Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Being Ethical and ESTA: Ethical Small Traders Association

I joined The Ethical Small Traders Association - ESTA - in January. ESTA is a framework for mutual benefit and co-operation between local self-employed people and small businesses who are committed to environmental sustainability and community well-being. For the prosperity and common good of the wider community and a sustainable local economy in the Lancaster area. This has prompted me to share with you some of the ways in which I strive to be an ethical business. As a condition of joining ESTA, all members agree to a quadruple 'Bottom Line' as an ethos. I have used the four 'Bottom Lines' as headers for my own ethical commitments. 

Economic Development:
Participating in and creating opportunities for collaborations with and support to other ethical local businesses, community groups and projects to work towards local wealth and wellbeing in an ethical way. Eg through participating in ESTA and co-ordinating and participating in the FHT LLSG

Environmental Care and Sustainability:

  • Reducing my carbon footprint
  • Not using a car myself, and minimising transport miles on the products I buy.
  • Reducing,  reusing, recycling, composting as much as possible: I have made fleece sheets and wraps to use in place of paper where possible for hygiene; my couch roll is recycled paper or sourced from managed forests with minimal bleaching; most of my furniture I bought or traded pre-owned. 
  • Reducing energy usage 
  • The skin care products I use are as much as possible pure and simple, natural, organic naturally farmed or wild-crafted, fairtrade, free of human made chemicals, non-toxic, not tested on animals, and have not undergone processes with by products or effects that are harmful to the environment. I have one non-vegan product, a balm containing beeswax. 

Social development, Wellbeing and Inclusiveness:

  • High quality work, high quality customer care.
  • Keeping the wellbeing and welfare of clients and prospective clients as a top priority at all times, in particular in regard to promoting health. 
  • Accessibility and non-discrimination - I do not discriminate on grounds of sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry/ national or ethnic origin ('race'), religion creed or belief. Age - for babies, infants and young children, and the very elderly, I may refer you to someone with more training and experience with those age groups. Disability - it depends on the issues - I will do my best to be accessible but I may recommend you go to someone with more training, experience or specialist equipment, resources or support where there is good reason to do so. If you have mobility issues, for example are a wheelchair user - be aware that there are steps at my door at the back of the property. However if this is the only obstacle to me providing you an accessible service I can arrange for use of the front door.
  • Openness and honesty in person and in my marketing.
  • Listening to my clients and adapting my service to their needs where appropriate.
  • Awareness of limits to my scope of practice - where appropriate recommending or referring to others.
  • Good practice in care and safeguarding of minors, elders and vulnerable people.

Personal well-being and ongoing Personal Development:

Developing social, networking and educational opportunities and relationships, groups and communities that support them. Engage in ongoing learning and personal and professional development and enabling others to do so. 
Eg through the creation and co-ordination of the FHT LLSG  which supports practitioners in the fields of complementary health care, holistic beauty and sports therapy, and puts on talks, and demonstrations, on a broad range of topics and practices.

More info on The Ethical Small Traders Association and the Fourfold Botttom Line at http://lancasteresta.org/

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