GAIA
Ethical Standards Award
(Guidelines and Regulations)

"Liberty is telling people what they do not want to hear". George Orwell.

Introduction:
GAIA's Ethical Standards Award is designed as a guideline for companies, businesses, organizations, NGO's or individuals to follow to pursue a healthier and more ethical business, campaigning or home life. It is designed to show the customers or associates that they are free from GMO's, animal cruelty, vivisection, child labour, excessive pay structures, unethical marketing and derisory environmental impacts...

The independent board for
GAIA Ethical Standards Award are a small group of people invited by GAIA to act as independent observers to police and monitor that signatories follow the rules of the certification. They may vary and they may, at any time, be from any business or social sphere.

Membership to this award is voluntary and free*, as our aim is to encourage and support others to adopt a more open and honest world of commerce and communications, embracing fully in their management, practice, productions, marketing and finances more Social Accountability, Business Accountability and Social Responsibility.

GAIA's reform and support of pioneering business, trading, manufacturing, distributing, and communication standards aligned with our non-human approach, that puts the needs and considerations of all flora and fauna ahead of the human kind alone, has influenced our impact on society and the environment.

All signatories will be required to produce working practices which, are not simply written documents, and must be actively passed around and embraced by all members/employees. They must, also, show continued development and understanding of the need for regular monitoring and reflect/update business activities, resources, materials and behaviour in accordance with circumstances.

Must adhere to and exceed the following:
• Clean Air Policy - No smoking, solvent abuse or chemical substances.
• GM Free produce.
• Fair Trade policy.
• Smoke Free work/living environment.
• Equal Opportunities policy.
• Soil Association standard production of foods, growing and livestock care.
• An ethical supply chain.
• BUAV non-Animal Testing practice.
• Animal Aid Cruelty Free animal welfare standards.

All signatories must accept and abide by the award's six months probationary period. Where applicants will be under observation and guidance to become fully in-line with the this awards ethical standards requirements. On these visits the applicant must present their business 'dealings' honestly and openly and must not hinder or obstruct any investigations.

All signatories must adhere to all policies outlined throughtout and within this document.


*Any donation to the administrative cost would be warmly welcomed.


ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR/
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

To qualify for the
GAIA's Ethical Standards Award the company, business, organization, NGO or individual must satisfy the following criteria:


i) The applicant must provide the independent board for GAIA's Ethical Standards Award a full account of suppliers; which must be shown to be from ethical and environmentally friendly companies. This may include: stationery supplies, farming supplies, tools, seeds, plants, building materials etc...


ii) The applicant must provide the independent board for GAIA's Ethical Standards Award a full environmental policy and constitutional document that includes a written and active sex discrimination policy, age discrimination policy and race discrimination policy.


iii) The applicant must provide the independent board for GAIA's Ethical Standards Awardevidence of trading activities: including the materials, the product and the outlets.


iv) The applicant must complete the application form entitled, "GAIA's Ethical Standards Award".


v)The applicant must be willing to be audited three times a year by a member of the independent board for GAIA's Ethical Standards Award, to keep their status.


vi) The applicant must agree to the annual fee and a consultancy period where members of GAIA and members of the independent board for GAIA's Ethical Standards Award will advise changes and guidance.


vii) Once an applicant has successfully satisfied all of the awards criteria and has completed the application form, a certificate will be awarded that can be displayed on the applicant's premises.



Ethical Standards Award-
THE CONSTITUTION:

ESA1) NAME
1.1 GAIA Unlimited. Referred to as GAIA in this Constitutional Document.
1.2 GAIA aims to be an equal opportunities organization and does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, culture, race, elitism, sexuality, disability, religion, class, titles or hierarchy. It is sectarian/non-sectarian*, and non-party political** and will not affiliate to any party political organization.


ESA2) ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND REPORTING
2.1 OUR ATTITUDE... we recognise our responsibility to the environment, and all living things, wherever we operate. We bare a special responsibility to our customers, staff and local residents. We aim to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable environment, on which we have the least possible impact.
2.2 GOALS... we will set goals for safety and environmental performance. These goals will be quantified by targets which will be annually raised.
2.3 AUDITS... we will regularly audit our products with legislation and this policy, measure progress and strive to improve.
2.4 STANDARDS... we will select and conform to the most stringent international environmental standards. Wherever possible we will surpass those standards. We will aim continually to raise our standards. We will work for fair and sound legislation.
2.5 CONSERVATION... we will aim to conserve natural resources by minimising the use of non-renewable materials, by recycling materials, by minimising energy use and by using recycled products and packaging.
2.6 PRODUCTS... we aim to produce products/services that are useful or beneficial. Wherever possible our products will be recyclable. We will not produce or sell products that knowingly harm any species or habitats.
2.7 PRODUCTION... our production methods will strive to achieve waste-free production, and to avoid polluting the land, air or water. We will avoid hazardous processes or materials, where alternatives are available. We will reduce waste and losses by being efficient, and we will take all responsible steps to prevent pollution at its source.
2.8 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.. our research and development programme will seek to improve current products and to introduce new ones that are better still. We will undertake cradle-to-grave responsibility for our products. We will stay abreast of new technologies, and uncover new business opportunities that are compatible with the environment.
2.9 WORKPLACE... our premises will be a safe, healthy and attractive place in which to work. We will avoid hazardous practices. We will access the environmental impact of all major proposed changes and reduce their environmental effects.
2.10 TRANSPORT... we will adopt an environmentally sound transport policy.
2.11 COMMUNICATION... we will communicate openly about our operations to all relevant bodies, and provide appropriate statistical information even when not required by law. We will provide information to consumers and the trade about the
contents of our products and the nature of our activities. We will not make misleading or exaggerated environmental claims, and we will oppose and expose such information.
2.12 THE COMMUNITY... we will be a responsible neighbour, acting promptly to correct incidents or conditions that endanger health, safety or the environment. We will report to the authorities promptly, and inform everyone who may be affected.
2.13 SOCIETY... We recognise our duty to share solutions with the rest of society.
2.14 Suppliers... We expect high environmental standards from suppliers and contractors who work for us, and we will monitor their performance. We will trade with, where possible, ethically recommended sources.


ESA3) ACCESSIBILITY AND COMMUNICATION
3.1 GAIA’s openness and willingness to be up front and honest prevails in our communications with GAIA members, shareholders, associate members or potential business relations. However uncomfortable, complicated or pedantic we will aim to ensure that everybody knows all that is going on within every aspect of GAIA.
3.2 GAIA has a communications policy, that, means we aim to reply to telephone calls within two days, and postal correspondence within a week. We will not slump into the profound rudeness and laziness within society today of ignoring or forgetting correspondence. We will not slip into poor communications management.
3.3 Because of GAIA’s ‘human touch’, we do not intend to lose a grip and become computerised characters. Where possible, however inconvenient, we will hand write letters and envelopes, and meet face to face rather than via the telephone or internet


ESA4) ETHICAL POLICY
4.1 All members of GAIA, of every capacity, must be aware of their responsibilities to uphold shared interests, openness, reasonable behaviour, considerate behaviour, sensitive behaviour, clear communications and supportive roles.
4.2 GAIA’s members must continually be aware, and act accordingly, of GAIA’s independent status. That, at no time, must members themselves or members allow GAIA to divert from the independent ethos.
4.3 GAIA’s independent ethos entitles the company and its members to freedom of commerce and expression. To be independent means, for GAIA and its members, no submission to middle-men, public relations companies or multi-national companies but, retaining control over ones own policies, creativities, business and future.
4.4 Every member, associate member and shareholder of GAIA must be aware at all times, that, ethics in the workplace is as much about comprehensive and clear communication.
4.5 Every member, associate member and shareholder of GAIA must be aware, that, ethics is in thought/intent and the spiritual as much as in action and the physical.
4.6 Being ethical means, that every member, associate member and shareholder of GAIA, must not act immorally or unethically, or indirectly be party to unethical or immoral acts, or ignore unethical or immoral acts once involved directly by invitation.
4.7 Every member and associate member of GAIA must continually be aware of the ethical and ecological source and linear history/effect of trading or communicating with non-GAIA members or organizations.
4.8 The private lives' of GAIA members and associate members, or their personal moral or ethical interpretations should not prejudice their behaviour within their role for standards and principles in jeopardy. Any such behaviour could result in the directors/company members terminating the individual’s association with GAIA.
4.9 Although, GAIA may be criticised for seeming to stand on moral judgement over an individual or group, GAIA members or associate members must realise and take responsibility, as individuals, and recognise, that, society is not an entity in its own right (a self-governed and self-regulating being). But, that, society is made up of a collective of self-governed and self-regulating individuals, influenced by moral and ethical judgements.
4.10 It is every GAIA member’s and associate member’s responsibility to society as a whole, and other ecological systems to influence those individuals or groups, that act immorally, and unethically, by changing their behaviour so that they have a positive and beneficial moral, ethical and ecological effect on other individuals, groups future generations and eco-systems


ESA5) ECOLOGY
5.1 It is the responsibility of each individual member of GAIA to be aware, that, the finished product is not more important, than, the process or manufacture. Projects and products are not to be pursued at all costs.
5.2 Just as the product, per se. is not all important, GAIA members must be aware that time, in the common era, is also unimportant. The pursuit of time limits, or dead lines, or the needs of the present should not be endured at the expense of (an insight to) the future stability and environmental impact.
5.3 All aspects of GAIA’s work or associate work must respond to an organic criteria.
5.4 GAIA’s organic criteria, stems from the collective individuals associations that led to the formation of GAIA as a corporation. All subsequent associations began from a mutual friendship and paralleled pursuit for independent creativity. No member of GAIA was ever without a social link to one other member. This organic evolution enabled GAIA to breathe and develop without negative communications, egotistical individual traits or clashing personalities. With this in place at the onset GAIA’s subsequent activities, practices and associations naturally follow on from these organic roots.
5.5 GAIA’s organic criteria, in practice, is defined as never allowing projects to be forced products. Every member of GAIA must take on the responsibility to access the ethical and ecological credentials of individual or group employees/associate members, before allowing the project to progress.
5.6 Every member or associate member (employee or shareholder) must continually monitor their own impact on the environment, and continually assess the impact projects have on the environment.
5.7 Every member or associate member (employee or shareholder) must embrace the creative ideal, that, all GAIA projects must sit in harmony with the rest of nature and social environments. No member must fall into the trap of obscenities, where creativity exemplifies human importance.
5.8 Every member or associate member (employee or shareholder) must refrain from uniformity and conventional thought process but, embrace lateral thinking and omni-directional skills.

FOOTNOTES
*The English definition of the word sectarian adhering to sect seems to contradict the present day English language usage and terminology, hence the reference to sectarian and non-sectarian.
**References in this constitutional document to the Green Manifesto or 'Green' politics or 'Greens' are not references to party political doctrines and so do not contradict this constitutional document’s policy on party politics.
'Green' is a way of life and has a guideline of standards packaged under the Green Manifesto. GAIA cannot take responsibility for organisation’s or individual’s interpretations or their adoption of 'Green' issues to their party political doctrines.


Copyright © GAIA. September 2005.


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