The Economist Group's guiding principles
The Group operates in a clear and ethical context, and the Board has therefore approved the following guiding principles:
- We aim to offer insight and analysis and services that are valued by our customers.
- Underpinning our ability to fulfil this objective is our commitment to independence, integrity and delivering high quality in everything we do. These values govern our relationships with readers, customers and clients, shareholders, staff, suppliers and the community at large.
- We believe in conducting business with common decency. We are opposed to bribery and do not engage in corrupt practices. We abide by strict guidelines governing the acceptance of gifts and the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
- As an international company, we conduct business in many different markets around the world. In the countries in which we operate, we abide by local laws and regulations. We make an active contribution to local charities by charitable giving. We encourage our people to participate in charitable and community activities and we permit them to take time off for this purpose.
- We respect environmental standards and comply with relevant local laws. We take environmental issues seriously. We review the environmental impact of our operations, specifically carbon emissions, annually. Plans to reduce or mitigate those emissions are being developed and implemented, both regionally and globally. We have purchased carbon offsets from The CarbonNeutral Company to offset all emissions resulting from our offices, business travel and commuting for 2007-08. Future offsetting activities will be decided on an annual basis.
- Every year we ask our printers and paper manufacturers whether they conform to ISO 14001 standard, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation or their regional equivalent. In the 2009-10 financial year, 94% of our annual expenditure on printing and paper was with companies which comply and are certified..
- We value our colleagues and treat each other fairly. The Group is committed to equality of opportunity in all employment practices and policies. We do not discriminate against employees or job applicants based on the grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, religion, national origin or disability, and we provide equal opportunities training for our staff. We support staff who through disability or illness are unable to perform their duties, by adapting the work environment and hours of work to suit the employee where it is reasonable for the business.
- The Group is committed to increasing staff diversity. We particularly focus on ensuring that we recruit from the widest possible pool of talent. We are also keen that people feel comfortable and valued at work, regardless of their background..
- We recognise that it is essential to keep employees informed of the progress of the Group. We regularly provide employees with information on the Group's activities and its financial performance through staff meetings and communication through our intranet. We have a strong consultative culture and we follow legal and regulatory requirements to consult with staff on major issues affecting the company.