General: Esme is an ethical trading company. Our ethics concern not only how we behave within the company - how we treat our colleagues, for example, or our customers - but also how we act in relation to the environment, how we source our products, the kinds of businesses and organizations that we deal with and how we try to use use our business as a force for economic and social progress.
Environment: Esme is firmly committed to being being a green business, to minimizing its own adverse impact on the environment and to providing customers with environmentally responsible choices. Our environmental policy, covering issues such as transportation, energy, packaging and recycling, is contained in a separate policy statement.
Business structure: Esme is a progressive business, but has adopted a traditonal (limited company) business structure. Whilst recognizing and welcoming the existence of many innovative approaches to the organization of productive and distributive activity, we also recognize that throughout the world, rich and poor, the profit motive remains one of the key factors in sustaining economic activity. It is in this world that we seek to support activities with the potential to alleviate poverty and promote sustainability. Moreover, we wish to demonstrate by example that any business has the potential to operate by ethical principles, and that 'commercial considerations' should not be used as a convenient excuse for evading moral responsibility.
Suppliers: Esme is in a position of trust in relation to its customers, who may wish to be certain that the products they purchase have been ethically produced. Rather than rely exclusively on particular certification schemes, Esme seeks to build customer confidence by sourcing from trusted suppliers, who share our ambition to promote a fairer and more sustainable world. Where we do source from 'mainstream' suppliers, engaged in activities we may not wholly endorse, this will be in order to reward the good practice embodied in the particular product or products in question.
Certification: The previous paragraph notwithstanding, certification schemes have a vital and ever evolving role to play in fostering good practice and increasing consumer awareness, as well as building consumer confidence. Esme has a responsibility to its customers to explain the significance (and the limitations) of the many schemes that now operate, covering such issues as social accountability, organic production, conditions of labour (including the question of child labour), sustainable forestry, and so on.
Promoting ethical shopping: Esme is committed to the promotion of ethical shopping choices on the part of consumers, as increasing the demand for ethically sourced products increases the strength and impact of progressive production initiatives. Esme will empahasize the 'stories' behind products where these are likely to provide additional motivation for purchasing the products in question. In doing so, we will take care to stick to the facts and seek to avoid trivialisation and gimmickry.
Financial: Esme has sourced its financial and insurance products from sources which it believes to be amongst the most ethical in their respective sectors.
Community and education: Esme is rooted in the community and is part of the community. As resources allow, we will strive to be an enabling force, promoting community activities and working with community organizations, including schools, to promote fair trade, care for the environment and appropriate charitable activity.
Customer feedback: As a new company, we recognize that our ethical policies are aspirational and that this policy statement is a work in progress. We welcome feedback from our customers and will develop this policy in the light of comments received.
Political affiliation: Esme is, and will remain, independent from any political party.