BENCH MARKS PRINCIPLES > Introduction Continued

ETHICAL PRACTICE
The responsibility for ethical performance resides with the whole corporate enterprise and not merely with the individuals who compose it. We therefore are seeking ways in which corporations can be held accountable for the totality of the impact of their operations on people and communities in such a way as to address fully the fundamental aspirations we put forward.

In our understanding of global corporate responsibility, the community rather than the company is the starting point of economic life. For the community to be sustainable, all members need to be recognized i.e. consumers, employees, shareholders, the community at large and corporations. Respect for each group's essential role in the economic and social life of the community will facilitate more just relationships locally and globally.

In this document, by:

  • PRINCIPLES we mean a statement of business philosophy fundamental to a responsible company's actions.
  • CRITERIA we mean particular company policies and practices that can be compared for consistency with the Principles.
  • BENCH MARKS we mean suggested specific reference points of measurement to be used in assessing the company's performance in relation to the Criteria.
For reasons of clarity the categories under which the Principles are defined are divided into two groupings:
  1. The Wider Community and
  2. The Corporate Business Community.
The Principles are offered as an ethical standard of measurement on which to base decisions about global corporate social responsibility. They arise from jointly held beliefs, which are based on the faiths of the participant groups, communities, denominations and traditions. The concepts stem from an understanding of the ethical value of creation, humanity and the nature of society.

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