Integrity accreditation launched to show how businesses ‘practice what they preach’May 2012
A new ‘integrity’ accreditation system has been introduced in the UK to ‘reassure’ stakeholders of an organisation’s business ethics.
The Investing in Integrity mark’s main aim is to build trust between a company and its stakeholders, from suppliers and shareholders to employees and the public. Organisations of all types and sizes will be able to show their integrity – that is, their commitment to ethical business practices – through the accreditation process.
The system, created by the Institute of Business Ethics, CSR auditor GoodCorporation and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, has two stages. In the first, companies will conduct a self-assessment of its ethical practices online. They will then be invited to move to stage two, an independent audit consisting of site visits, systems reviews and verification. Full accreditation will last for five years.
Internally, the aim is to help an organisation assess its codes and practices, and find areas for improvement. Externally, the founding organisations say accreditation publicly “demonstrates the organisation’s values and helps to build trust”.
The mark says: “The public has a distrustful attitude towards business and financial services. Accreditation is intended to provide reassurance that your business does have regard for matters important to your customers and the public, and you ‘practise what you preach’.”
Andrew Hayward, Balfour Beatty’s head of ethics and compliance, said: “I welcome this initiative as it is vital for ethical companies to be able to provide assurance to customers and other stakeholders that they have a properly embedded ethical code, and to be able to gain such assurance from their partners, subcontractors and suppliers.”
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