Love People, Love our Planet

Caring for people and the planet is something we are very passionate about at Bix.  We like to think we are socially and environmentally responsible and the philosophy of trying to “do no harm” is at the heart of our values. We know that there are also a great many businesses out there that share these principles.

So, in a digital world how can we promote these principles and why should we?

Well, as for the why, because people trust those that care and at the end of the day trust is the foundation of all strong and lasting relationships. This is the case whether you are looking at this altruistically or commercially!

“Since the beginning of time, business has depended upon trust and goodwill in order for commerce to flourish.”

(The Guardian (2017)

As for the “how”, to build trust we must practice what we preach – walk the walk – otherwise face the criticism of hypocrisy and at worst deliberately misleading, shattering the very trust we seek to build.

A business needs to question its willingness to put profits before ethics and doing the right thing. To ask the question – just because we can do something should we? This can get really tricky though as whose ethical and environmental standards set the bar? What may seem fine for one group may see another group throwing up their arms in disgust!

Clearly no company is able to break the law.  However, there is obviously a grey area where something is legal, but still seen as questionable by many in terms of social and environmental responsibility. Tax avoidance is a case in point.

These ethical dilemmas can also cause conflicts between the interests of different groups.  So many will argue that Google and Facebook should pay more tax in the UK, but by equal measure many millions of shareholders across the UK who rely on these companies to pay huge dividends for their pension coffers may argue that if it’s legal then it is fine.

However, at Bix, we try not to get too caught up in the politics and complexities of ethical dilemmas; staying well clear of grey areas and working on general principles which we are comfortable with and which we believe are universally acceptable and welcomed.

So how can you demonstrate and promote your highly ethical values?

 There are some really simple things you can do to highlight your values whilst walking the walk. For example:

  • Display a clear statement of ethical values and principles on your website and promote them through your social media. We are proud of our statement of values.
  • Support good causes and charities. Volunteer, Pay donations, help them fund raise, sponsorship or simply raise awareness by sharing their online content across your own social media.
  • Don’t work with other organisations you believe are not ethical, whether customers, suppliers or other key stakeholders.
  • Through recruitment, training and performance reviews, build a team that shares the same values to ensure it becomes hard wired into your culture. Employees are the organisation’s link to the outside world after all. As Deloitte point out “When it comes to developing world-class ethics and compliance programs, the starting point is a positive culture of integrity.

Digitisation & ethical issues

There are though many ethical issues that are becoming increasingly important as we become more reliant on digital technology.  For example:

  • Avoiding the loss of customer data by employing adequate security safeguards against cyberattacks. Although illegal (as this recent BBC article highlights) we still have an ethical duty which if breached can irreparably damage reputation and customer loyalty.
  • Avoiding spam emails – we should always give recipients the opportunity to easily unsubscribe from future emails (a personal bugbear of mine).
  • Not selling customer data to third parties. Some may believe this is okay if you have the right tick in a box. However, we just wouldn’t do it.
  • Avoid using email or social media to make discriminatory comments, personal attacks or to be downright rude. You will always regret it later! Using basic “netiquette” rules is a good starting point and it is very easy to breach Equal Opportunities or Sex Discrimination legislation inadvertently by not carefully thinking things through.

Striking a balance between ethics and values, the law and what we are capable of achieving with technology will clearly remain a sensitive and hot topic, not least because of the continued pursuit of artificial intelligence, the use of robots and the increasing reliance we place on technology.

Please join the debate.  Is it enough to say if it is legal it is fine?

Our Values