Cynical ehtics : LUSENET : Ethical Consumerism - UK : One Thread


1) Define ethics.

2) How can I access codes of ethics?

3) Do Organisations use ethics codes of conduct for marketing or PR exersises?

-- Anthony Shaun Wilson (, August 16, 1998


Ethics is a wide area - Ask a politician, a church member and and animal rights activist and you will get totally different answers. To me, an ethical stance is doing what you feel to be 'right'. For example, I believe it is 'right' to respect all people (not neccesarily their actions, but respect them as human beings). How you manifest this is a question of personal ethics. When it comes to companies, ethics can be more clearly defined. I would define corporate ethics as the consideration and respect of human rights, workers rights, animal rights (a contentious one!), and the environment, on the same level or higher than economic priorities. Obviously, there is a clash here. No company can operate with no impact on the environment, etc, so the boundaries are unclear.

Where can you get hold of codes of ethics? - I can only speak with regard to corporate ethics - you can get them direct from the company. (The PR department is best)

Do companies use ehtics for public relations/marketing? Yes, of course. They would be stupid not to shout about ethical policies. However, the problems arise when the PR overtakes the action, and ethics becomes greenwash.

A very hurried answer, very long after the question (We've just taken over the admin of the discussion forum at Ethical Consumer magazine) - Hope it's of some use.

Sam Kimmins

-- Sam Kimmins (, March 10, 1999.

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