Our Ethical Policies

We pride ourselves on ensuring we minimise our own environmental impacts and carefully assess our supply chain.

Below you can find information on both.



Company information:

Ethical Consumer Research Association Limited
Unit 21, 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester M15 5RF

Main products/processes/activities:

Production of printed material
Distribution of printed material
Production of a rating database and websites

Number of sites and locations:

One (at the address above)



ECRA is a multistakeholder co-operative, it is an Industrial and Provident Society, owned by its members.


Contact email for environmental policy:



About ECRA

ECRA Publishing was founded in December 1988 to research and publish information on companies behind brand names, and to promote the ethical use of consumer power.

As a co-operative designed to explore the boundaries of what is possible in a commercial environment, ECRA has in the 21 years since its launch developed 5 key rules to help minimise its environmental impacts.

  • All paper used both internally and in external published materials to be post consumer recycled.
  • All office supplies to be recycled or second hand (except our database servers).  This includes electrical equipment, , all our workstations, firewalls and servers.
  • All suppliers to be selected from Ethical Consumer best buy companies, providing Ethical Consumer has produced a buyers' guide on that product area.
  • Plastics, PVC and other potentially toxic materials to be avoided where possible
  • All paper, glass, cardboard, metals, electronic products and plastics to be sent for recycling

In1995, ECRA was involved in the design of its current offices which are located in a demonstration social housing and workspace mixed use building in central Manchester (www.work.change.coop/).

The building is super insulated for energy efficiency and contains a range of other environmental features. Electricity is purchased from Good Energy.

ECRA, with a turnover of around £250,000, is a small business which would be exempt from the environmental reporting requirements of its own company ethical rating system.

SIX main impacts

Taking into account the inputs and outputs and the main materials in use by the company, we believe that the most significant impacts currently occur through the following six products/processes/practices:

Use of paper
Transportation impacts including magazine distribution, couriers, travel to work.  As at July 2011, no co-op worker members routinely use a car to travel to work.
Energy use, notably servers and heating.
Disposal of waste
Printing Inks, dyes
Purchasing of office supplies


Commitment to address environmental issues

ECRA seeks to continually improve its environmental performance by preventing pollution, increasing energy efficiency and minimising waste. It aims to take into account scientific and technical developments and consumer needs. It also aims to consider environmental issues whenever new products are designed or developed.

The co-operative welcomes comment and criticism as to how these goals can best be met.

Last updated April 2012



The following is Ethical Consumer Research Association's code of conduct (supply chain policy) for workers in its supply chain.

This code is a direct copy of the headings in the ETI Base Code. For the details under each heading we use the ETI definitions available here.

We have communicated this code (below) to all our first tier suppliers.

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labour shall not be used
  • Living wages are paid
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practised
  • Regular employment is provided
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed


ECRA is not a member of any multi-stakeholder initiatives.

ECRA is yet to formally audit any of its suppliers. However, our first tier suppliers are deemed as low risk as they are UK-based and not industries known for exploiting vulnerable groups such as illegal immigrants.

We have long term, face to face, relationships with many of our suppliers. Ethics are taken into consideration when we choose suppliers.

We screen suppliers against the standard ethical consumer rating criteria and will only work with companies scoring below 10 when there are exceptional circumstances.


We have a policy of complete disclosure of all our first tier suppliers.


Technology and computer systems

Openplan IT



Orange Tree Digital

Gordon & Gotch BT

The Phone Co-op


Printing and print distribution

Rap Spiderweb (The paper in the magazine is from Cyclus and Lenzing Papier)


Modern Bookbinders Ltd


Central Books

Spring Global Mail

Royal Mail

Moonloft Design


Office and business

Co-op Bank

Triodos Bank


Mike Stocks (bookkeeping)

EMERGE Recycling

Work for Change

Limited Resources

Wesley Community Furniture



Over the last few years, Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA) has regularly reported on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  This movement began in 2005 with a call from Palestinian civil society; the call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organisations, trade unions and movements.


According to the BDS Movement website: "The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by: 

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall; 

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194." 



In June 2014 the ECRA management team, comprising of worker-members of the co-operative, passed a proposal to support BDS.  In doing so, two issues were of primary consideration:

1)  The grave human rights abuses committed by the Israeli state against Palestinians living in both the occupied territories and the state of Israel.  These violations include those which are illegal under international law.

2)  The fact that BDS is supported by a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations. 



ECRA recognises that:

  • The international boycott of South Africa was a key element in bringing to an end the apartheid regime.


  • The international community has failed to ensure that Israel complies with international law with regard to the treatment of Palestinians.


  • Boycott, divestment and sanctions are one of the few, but potentially highly effective, means by which international citizens can stand in solidarity with Palestinians and call for an end to the human rights abuses committed by Israel.



In supporting BDS, ECRA will not knowingly purchase goods or services that originate in Israel, or in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.  We also support the academic boycott, which means that we will not accept materials for which any of the inputs have come from Israeli academic institutions.  In addition we will support the cultural boycott and not collaborate with any Israeli cultural or artistic institutions unless they expressly criticise Israeli human rights abuses and work for freedom for Palestinians.


For more information, please see the BDS Movement website: www.bdsmovement.net 



Last updated June 2014



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