IEH - Ethical Trading Initiative Norway

Guide: Ethical Trade

We have created this guide to show that ethical trading is feasible and produces results even for small and medium enterprises, and that it really is all about getting started.

If you buy and sell goods in one way or another, then this guide is intended for you. It is likely that these goods are produced in a country where labor is cheap. Countries with low labour costs often have one feature in common: their labour legislation may look good on paper, but the authorities have little control over how employers treat their employees. 

The guide is primarily inteded for companies that are about to start working with ethical trade, but it is also a useful tool for more experienced firms. The recommendations in the guide is based on many years of experience with ethical trade, both within Norway and internationally.

Using this guide

This guide describes how to work in a targeted and structured manner with ethical trade in global supply chains – whether you have direct contact with the manufacturing supplier or whether you purchase goods from an agent or importer. The structure of the guide follows the model above and outlines the following activities:

  • Ensure commitment to ethical trade in the company and its supply chain
  • Conduct a risk assessment and identify areas for improvement
  • Adapt the company’s purchasing practices
  • Collaborate on making improvements
  • Measure, report and communicate

IEH's model for working with ethical trade gives your business an overview of the activities it is wise to do when in the process. It is important to remember that ethical trade is a continuous process of activities that overlap and must be repeated.

This guide has been prepared by the IEH - Ethical Trading Initiative Norway with financial support from the  MinistryForeign Affairs. As part of the guide you will find tools and resources on the wesite you are on now and on the following website: