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Title:International standards and conventions which support the Ethibel assessment method
Date of publishing:September 20, 2011
Category:Other content
Also available in the following languages:Dutch, French

International standards and conventions which support the Ethibel assessment method

The Ethibel method is based on the concepts of internationally accepted standards, conventions and codes of conduct.These fundamental standards are issued by the United Nations (UN), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).The following list is non-exhaustive.


1. Human Resources

Continuous improvement of professional relations, labour relations and working conditions. Internationally recognised reference texts are:

  • ILO: Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy; Equality of Treatment Convention (Conv. 118)
  • UN: Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to promote and protect universally recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • EU: Community Charter on the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers; Council Decision 2003/578/CE of 22 July 2003 on Guidelines for the Employment Policies of Member States


2. Human Rights at workplaces

Respect for freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, non-discrimination and promotion of equality, elimination of illegal working practices such as child or forced labour, prevention of inhumane or degrading treatment such as sexual harassment, protection of privacy and personal data. Internationally recognised reference texts are:

  • UN: Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Proclaimed by General Assembly Resolution 2263(XXII) of 7 November 1967
  • ILO: ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • OECD: OECD Guidelines for Multinational Corporations


3. Environment

Protection, safeguarding, prevention of damage to the environment, implementation of an adequate management strategy, eco-design, protection of biodiversity and co-ordinated management of environmental impacts on the entire lifecycle of products or services. Internationally recognised reference texts are:

  • UN: Rio Declaration; Agenda 21; Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • EU: The Green Paper on Integrated Product Policy; Council Directive 85/203/EEC of 7 March 1985 on Air Quality Standards for Nitrogen Dioxide


4. Business Behaviour

Consideration of the rights and interests of clients, integration of social and environmental standards in the selection of suppliers and on the entire supply chain, effective prevention of corruption and respect for competitive practices. Internationally recognised reference texts are:

  • UN: United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, revised 1999; Global Compact; United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD: OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data
  • WTO: Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (ADPIC) Annex 1C to the Agreement establishing the WTO, Marrakech, 1994


5. Good governance

Effectiveness and integrity, guarantee of independence and efficiency of the Board of Directors, effectiveness and efficiency of auditing and control mechanisms, in particular the inclusion of social responsibility risks, respect for the rights of shareholders, particularly minority shareholders, transparency and rationale for the remuneration of directors. Internationally recognised reference texts are:

  • OECD: OECD Corporate Governance Principles
  • EU: EU Regulation 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the Application of International Accounting Standards


6. Social impact

Effectiveness, managerial commitment to community involvement, contribution to the economic and social development of territories/societies within which the company operates, positive commitment to manage the social impacts linked to products or services and overt contribution and participation in causes of public or general interest. Internationally recognised reference models are:

  • WTO: Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (ADPIC) Annex 1C to the Agreement establishing the WTO, Marrakech, 1994
  • EU: Commission Regulation of 27 April 2004 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty regarding certain categories of technology transfer agreements.


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