Ethics in business


The current economic climate could encourage many organisations to consider how they are perceived by consumers. This could involve taking a closer look at their ethical approach which if right, may give a competitive advantage. For companies like Anglo American, the world leader in mining, it is essential to support business ethics and corporate social responsibility, especially as it works in such a challenging environment. Ethics are the moral guidelines that businesses follow. They include supporting 'right' practices, like causing as little harm as possible to the environment. This is known as CSR or corporate social responsibility.

Ethical business benefits people and the environment, for example, by creating jobs or planting trees. Consumers play a part in shaping the way a business runs through their influence on the rights and wrongs of its operations. Many companies create Codes of Practice for operating in other countries and communities. Anglo American has helped to develop a number of these to ensure fair treatment of people, communities and the environment.

Some third party organisations such as The Times newspaper recognise this interest and are running awards to congratulate other businesses. The Times is supporting the 'Women in Ethical Business Awards' which were launched in 2006 by Triodos Bank to celebrate the achievements of the UK's most inspiring ethical business women. The first round of judging for this year's awards has taken place and nine women have been shortlisted for the various award categories (The Times, 8 May 2009).