Being a sustainable organisation involves not only economic and legal factors, but also ethical ones. An ethical adequacy process helps organisations to find guidelines to ensure their legitimacy in society. It can be applied to all types of organisations. The aim is for them to achieve greater consistency between what they should be, what they want to be, what they in fact are, and what society perceives them to be.
What is an ethical adequacy process?
The ethical adequacy plan is a continuous improvement process where:
- We understand ourselves as an organisation that is part of society.
- We are able to diagnose the extent to which our organisational actions and behaviours adequately respond to stakeholders’ rights.
- And one in which we make improvements.
This involves a number of steps. In an ethical adequacy process, organisations first put their focus on self-understanding. They identify which behaviours affect their stakeholders’ legitimate rights, taking into account but going beyond legality.
Organisations identify challenges that are specific to their sector but also those that, in general, arise in our environment, such as the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
As a result of the process, organisations identify a number of improvements to be made. These improvements are institutionalised in outcomes such as codes of ethics, new structures such as an ethics committee, or processes that pursue cultural change. The aim is to ensure that the commitments made in this process are reviewable and sustained over time.