EMPLOYMENT | MANAGEMENT | COMMUNITY | ENVIRONMENT
Company Conduct is assessed across four spectrums: Employment, Management, Community, and Environment. For this benchmark, HowGood identifies major regulatory infractions as well as egregious social and environmental transgressions from the past 25 years with more recent issues weighing more heavily.
In HowGood's rating system, the Company Conduct benchmark represents the company’s historical track record, while the Growing Guidelines and Processing Practices benchmarks represent ongoing behavior. Analyzed together, these metrics enable HowGood to provide unique longitudinal insight into a company and their products.
This spectrum assesses the company's historical treatment towards its direct employees as well as employment practices of contracted third-party manufacturers. (It does not include current farm laborer standards as this is assessed elsewhere.) This spectrum identifies instances of sweatshop labor conditions, child labor, discrimination, harassment, and other physical and psychological workplace abuses.
For Management, we review the company structure, including hierarchy and workforce representation at the executive level; number of employees; and estimated total revenue. HowGood’s analysis has shown repeatedly that the size of an organization correlates to the accountability and ethics of management. The more tiers of hierarchy separating the decision makers from those affected, the easier it is for management to make profit-driven decisions, often at the expense of human wellbeing and best interest. As such, larger organizations are subject to more rigorous review and must proactively demonstrate their responsible management practices through expressly stated safeguards with provisions for good oversight.
HowGood uses the Community spectrum to analyze human impacts outside of employees, including a company’s interaction with peer organizations, the surrounding community, government, and customers. It would examine lawsuits, fines, and regulatory infractions, etc.
The Environment spectrum identifies historic regulatory issues with regard to environmental impact. This includes instances of toxic waste, dumping, misuse of pesticides, problems with the factory disposal, egregious pollution.
The Company Conduct spectrums exist to discern a hierarchy between the most socially and environmentally irresponsible companies in the world. A company must have a clean record across the board in each of these spectrums to earn credit for each metric. If a company has any major red flag incidents or ongoing issues in these categories, it cannot meet HowGood’s standards. Reparations, charitable giving, environmental offsets, or other remediative measures do not offset the impact of major issues on a company’s reputation in HowGood’s rating system even if they improve other areas of the product rating.
In some cases, successful brands are purchased by larger corporations but continue to operate with some degree of autonomy. In this event, HowGood’s historical metrics (Company Conduct) primarily evaluate the parent company, while the ongoing metrics (Growing Guidelines and Processing Practices) analyze the brand and product.
Purely historical assessments fall short as a metric of total impact due to their inability to account for ongoing daily impact of a supply chain’s production requirements. HowGood’s research process was specifically designed to fill this gap. Our comprehensive ratings reflect and balance both the historical and ongoing impact of a product to give the complete, objective picture.