Principles of Ethical Business Practice
All companies have a duty to uphold moral and ethical norms and to live up to the expectations of their stakeholders and society at large. Recognising the links between ethical business practice and other areas of business function, such as procurement and production operations, allows a company to adopt the same values and beliefs which will create positive outcomes for all concerned.
In addition to standard business practices, the leather industry is also concerned with environmental and social ethics, and also with the ethics around the use of a by-product of the meat and dairy industry.
Key areas of ethical business responsibility are:
- Obeying domestic and international laws
- Financial governance and reporting (including taxation)
- No bribery or corruption
- Protection of consumer interests
- No anti-competition / monopolies / price fixing
Protection of Consumer Interests
Consumers have a right to expect that companies producing goods for sale and consumption act within an Ethical Business Practice framework that:
- Ensures that goods and services meet all legally required standards for health and safety
- Provides accurate, verifiable and clear information that enables consumers to make informed decisions
- Provides consumers with mechanisms to resolve issues without unnecessary cost or burden
- Provides education to consumers sufficient to support informed purchasing decisions, in particular with regard to environmental and social impacts
- Ensures that no deceptive representation or misleading information is communicated to consumers in an attempt to fraudulently encourage purchases
- Protect consumer privacy and security of consumer data.
- Protect against deceptive marketing practices (including false advertising)
- Takes into consideration where applicable, the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers
Definitions at a glance…
Ethics: moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Morals: standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong.
Principles: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning
Source: Oxford Languages
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Ethics for Our Sustainable Leather Foundation Partners
As part of our integrated Transparency Dashboard™ and Audit Standard, Ethical Business Practice is an audited component within our Governance Module.
For consumers this means that if you are purchasing a product made by manufacturers or producers listed on our Dashboard and that have achieved the Ethical Business Practice section, you can be assured that the company(ies) concerned are operating at the highest standards.
Our work at the Foundation is to support the leather value chain to demonstrate sustainable improvement and best practice across all areas, not just now but also for the future.