Business Practices, Ethics, and Consumer Rights
The company undertakes all reasonable efforts to ensure the health and safety of its products, to avoid unintended adverse impacts on the end user. The company respects animal rights and takes steps to ensure the welfare of animals that are part of its operations or value chain. The company practices responsible advertising and avoids harmful depictions or stereotyping of certain groups in society. Any contributions to lobbying efforts or political fundraising are transparent and in alignment with the values, beliefs, and sustainability-related pursuits of the company. The company provides meaningful warranties for its products or services, allows for returns and exchanges, using a transparent process, and supports emerging consumer rights to repair (rather than replace) used products.
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This global standard was created to provide a framework to ensure that companies' lobbying and political engagement activities align with the goal of restricting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It includes an investor statement in support of responsible climate lobbying as well as an appendix of 14 indicators of responsible climate lobbying, which outlines requirements among policy and climate change-related commitments; governance; and actions. This standard is an excellent starting point for any business currently engaged in direct and/or indirect climate lobbying as well as businesses actively considering participation.
This article explains how businesses can engage responsibly in the political sphere and advance sustainability through their political activities. The article asks key questions that can help your company to better use its political clout, and unpacks four principles - accountability, transparency, responsibility, and legitimacy - that can help you to better understand whether (and how) to engage in political influence.
Despite the clarity and availability of scientific research, policy action on climate change has fallen short of what is needed. This resource from Ceres will help you to establish systems that address climate change as a systemic risk and integrate this understanding into your company's direct and indirect lobbying on climate policies. Designed primarily for the governance and legal departments of companies, this Blueprint builds on existing resources and provides concrete recommendations for 1) assessing the impacts of climate change to your company, 2) systematizing decision-making on climate change across the company, and 3) acting to align lobbying with public, science-based climate policies. Many of the guiding principles here can also be applied to other social and environmental issues that impact your company.
This resource from Ceres was created to provide companies with insights into best practices and top performers for climate advocacy. It benchmarks S&P 100 companies against the expectations laid out in the Ceres Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change, and outlines trends and guidance to help you to better assess climate-related business risks; systematise decision-making; advocate in support of IPCC-aligned policy; and engage with trade associations to support said policy. Ceres also released an interactive database to help you to assess and compare companies’ performance on key metrics.
This set of principles from the ERB Institute was created to provide you with an actionable, nonpartisan template for responsible corporate engagement in political affairs. The principles cover four topics: legitimacy, accountability, responsibility, and transparency. Foundational responsibilities and discretionary opportunities are outlined for these topics. This guidance will be most applicable to legal and compliance teams, but may also be insightful for sustainability teams seeking to better understand how businesses may be undermining their sustainability efforts through their lobbying.
This framework by the We Mean Business Coalition aims to help you match your climate policy advocacy efforts with your climate ambition. It explains Responsible Policy Engagement (RPE); identifies the advocacy gap and outlines how you can identify the advocacy gap for your organisation; and highlights the drivers and benefits of RPE. It is also complemented by a data tracker, which illustrates the gap between the advocacy efforts of the world’s largest firms and their SBTi-validated climate targets. The framework is designed for public affairs, legal, and marketing teams, but may be most useful to the sustainability teams and other change agents working to drive change in these departments.