What and whose ethics?
Philosophers have been discussing and refining this question for centuries. The oxford dictionary sites the origin of the word ‘ethic’ as from Late Middle English and denotes ethics as a moral philosophy; also used attributively from the Greek (tekhnē) ‘(the science of) morals’, based on ēthos . Ethos being the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations. Well that opens up a mind field doesn’t it? Yet on close reflection there is much fruit in the definition. You can argue ‘till the cows come home’ your personal interpretation on what’s ethical and what’s moral? My morality is drawn from my Christian faith – yours may be different? One thing is for sure is that in the latter part of the last century and in this century there has been a mass cultural shift in western society into championing a new moral ethical position. The challenge is on sustainability of the planets resources and questioning the post modern capitalist philosophy of “as long as it makes a profit and does not break the law it is Ethical acceptable”. So great has been the shift it is now influences national governments and law change. For those of us that can remember those ‘Green Peace’ bearded middle classes demonstrators, we no longer see them as ‘anoraks’ or more accurately ‘duffel coats’. The new millennials’, the public – that’s our customers and our employees – are demanding the eradication of poverty, the protection of our natural resources and the elaboration through clear ethical policies regarding all resources in the supply chain; not just energy and materials but also in the local and global labour market. So to win, you’ll need to know the new rules.
Ethical practice ,Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sustainability, Creating Shared Value (CSV) and Social Enterprise aren’t buzzwords. Its all about competitive advantage , delivering strong bottom lines ethically makes profits and a better world.
Bill Huxley – Founder of BaP