Why we need the Good Business Charter
The time is right for a ‘Good Business Charter’ to encourage responsible capitalism and to publicly acknowledge those companies who exhibit such behaviour. Our aim is to inspire as many businesses as possible to change their behaviour, where required, in order to sign up, which should in turn encourage wider good business practice. To this end we have made the GBC simple, streamlined and free in the first year with very low annual costs thereafter.
The Good Business Charter is a comprehensive and user friendly way for organisations to help show they care and for the rest of us to spend our money ethically.
– Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA and author,
The Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy
This is a non-partisan initiative. Governments of all stripes have an interest in responsible businesses creating jobs, generating tax revenues to support public services and behaving in an ethical manner. We of course hope that government and other public sector bodies will look favourably at those businesses that have signed up to the Good Business Charter which could over time become a competitive advantage for firms.
The GBC hopes to nudge even more businesses towards responsible behaviour by getting them to focus on all the components of the Charter. The GBC does not work on the basis of achieving an average score or picking and choosing different aspects to adhere to. Rather it is a simple In/Out accreditation with a holistic recognition of those organisations operating responsibly in all of these key areas. We hope that employees will wish to work for companies that sign up to the Charter; that customers will use their buying power to favour accredited companies and that investors will favour GBC accredited organisations.
This charter improves accountability. It is a voluntary accreditation and one that we hope businesses will be enthusiastic to join. There are a lot of good businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK that already operate to the GBC principles, and who are keen for accreditation to recognise their responsible behaviour. We hope that others will modify their behaviour so as to gain this accreditation.
Our 10 components
How/why did we select these initial 10 components?
The 10 components cover employee conditions, tax, the environment, and the treatment of suppliers and customers. Whilst we could have had more elements we consider that these 10 are all achievable for most organisations and will make the most significant difference in the shortest period of time. We will canvass feedback from members and evolve the criteria going forwards.
We have also developed an accreditation for charities which covers nine components because the tax component is not relevant for them. We want to recognise charities that have responsible practices towards the environment, their employees, stakeholders and suppliers alongside the valuable charitable work they do.
Businesses and charities self-certify to the Good Business Charter through the website but will be expected to submit relevant documentation as proof of compliance. The GBC will attempt to rigorously uphold its standards and work closely with partners to ensure appropriate monitoring and enforcement.
The Good Business Charter measures behaviour over ten important components but we believe responsible behaviour by businesses shouldn’t be limited to these. Members are expected to adhere to the spirit of the Good Business Charter in their dealings with all stakeholders (workers, customers, subcontractors, suppliers, and the community), in their approach to the environment and in their legal and financial compliance. In the event of a material issue occurring which could question their right to membership then the Trustees’ decision is final in deciding whether it should be rescinded.
The GBC does not seek to judge the ‘morality’ of the type of business, as long as they are operating within UK law. All organisations are eligible for GBC accreditation irrespective of their line of business. In exceptional circumstances, the GBC’s Ethics Committee will review applications which meet the 10 Charter criteria but may nonetheless not warrant accreditation.
Good Business Charter
Take the first step now and sign up with us today. If you receive accreditation to the GBC, membership will be FREE for the first year.
No joining fee and membership fee is free for the first year.
Thereafter organisations will be charged £1 per FTE up to a limit of £2,500 (£500 for charities).
So if you have 8 employees you will pay just £8 per year membership after your first free year.
If you have 150 employees it will be £150 per year, if 2,500 employees, the cost is £2,500.
We believe this represents excellent value at just £1 per full-time employee per year.
Membership costs are per year. The first year is free of charge.
Where does the Good Business Charter fit into the responsible business space?
Click here for more information.
Calling all employees, customers and suppliers.
If you have reason to believe that a GBC accredited organisation is not meeting its obligations, please let us know.