How to create an Ethical Policy for your business

7 July 2022

3 min read

As the only UK-high street bank with a unique customer-led Ethical Policy, we refuse to provide banking services to business involved in a range of environmental and social issues, including the extraction and production of fossil fuels.

Having an Ethical Policy means that for 30 years we have refused banking services to businesses or work with suppliers or organisations whose business activities harms the environment or society.

Creating a simple Ethical Policy for your business is easier than you might think and it can help explain to your existing and new potential customers how you do business and demonstrate your commitment to the environment and how you support your local society. Having an Ethical Policy could also form the Governance element of your Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. You can find out more about ESG in our article.

We’ve created an Ethical Policy Template to form your own Ethical Policy.

  1. Download the Ethical Policy template
  2. Consult your staff, suppliers and customers to ask them their views
  3. Come up with 4 pledges to support your company’s ESG commitments going forwards and document these on the template. This can be used on your website so your staff, suppliers and business networks are aware of your commitment to sustainability and ESG.

Other ways you can help improve your ESG credentials:

  • Review your energy provider to ensure the provider sources energy from renewables
  • Review the energy efficiency of your premises, machinery and vehicles and consider switching to a more carbon friendly alternative
  • Encourage colleagues to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing travel and moving to online meetings, encouraging the use of public transport, or offering them a cycle to work scheme
  • Ensure you have recycling facilities across premises and encourage colleagues to increase the amount of waste they recycle. You can also work with suppliers who can support you with waste management
  • Find out what the financial institutions you work with are doing with your money to ensure you’re not funding activities that conflict with your values and ethics and if they do, consider switching to a more sustainable financing solution for any day to day banking, future growth plans, materials or equipment
  • Carry out some desk research to help you to choose suppliers and who you work with to ensure they have not behaved in a way that contradicts your ethics and values or behaved irresponsibly.

You can find out more information on ESG on our Business Exchange.

Share your pledges

Once you have developed your Ethical Policy together, you can publish it on your website or even on your social media channels using the hashtag #OurEthicalPolicy, to share your commitment to ESG with your social communities, colleagues and customers.
Download Ethical Policy template