Codes of conduct

A code of conduct is a "a formal statement of the values and business practices of a company and sometimes its suppliers. A code is a statement of minimum standards together with a pledge by the company to observe them and to require its contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and licensees to do so. It may be a sophisticated document, which requires compliance with articulated standards and have a complicated enforcement mechanism" (European Commission, Green Paper 2001, p. 24). Today, this definition can be extended to all organisations. Codes of conduct may be very diverse, in both form and substance, so it is important for them to be based at least on some national or international frameworks. The following frameworks provide a good starting point.