Picture credit: Francisco Huguenin Uhlfelder, Shop Until You Drop by Banksy


This document is published by the Ethical Brand Foundation ("EBF") at It represents our agreement with you concerning your use of the Identity™ or ™ logo ("Identity™"), which is a trademark of EBF. This document sets out the terms and conditions under which your organisation may display and or use the Identity™ or ™ logo.

The Identity™

For decades, many organisations have been implying, suggesting or otherwise claiming to be so‐called "ethical brands" when so many of them simply are not. The Identity™ was established so that genuine "ethical brands" can be easily distinguished from those that are not. The Identity™ is not simply a logo because all rights to display the logo are underpinned by a rigorous methodology, processes and systems that not only provide us with the confidence to entrust the reputation of our brand to these organisations, but which are also designed to enable genuine ethical brands to address the commercial potential of growing public demand for goods and services provided by brands that are sensitive to the needs, interests and concerns of their stakeholders ‐ from basic standards of service quality to social, environmental and economic impacts. Each and every "ethical brand" we license to display the Identity™ is authenticated on the basis of scientifically valud (unbiased) conclusions drawn from our research data. Ever license to display or use the ™ logo represents strong evidence that the organisation is deeply invested in the needs, interests and concerns of all its stakeholder communities.


Our philosophy underpins the methods and technology we use to qualify, validate and authenticate genuine ethical brands. We recognise all stakeholders as having joint and several accountability for the social, environmental and economic outcomes associated with the brands they choose to support. We have invested in the means to identify and distinguish authentic ethical brands from all others so that everyone can make better brand choices. Our approach has been proven on every continent since 2005 when we began the process of researching, developing and market testing our theory that genuine ethical brands could be identified using a data driven approach.

Genuine ethical brands are not perfect, because they are not only run by humans but typically, they are also at the forefront of innovation where things do not always go according to plan all of the time. Nevertheless, they always end up doing the right thing ‐ irrespective of their nature, size or location. And while statements made by organisations concerning their social, environmental and commercial polciies and integrity are an important reference point in our research, we do not rely entirely on this infomation to authenticate ethical brands.

Genuine ethical brands demonstrate key behaviours, which provide the most reliable evidence that a brand is culturally sensitive to the needs, interests and concerns of their stakeholders ‐ whatever those concerns may be and however they relate to the activities of the enterprise. In short, genuine ethical brands foster distinctive culture that we refer to as "Attentive and Responsive Learning" environments. These environment these key behaviours: listening, learning and responding.

Evidence of key behaviours, or the lack thereof, enables the character of any brand to be independently assessed. This evidence is obtainable with or without the co-operation of the organisation because it is in the public domain and abundant in the digital world. Each and every registered ethical brand is independently authenticated by EBF using the proprietary methodology, processes and systems that we have developed to ensure that the Identity™ is only ever licensed to entities that consistently display the behaviours that are consistent with the values of decent, fair, just and polite society.


To obtain a license to display the ™ logo you must first register the details of a legally recognised, named entity in the Directory™. By registering a named entity, you are claiming that it is an ethical brand (™). We validate each claim to assure the integrity of every license to display the ™ logo. A named entity may be any individual or group of individuals operating a commercial, professional, institutional, co-operative, social, not-for-profit, association or public service enterprise of almost any nature ‐ with the few exceptions set out in our Non-starter Policy. Only those entities listed in the eb Directory are authorised to display the Identity™ ("licensed") and only in accordance with the terms and conditions set out herein.


When you register a named entity, we refer to you as the Sponsor. By Sponsoring an ethical brand, you are asserting that you have the authority to do so as well as the ability to influence the behaviour of the organisation you represent. Whilst you may assign responsibility for receiving feedback from us concerning the performance of your organisation, you accept responsibility for ensuring that it is responsive to such feedback and that it remains compliant with the terms of this agreement at all times.

Registration and Licensing Process

Your license is subject to a graduation process that commences with registration. Registration is your claim, that the named entity is an "ethical brand". At the time of registration we issue a Limited License to your named entity in "good faith" and for an initial assessment period of 30 days. This is the entry level and most restricted license, which creates a window for us to assess the validity of your claim. Once validated, the much less restricted Standard License will automatically be issued with expanded rights to display the ™ logo in a variety of settings. A Standard License suits the purposes of most organisations. Standard License holders may apply for an Extended License to display the ™ logo on the labels of specified products and or services.

™ Link

For the duration of your license, you must display the ™ logo somewhere on the homepage of website, which must also link directly to your listing in the Directory™ (the "™ link"). This must appear on your website within 5 working days of registration or your account will be cancelled without refund. Your directory entry certifies your status as an officially registered de-facto "ethical brand" and enables us to collect qualified feedback from visitors to your website, which is only ever shared with you.


We conduct inependent research and use feedback from de-facto (qualified) stakeholders to continuously validate your license. All validated feedback is held in strict confidence and only ever used by us to to determine whether or not your organisation is maintaining the character of a genuine "ethical brand". We only accept feedback from individuals that have a de-facto stakeholder relationship with your organisation and only through our dedicated feedback channels. We never accept anonymous feedback.

All validated feedback concerning your organisation is shared with you the Sponsor so that you can determine what action, if any, needs to be taken. Where appropriate we monitor the outcome of feedback received to ensure the continuing validity of your license to display or using the ™ logo. We will not intervene in any dispute between your organisation and a stakeholder. We may offer advice in specific instances where we feel it may help to facilitate positive outcomes for all concerned. If we have concerns we will alert you to these and offer solutions.

License Types

Limited License

Immediately following registration your ethical brand will be automatically issued a Limited License for an initial assessment period of 30 days, effective from the date that the ™ Link appears on your website. We then conduct initial research to validate your license. If we find no cause to reject your registration then your license will automatically be upgraded to a Standard License at the end of the initial assessment period. However, if we have concerns about licensing your organisation we will share those concerns with you. Depending on the severity of our concerns we may invite you to respond to our written concerns within 14 days, in which case we will postpone any further licensing decision until we have received your written response. Alternatively, we may withdraw or cancel your Limited License, or we may allow you to retain a Limited License for an extended period, beyond the initial assessment period, until we are comfortable enough to grant you the Standard License upgrade.

Standard License

Authorises you to continue displaying the ™ logo on your website(s) as well as others settings including stationery, signage, advertising and marketing collateral ‐ anywhere except to name or label a product or service as these options require an Extended License.

Extended License

This extends the scope of a Standard License to include the naming and or labelling of specified products and or services. Unlike the Standard License, Extended Licenses are not automatically granted following a period of assessment. You may apply for an Extended License once your organisation has been granted a Standard License by submitting a written proposal to us. All proposals are considered on a case by case basis, but to be seriously considered, your proposal should seek to address the following principles. For example, suppliers representing a threshold of at least 5% of your input costs are themselves to be registered & licensed ethical brands and you may choose to fund this. A variety of setup, configuration and and implementation options are available, which we can facilitate under the terms of the Extended License agreement.

Cancellations and Refunds

We take our responsibility to ensure that only genuine ethical brands are authorised to display the ™ logo very seriously. All licensing decisions are carefully considered using the best available information and in the best interests of our brand as well, our members, licensees, partners, in fact anyone who relies on the Identity™ to make better choices. If we are in receipt of information that we believe represents strong evidence that continuing to allow your organisation to display the ™ logo would be detrimental to these interests, we may suspend, withdraw or cancel any license issued to your organisation. In such an event, we will notify you in writing of our concerns. We may provide you with an opportunity to respond to our concerns so that you may take corrective action before we decide what final action to take. In any event, you agree to be be bound by our final decision.

If we withdraw or cancel your license during the initial assessment period, your registration fee will be refunded in full, provided that your registration does not represent, by our judgement, a flagrant violation of our Non-Starter Policy. No refund will be issued if your license is withdrawn or cancelled at any time after the initial assessment period.

At any time, if we withdraw or cancel your license your listing in the Directory™ will be terminated and you agree to immediately stop displaying the Identity™ or logo on any communications, including but not necessarily limited to all websites and cease distributing any documentation, marketing collateral, signage or products bearing the ™ logo. Under no circumstances will we be held responsible for any costs or inconvenience incurred by any decision we make to suspend, withdraw or cancel your license.

Indemnity & Dispute Resolution

The sponsor hereby indemnifies EBF as well as its employees, trustees, directors, subsidiaries, partners, members, contractors, agents, affiliates, licensees and associates of any responsibility whatsoever relating to any consequences of any nature arising from this agreement. In the event of any dispute arising between the parties to this agreement, which they are unable to resolve through mutual co-operation, both parties agree to forego any right of legal action in favour of a negotiated settlement through independent arbitration conducted under the auspices of the UK Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ( Either Party may contract the services of a member of the institute (at their own expense and risk) to resolve any dispute between them and the decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on both parties.

By accepting the terms and conditions herein you also acknowledge that you have read, understood and accepted our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Non-starter Policy.

Last Updated: March 2017