Being an ethical organisation is more than just "going green" and doing your bit for the environment, it's also about honesty and transparency to your suppliers. Every organisation sources some kind of raw material from somwhere and if you want to be ethical- this is your first port of call.
After that we can start to focus on our production methods, retailing and how to promote a cleaner and honest corporate image.
How it works.
Being ethical can be an expensive process at times, it is (however) profitable and a number of organisations have taken a similar route in previous years.
There's many reasons for this: some organisations are proud of their ethics (see below), it has become more profitable than it was in the past, more organisations are trying to be more transparent, there's a range of rewards and there's a unique customer base to tap into.
Generally any organisation can be ethical as long as they take into account a number of factors and fairly source their products, not to mention produce them safely and contribute to local environments and governments they work within.
As an example we shall look at Innocent Smoothies.
They produce fresh fruit smoothies in a variety of flavours and for a variety of customer bases. They only use fresh fruit, no additives, they're environmentally friendly and have recently begun research into a biodegradable form of plastic.
This pretty much embodies ethics for the purpose of this post. They wouldn't have half as much appeal or as good an image if their healthy smoothies polluted local environments, for instance. And even in the face of many recycling groups who would probably criticise their use of the TetraPak packing technology- they're woking on creating a new kind of plastic which is biodegradable.
Which, in fact, they have produced and is now bundled with all their bottled smoothies.
Many consumers these days will only back products they personally approve of.
Even if they love a certain brand of shampoo (for example) if it is found that they test on animals or dump gallons of chemicals into the river, they will cease to buy it. More than ever your corporate image should be both professional and personable.
This can also be (as the title suggests) an interesting turnaround for organisations who are currently struggling to find their niche, or progress as an organisation, into more lucrative markets. Often consumers will tend to notice you more even if you're not a big brand name just because you're ethical and responsible. Not to mention, you're doing yourself a favour by being a decent person and giving back to those that help you get where you are.
There are hundreds of examples of ethical organisations (maybe some in the same industry as you), so give it some time and research what sort of things they're doing and what you could do too.
Thanks for your time!
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