The EthicalQuote reputation index aggregates thousands of documents gathered online from various sources and classified according to 50 sustainability criteria inspired by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3.1 sustainability reporting guidelines, as well as by the experience accumulated by Covalence since 2001.
These criteria follow the dimensions of the GRI and are distributed in 7 groups:
- Governance, Commitments, and Engagement
- Labor Practices and Decent Work
- Human Rights
- Product Responsibility
Example of criteria are: Stakeholder Engagement, Local Sourcing, Emissions, Water Management, Health and Safety, Human Rights Policy, Local Communities, Lobbying Practices, or Product Compliance.
The 50 criteria have the following characteristics:
- Rely on the Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines and on an international legal framework
- Based on widely accepted principles, not on specific ethical choices, to cope with diversity and pluralism
- Capacity to cover changing aspects of companies’ operations
- Capacity to cover actions led by stakeholders and media coverage
Rather than definitive moral judgments, the criteria should be seen as open boxes allowing to store and organize information on a barometer, case-by-case basis. Covalence criteria are not sector-specific. They are designed to cover any multinational company and to allow cross-sector comparisons.
Additional legal references of Covalence EthicalQuote criteria are: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Declaration of Principles concerning MNEs and Social Policy, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the agreements of the World Summit for Social Development, the UN Global Compact, the UN Millenium Goals, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the process of setting its initial list of criteria, Covalence has undertaken discussions with, and used feedback from the following NGOs: ADAP (Association pour le Développement des Aires Protégées), AGSI (Association Geste Solidaire Immédiat), GRAD (Groupe de Réalisation et d’Animation pour le développement). The creation of Covalence in 2001 benefited from the support of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland).