Principal Principles

Below are some exemplary statements of principles, or 'codes of ethics' of some major corporations. Featuring them does not to imply that Transforming Business gives blanket endorsement of the 'corporate social responsibility' agenda. Neither is it to equate good intentions and high aspirations with good behavior - ethics do not only concern moral principles but moral action.

Statements of principles do, however, often reflect the 'ethos', the 'culture', the 'DNA' the 'soul' or the 'spirit' of a company and provide a benchmark by which the company can be held to account by civil society. As such, they reflect what could be regarded as the company's spiritual capital and form an important part of its 'licence to operate'.

Values Added

Anglo American The first statement of principles in this series comes from Anglo American, a global leader in minding and natural resources with major operations in the developing world. The company claims to be 'committed to operating in a profitable, sustainable and responsible way' and seeks to unpack this commitment in a statement entitled Good Citizenship: Our Business Principles.

In the preamble to this document the company makes the following claims: 'Our business success brings with it obligations of good stewardship and ethical behaviors. Our surrounding them are stable and prosperous...We need to show that we use our resources and influence in society to the good...Whilst we operate in many countries and in widely differing conditions, our values and principles have universal application...Our Business Principles apply to every business we manage, everything we do and to every part of the world in which we operate. We will ensure that theses principles are properly understood and observed'. For the full text, click here: www.angloamerican.co.uk


Levi's The second statement of principles in this series comes from a firm that is almost synonymous with your weekend casuals: Levis.

Levi Strauss & Co. is widely recognized as a leader in corporate citizenship, including ethical practices in sourcing production around the world.

In 1991, the company became the first multinational to establish a comprehensive ethical code of conduct for manufacturing and finishing contractors working with the company. This code, known as the Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines, governs business practices, such as fair employment, worker health and safety, and environmental standards. The code earned the company America's Corporate Conscience Award for International Commitment from the Council on Economic Priorities.

Levi Strauss seeks to ensure compliance with its code of conduct at all facilities that manufacture or finish its products around the world. Its stated goal is to achieve positive results and effect change by working with its business partners to find long-term solutions that will benefit the individuals who make its products and will improve the quality of life in local communities. It works on-site with its contractors to develop strong alliances dedicated to responsible business practices and continuous improvement.

If Levi Strauss & Co. decides that a business partner is not complying with its code, it requires that the partner implement a corrective action plan within a specified time period. If a contractor fails to meet the corrective action plan commitment, the company will terminate its business relationship with that partner.

Levis Strauss also works with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in an effort to improve its worldwide internal monitoring process.

The Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines can be found here.


P&G Thirdly, in this edition of Enterprise Excellence we feature the Purpose, Values and Principles statement of the company Proctor & Gamble (P&G). This is one of the world's leading suppliers of toiletries and cleaning products. In the Stories of Excellence resource section of this website, we showcase the company's Children's Safe Drinking Water programme, designed to reduce illness and death in the developing world, particularly in children.

Our Purpose

We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world's consumers. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit, and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.

Our Values

P&G is its people and the values by which we live.

We attract and recruit the finest people in the world. We build our organization from within, promoting and rewarding people without regard to any difference unrelated to performance. We act on the conviction that the men and women of Procter & Gamble will always be our most important asset.

Leadership

  • We are all leaders in our area of responsibility, with a deep commitment to deliver leadership results.
  • We have a clear vision of where we are going.
  • We focus our resources to achieve leadership objectives and strategies.
  • We develop the capability to deliver our strategies and eliminate organizational barriers.

Ownership

  • We accept personal accountability to meet our business needs, improve our systems, and help others improve their effectiveness.
  • We all act like owners, treating the Company's assets as our own and behaving with the Company's long-term success in mind.

Integrity

  • We always try to do the right thing.
  • We are honest and straightforward with each other.
  • We operate within the letter and spirit of the law.
  • We uphold the values and principles of P&G in every action and decision.
  • We are data-based and intellectually honest in advocating proposals, including recognizing risks.

Passion for Winning

  • We are determined to be the best at doing what matters most.
  • We have a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo.
  • We have a compelling desire to improve and to win in the marketplace.

Trust

  • We respect our P&G colleagues, customers, and consumers, and treat them as we want to be treated.
  • We have confidence in each other's capabilities and intentions.
  • We believe that people work best when there is a foundation of trust.

Our Principles

We are Strategically Focused in our Work

  • We operate against clearly articulated and aligned objectives and strategies.
  • We only do work and only ask for work that adds value to the business.

We Value Personal Mastery

  • We believe it is the responsibility of all individuals to continually develop themselves and others.
  • We encourage and expect outstanding technical mastery and executional excellence.

We Show Respect for all Individuals

  • We believe that all individuals can and want to contribute to their fullest potential.
  • We value differences.
  • We inspire and enable people to achieve high expectations, standards, and challenging goals.
  • We are honest with people about their performance.

The Interests of the Company and the Individual are Inseparable

  • We believe that doing what is right for the business with integrity will lead to mutual success for both the Company and the individual. Our quest for mutual success ties us together.
  • We encourage stock ownership and ownership behavior.
  • We simplify, standardize, and streamline our current work whenever possible.

Innovation is the Cornerstone of our Success

  • We place great value on big, new consumer innovations.
  • We challenge convention and reinvent the way we do business to better win in the marketplace.

We are Externally Focused

  • We develop superior understanding of consumers and their needs.
  • We create and deliver products, packaging, and concepts that build winning brand equities.
  • We develop close, mutually productive relationships with our customers and our suppliers.
  • We are good corporate citizens.

We Seek to be the Best

  • We strive to be the best in all areas of strategic importance to the Company.
  • We benchmark our performance rigorously versus the very best internally and externally.
  • We learn from both our successes and our failures.

Mutual Interdependency is a Way of Life

  • We work together with confidence and trust across business units, functions, categories, and geographies.
  • We take pride in results from reapplying others' ideas.
  • We build superior relationships with all the parties who contribute to fulfilling our Corporate Purpose, including our customers, suppliers, universities, and governments.

This statement of Purpose, Values and Principles is available on R&G's website here.
To download the company's full policies and values brochure, click here.


Saving the World from Mediocre Coffee

Costa CoffeeCosta Coffee's mission statement is simply stated: 'Saving the world from mediocre coffee'. But it appears that ridding the world of irresponsible coffee is also part of what it sees as its brief. The company declares on its website: 'We want our coffee to leave a lasting impression on you, not our environment. That's why we do everything we possibly can to look after the communities we serve, and the world we live in'.

Independent surveys suggest that Costa could be the UK's favourite coffee shop. While the focus of such surveys is on quality of service, the work of the Costa Foundation is also highly regarded. Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has been committed to improving socio-economic wellbeing of coffee-growing communities and has helped the company Rainforest Alliance Certified achieve certification from the Rainforest Alliance. Through grassroots educational and building programs in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Uganda and Vietnam, the Foundation's achievements include:

  • building and furnishing 119 classrooms
  • providing jobs for 193 teachers
  • giving 11,800 children access to education
  • enabling children to learn their national language
  • providing computer access for the first time in remote communities
  • raising awareness of justice issues within governments

Costa has set a target for the Foundation to provide 15,000 children with access to education. With the support of the Rainforest Alliance, it seeks to ensure that all its coffee-supplying plantations maintain high standards in their treatment of workers and in their cultivation of the land.

Further information on the Costa Foundation can be found here.