Ethical Buying Policy

Part of being an ethical company with a positive impact is how we buy and consume as a company.

This policy does not affect how staff do their personal shopping. You can still get your personal blood diamonds delivered to the office if you want.

Fair Trade First

If a fair trade option is available, then buy that in preference to non-Fair-Trade. E.g. coffee and tea should be fair trade.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and buy 2nd Hand)

Minimise our environmental impact by buying second-hand where possible and appropriate.

Buy Last: Amazon, Myanmar, and China

Amazon - Poor treatment of warehouse staff

For delivered goods, check and buy from other sources in preference to Amazon.

Why? Amazon treat their warehouse workers considerably worse than others, which has a significant bad health impact. e.g. ref http://digg.com/2018/amazon-workers-pee, or https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/31/amazon-accused-of-treating-uk-warehouse-staff-like-robots, or https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/mar/25/amazon-delivery-workers-bathrooms-memo

This does not apply to Amazon's digital services (e.g. streaming video, Kindle), or where Amazon are a digital marketplace but not a delivery partner (e.g. 2nd hand books that they won't deliver on prime are probably OK). Still, try e.g. E-bay, Google shoppping, or Blackwells for preference.

China and Myanmar - Human rights abuses

For all goods, check the country of manufacture, and buy from other sources in preference to China or Myanmar.

Country-wide sanctions are generally to be avoided. However in the most serious cases, and where business and government are interlinked, we make moderate efforts to buy elsewhere. This would be for countries involved in large-scale serious human rights abuses equivalent to crimes against humanity (i.e. lots of people killed or imprisoned). Exceptions should be made if a specific manufacturer is ethical with a positive impact.

Under no circumstances should any negative consideration be applied to individuals for links with such countries. E.g. not working with a Chinese person in the UK because they are Chinese, or expecting such a person to denounce China, would be considered racist.

On the buy-last list are: Myanmar (genocide against the Rohinga people), and China (mass-scale internment of the Uighur people; e.g. ref: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-50511063, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17oCQakzIl8&ab_channel=LastWeekTonight, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-55794071.

This does not include Hong Kong (where the international trade may be providing some deterrent against repression).

Note: Work with Tik-tok may be excluded (more research & consideration wanted, but Wikipedia on the company isn't encouraging: "The company has an internal committee of the Chinese Communist Party as well as strategic partnerships with the Ministry of Public Security and Chinese Communist Party-supported ventures in Beijing and Shanghai... It has garnered public attention over allegations that it worked with the Chinese Communist Party to censor and surveil content pertaining to Xinjiang re-education camps and other topics the Party deemed controversial").

(policy agreed by the Leadership Team, Sept 2020)

Avoid Bad Suppliers

All suppliers should follow basic ethical practices, as appropriate for their industry.

Ethical Premiums are OK

When choosing suppliers, you can spend 20% more to work with a supplier who has a better positive impact. For larger price differences: consider and talk to management.