Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


'Who can set ethical standards?' by Giampaolo Trasi


From the Head of Equity Investment Strategy at Banca IMI, Milan

The issue raised in your Editorial Comment (Vol.2, issue 9) regarding the large number of ethical codes in existence, is an important one. In my conversations with fund managers, the question that comes up time and time again is, “But who can set ethical standards?”.

I would like to propose that an international board be created to provide the basic definitions and interpretations needed, along the lines of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC), which sets standards for accounting issues.

The IASC is an independent private-sector body with the objective of harmonising the accounting principles which are used by businesses and other organisations for financial reporting around the world. This body could provide a useful model for a standards organisation working to harmonise the principles underlying corporate ethical codes of practice.

This would be a good start at addressing this problem, which affects all companies involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Giampaolo Trasi

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