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Ethical Guidelines | Our commitment

As a software agency, we have to constantly evaluate and decide on incoming requests for business. Besides practical information like scope and financials, we are taking our responsibility towards society seriously. We do not want to engage certain companies and institutions which might either act unfairly or work in industries we cannot support. Using the following guidelines, we aim to streamline and standardize the process.

Fairness

What is fair? Easy question, not so easy to define, and even harder to achieve. The German Roman Herzog Institute (RHI) is dedicated to research on social justice and the future of work. Their "Ethical Foundations of Good Leadership" gave us an idea of how fairness can be defined in several dimensions:

This understanding of fairness should not be limited to governance but rather include the entire reference system of our company. We could implement it, for example, by categorically rejecting tax avoidance, in measuring and evaluating the impact of our work on the environment, and in attempting CO2 compensation when avoidance was not possible.

Taking inventory

How are we doing in terms of fairness? You will find progress swimming in a sea of unresolved issues. Here are some current trade-offs we face in terms of our corporate fairness:

Ultimately, we see fair cooperation not only as a shared responsibility but also as an economic necessity. As a company, we see ourselves in a constant process, striving for improvement.

Process

We have a 2-tier process for evaluating clients:

  • Quick Check
  • Ethical investigation group

In order to structure the findings, we created an evaluation template to be filled out in each step.

Quick check

Every potential new project should be evaluated against our guidelines in a quick check. In case of concerns, those should be added to our internal project lead workflow documentation.

Basic research:

Ethical investigation group

In most cases, someone on the team might have more insights regarding certain companies / industries / topics and will inform the team about those concerns.

If this is the case, the person should pick a buddy to work on the ethical aspect of the project following our predefined template. The ethical guidelines group will support you with any questions and ideally one of the group members should join the investigation group.

Notes:

  • The investigation has to be finished within a week
  • The investigation should not take longer than 8 hours
  • Talk to the client openly about concerns
  • Donations could be interesting because some NGOs have guidelines regarding donations

No-Gos

If a client does any of the following, we won't work with them:

  • Tax evasion
  • Arms / weapons industry
  • Slavery / child labor
  • Strong environmental offenses

If a client has a customer doing any of the above, we have to discuss it per case.

Decision Process

  • The Ethical investigation group presents their findings during the following weekly meeting
  • Everyone with concerns can vote against the project
  • The founders will consider the investigation and votes and decide about the project in a founders meeting
  • Everyone should consider consequences – like a potential lack of jobs and financial implications
  • Someone who voted against the job does not have to be part of the project team

There's a link between companies who publish their Corporate Social Responsibilty and those that actually follow them. Here's the link.

To Corporate Social Responsibility Page

Merchandising, Printing, Transport, Cleaning...what do we look out?

Our Sustainability Guidelines

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