The founding of The Ethical Company Organisation in 2002 was key to the recent substantial growth in the ethical shopping movement and wider standards of corporate social responsibility. The organisation was founded almost two decades ago, long before ethical factors were considered significant by the big brands, retailers and the majority of shoppers.
Multi-national corporations in particular are not subject to the democratic process yet can be more powerful than many states. The quiet influence of our independent research system whereby companies` ethical standards can be compared in detail is a significant force for good – and several companies have improved their policies as a result.
Working with our vast research database on 30,000 plus companies, court reports and all the criticisms laid down by the major NGOs and measuring 15 different ethical criteria (from human rights records to animal welfare and environmental records), the Ethical Company Index is designed to cut through companies’ greenwash and results in an independent score for each company and brand. This, as well as the detailed company comparison tables found in The Good Shopping Guide is used by people, NGOs, and ethical companies to assess ethical performances and therefore purchase choices.
The summary company results are published on The Good Shopping Guide website and works as a significant lever to encourage poor performing companies to improve their ethical records and rewards those companies which are setting the highest ethical standards.
The Ethical Company Organisation is a self-sustaining Limited Company based in the UK, Europe. We are entirely funded through the sale of our research and publications (to individuals, ethical businesses and campaigning NGOs; from research fees relating to our Ethical Accreditation Scheme; and through highly screened sponsorship/advertising on our websites). Thank you to the tens of thousands of ethical shoppers, local government procurers, ethical businesses and NGOs who have bought our books and the millions of people who use thegoodshoppingguide.com – and thereby provided funding for our important research and publishing work.
Directed by William Sankey and Katherine Alexander, the Ethical Company Organisation continues to push for higher economic and business standards for the benefit of the environment, animal welfare and human rights.