In the Ethibel research methodology the concept of excluding criteria was replaced by an examination of the extent to which a company is involved in 'technologies and practices which are the subject of social debate' in other words 'disputable practices'. The involvement of a company is examined for each of these practices using a standardised procedure. For each of the practices that are examined, the researchers determine whether the company is involved in these practices at all, or whether it is involved to a 'slight degree' or to a 'greater degree'. For three topics, the arms trade and production, nuclear energy and animal testing, involvement to a 'greater degree' results in exclusion. For the other 'disputable practices' examined, it is up to the independent Register Committee to decide to what extent this element may or should count in the final evaluation of the company.
Before a company is accepted to the index or the investment register they are analysed in the following areas:
- Internal social policy
As part of the social policy, the quality of working conditions and the social contribution of a company are examined in depth. Working content, conditions, environment and relationships are the subject of analysis.
- Environmental policy
In regard to environmental protection internal organisational structures and production are analysed
- External society policy
The focal point in this area is the question how much the company contributes to a sustainable, environmentally friendly and humane society.
- Ethical-economical policy
Under this heading, the analysis concentrates on the ethical aspects of the company's economic policy.
The rating of companies is done on a 0-6 scale. “0” means “well below average or with serious shortcomings” and “6” means “exceptional, the company is a pioneer with regard to this specific topic” Complete lists of the criteria and indicators of the four areas can be found on Ethibel´s homepage.
Stock at Stake, CSR Research Bureau of the Ethibel Group