What members sign up to

ETI corporate membership obligations

We don't expect any company to be perfect when they join ETI, but we do expect commitment, direct involvement and improvement over time. As a first step, they must adopt the ETI Base Code in full. The Code is widely acknowledged as a model code of labour practice, and is derived from the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

As well as adopting the Base Code, corporate members must also sign up to ETI's Principles of Implementation, which set out the approaches to ethical trade that member companies should follow. These require companies to:

  • demonstrate a clear commitment to ethical trade;
  • integrate ethical trade into their core business practices;
  • drive year-on-year improvements to working conditions;
  • support suppliers to improve working conditions, for example through advice and training; and
  • report openly and accurately about their activities.

Member companies must also play an active part in ETI activities alongside their trade union and NGO colleagues, working in partnership on projects aimed at tackling key ethical trade issues, as well as participating in learning events and other meetings.

How we measure member companies' performance

Member companies must also submit annual reports to the ETI Board which set out the steps they are taking to tackle working conditions in their supply chains. They must tell us:

  • who is driving the company's ethical trade strategy
  • how much money they have spent on ethical trade activities
  • what training they have given to staff and suppliers
  • what progress they have made in integrating ethical trade into their business practices
  • how they assess working conditions at their suppliers' worksites
  • how they ensure that any improvements requested of their suppliers have been made. Concrete changes to workers' conditions are recorded.

Once company annual reports have been reviewed by the ETI Board, the Secretariat provides detailed feedback to each company, identifying where progress has been made and where further action is required. If member companies do not make sufficient progress, or fail to honour their membership obligations, we terminate their membership.

Key trends in performance are analysed and examples of innovative approaches developed by companies are shared within the membership.

An introduction to ETI: