Ethics by Design

Doing the right thing

Organisations are increasingly looking to strengthen their ethics and compliance agendas in order to elevate their overall culture towards ethics and compliance.  We work closely with organisations to help and improve the quality and credibility of purpose statements, approaches and validation.  

There is no debate that being ethical in life and in business is the right thing to do. But how do you know if your’ Board, suppliers and employees are behaving in an ethical way? Have you defined your purpose, values and behaviours? Each of these will support not just what you do, but how you achieve your strategy and corporate goals in the right way. The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) completed their annual survey in respect of business ethics and approximately
six in ten (or 59%) respondents believe that British businesses behave

The IBE found that the types of issues differ depending on gender. Women are typically more concerned with inter-relationship behaviour such as bullying and harassment, discrimination, and equality. Whilst men are typically more concerned about corporate ethics, tax avoidance and executive pay. Whatever is important to you, conducting business ethically has never been as important. 

The benefits of embedding a strong ethical culture are:

  • Increase customer trust
  • Improve profits
  • Attract and retain the best talent
  • Meet diversity and equality targets
  • Protect your reputation.

Consider the following questions:

  • Is your E&C function seen as a business enabler or blocker?
  • Do you want to use ethical principles rather than rules to support decision making?
  • Do you have too many policies and written standards, but things still go wrong? 
  • Do you train your employees on how to make ethical decisions?
  • Does your culture support your business to move at pace, be agile, drive accountability into the business?

We provide advisory services over all parts of an Ethics & Compliance operating mode, examples include:  

  • Ensure the quality and credibility of your purpose statement
    Define the connection between your stated purpose and your business model. Make sure that this is considered in relation to your company culture and ethics. 
  • Increase stakeholder engagement and build trust
    Be regular and consistent in obtaining views from your stakeholders, particularly your workforce. Analyse how and when employees “speak up” and on what issues.  
  • Elevate your diversity agenda
    Develop targets (beyond those relating to gender) that demonstrate a commitment to improving diversity, particularly at the top levels. Make certain that your board succession plan meets the FRC’s requirement to ensure the right mix of skills and experience.
  • Strengthen you corporate culture
    Diagnose the strength of your corporate culture, don’t just assume it. Use quantitative and qualitative inputs to understand how your culture links to your business performance, and how you can develop these to complement each other.
  • Thematic Reviews on specific topics for example
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Board role in assessing and monitoring culture
  • Ethical Supply Chain – design, assessment or deployment
  • Ethical use of Data
  • Ethical AI

Key contacts

Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor


Lauren is a Partner specialising in Ethics & Regulatory Compliance and is the Energy, Resources & Industrials (ER&I) leader for our Risk Advisory (RA) service line. Having run our Ethics & Compliance ... More

Emily Cromwell

Emily Cromwell


Emily is a partner within Deloitte’s Risk Advisory team. She leads Responsible Business for the Consumer industry in the UK and advises clients on a range of sustainability issues, to include decarbon... More