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Principles & Codes for Socially Responsible Business Practices

Apparel Industry Partnership’s (AIP) Agreement

Strong workplace Code of Conduct that individual companies will voluntarily adopt and require their contractors to adopt.

Bench Marks Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility

Bench Marks is one of the most comprehensive sets of social and environmental criteria and business performance indicators available.  Corporations will find the indicators presented useful for developing and monitoring corporate codes of conduct, particularly when managing relations with stakeholder bodies. MGOs, stakeholders and investors will find the indicators useful for assessing corporate conduct. Offers are over 100 principles, 129 criteria and 118 Bench Marks to assist companies who are genuine about responsible corporate behavior.

Caux Round Table: Principles for Business

CRT believes that the world business community should play an important role  in improving economic and social conditions. Through an extensive and collaborative process in 1994, business leaders developed the CRT Principles for Business to embody the aspiration of principled business leadership.  The principles are a worldwide vision for ethical and responsible corporate behavior and serve as a foundation for action for business leaders worldwide.

CERES Principles

By adopting these principles, we publicly affirm our belief that corporations have a responsibility for the environment, and must conduct all aspects of their business as responsible stewards of the environment by operating in a manner that protects the Earth. We believe that corporations must not compromise the ability of future generations to sustain themselves.

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977

Is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.  It was enacted by the Congress in 1977. The regulation was revised in May 1995.  This is a link for the Inner City Press that reports on community reinvestment practices and developments.

Corporate Codes of Conduct

Critique and assessment by Bureau for Workers’ Activities of the International Labour Organization.

Declaration of a Global Ethic (1993)

Given at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions on September 4, 1993, in Chicago, Illinois.

Dublin Statements and Principles

Commended to the world leaders assembled at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992, the participants urged all governments to study carefully the specific activities and means of implementation recommended in the Conference Report, and to translate those recommendations into urgent action programs for water and sustainable development.

European Corporate Governance Network: Corporate Governance Codes, Principles, Recommendations & Laws

Through this website, the European Corporate Governance Institute is making available the full texts of corporate governance codes, principles of corporate governance and corporate governance reforms both in Europe and elsewhere. These documents come from various sources --- some have originated from other publicly accessible websites; others have been submitted by their issuing institution; and many have been sent by members and others. All contributions will be acknowledged.

Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsbility

“As a company which endorses these Principles we will respect the law, and as a responsible member of society we will apply these Principles with integrity consistent with the legitimate role of business. We will develop and implement company policies, procedures, training and internal reporting structures to ensure commitment to these Principles throughout our organization. We believe the application of these PrinciplesSullivan Principles will achieve greater tolerance and better understanding among peoples, and advance the culture of peace.” See

Institute of Global Ethics

Founded in 1990, the IGE is an independent, nonsectarian, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ethical action in a global context. Our challenge is to explore the global common ground of values, elevate awareness of ethics, and provide practical tools for making ethical decisions.

ISO – International Organization for Standardization

A network of the national standards institute of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

MacBride Principles

By Father Sean McManus, President, Irish National Caucus, principles of conduct for firms doing business in Northern Ireland.

Maquiladoras Standards of Conduct

Drafted by the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, a tri-national coalition of religious, environmental, labor, Latino and women’s organizations that seek to pressure U.S. transnational corporations to adopt socially responsible practices within the maquiladora industry, in order to ensure a safe environment along the U.S./Mexico border, safe work conditions inside the maquila plants and a fair standard of living for the industries workers. A central vehicle for achieving these goals is the establishment of the Maquiladora Standards of Conduct.

Sullivan Principles

When The Rev. Leon Sullivan joined the Board of Directors at General Motors in 1971, he used his corporate foothold to oppose apartheid, the government policy of segregation in South Africa.  Since the passage of a Declaration of Grand Apartheid in 1948, a number of reformers, including Nelson Mandela, had tried unsuccessfully to end apartheid. General Motors was the largest employer of blacks in South Africa at that time, and Sullivan decided to use his position on the Board of Directors to apply economic pressure to end the unjust system. The result was the Sullivan Principles, which became the blueprint for ending apartheid. See: Global Sullivan Principles.

United Nations Global Compact

In an address to the World Economic Forum on January 31, 1999, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, challenged business leaders to join an international initiative --- the Global Compact --- that would bring companies together with UN agencies, labor and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. The Compact’s operational phase was launched at UN Headquarters in New York on July 26, 2000. Today, thousands of companies from all regions of the world, international labor and civil society organizations are engaged in the Compact, working to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

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