Ethical Corporation’s Rajesh Chhabara takes a closer look at the growing diversity of voluntary initiatives and industry codes:
The explosion in voluntary initiatives and codes of conduct for sustainability in the past 10 years has increased global awareness of corporate responsibility. But concerns have been raised about the effectiveness, motives, credibility and transparency of many initiatives. Add to this thousands of codes of conduct introduced by companies themselves and the sheer number of sustainability clubs open to modern business is mind-boggling.
One of the bigger issues coming out of this seems to be the growing confusion among those that seek to make decisions on the basis of reliable information, such as procurement officers or, increasingly, consumers. It brings to mind a discussion with a toy industry executive who repeatedly demanded: “We need a code of codes!”