto stakeholders of the licensed entity are potential players. Authentication outcomes are determined by the collective body of experience and judgement which players represent. In order to create the right conditions for a game to commence and to protect the integrity of the ethical brand trademark for the benefit of all license holders we conduct basic screening of all new registrations. This is to ensure that access to ethical brand services, programs and licensing is restricted to enterprises or individuals that are not currently engaged in, knowingly supporting or deriving commercial benefit from any Unacceptable Practices which are set out below. We reserve the right to make these judgements unilaterally and to deny a license without recourse in order to assure the integrity of the ethical brand initiative.
We classify any enterprise or individual that we strongly suspect of being engaged in any Unacceptable Practice as a 'Non-Starter'. Included in this definition is any enterprise with a nature of business that is ambiguous, or which we generally consider to be operating in a manner that is inconsistent with the basic values that most people would intutitively expect from a so-called ethical brand. To register as an ethical brand whilst engaging in any Unacceptable Practice, or to commence any Unacceptable Practice following registration is a violation of this policy. We reserve the right to deny and or cancel the provision of any of our services to Non-Starters.
The enterprise, enterprise or individual must be legitimate. It must exist as a legally named and distinctly identifiable enterprise that is recognised in its country of origin and it should be engaged in the nature of business declared during registration; be contactable using a fixed line telephone number; provide a physical trading address and be willing to furnish us with any further information we may require in order to satisfy the need to confirm or certify its legal status.
The unlicensed distribution and sale of pharmaceuticals and other potentially hazardous substances, chemicals and compounds. That is, anyone who promotes, distributes or sells such substances accross international borders without the apopropriate authority in the destination country. This broadly includes any such products requiring a license or prescription anywhere in the OECD region.
Pornography and Sex Trade
The production or sale of pornographic material and the business of procuring and providing sex services such as prostituion in its various forms.
The procurement or production of products, components, materials or services from individuals or communities that are willing to accept or at least tolerate sub-standard pay and or working conditions due to an economic, social or other disadvantage that makes them vulnerable to greedy commercial operators. For guidance refer to the International Labour Standards of the International Labour Organization ('ILO') which broadly define exploitation as the violation of the International Labour Standards which simply means to deny the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining; the employment of forced, compulsory or child labour or discrimination.
The act of over-stating and or making explicit or implied but nonetheless misleading claims regarding environmental practices or the environmental benefits of a product or service. There are many online references to greenwashing. This is an interesting article: How to Tell Greenwashing from Real Corporate Responsibility and this is a useful starting place for further research.
The production or sale of weapons, machinery or other controlled or dangerous devices. This includes the sale or provision of any products or services that serve to further and support violence, aggression and conflict.
Any activity that involves copying, replicating, counterfeiting or otherwise illegally reproducing and or selling intellectual property that includes any original copyright or patentable material (including any brand name products) such as software, books, designs, works of art, images, film footage, music, clothing or fashion accessories without the the consent of the owners thereof.
SPAM, Blackhat SEO and Affiliates
The promotion and or referral of products and services provided by third party producers and outlets whereby the promoter is acting as an introducer and not a producer or retailer.
This list of exclusions is provided for convenience only. Compliance with this Non-Starter Policy should not be interpreted as automatic qualification for any license or service. If you are in doubt please contact the Ethical Brand Foundation or an eb Associate who will be able to advise you further.
Last Updated: June 2011