The idea that led to the formation of Profit Through Ethics Ltd was conceived on 18 March 2002. This was a time when many businesses were first undertaking activities they described as corporate social responsibility (CSR).
However, then, as now, CSR struggled with a credibility problem. Companies whose CSR amounted to highlighting a few positive impacts whilst ignoring major negatives were not gaining public trust. On the contrary, 'doing CSR' in this way carried the risk of ending up even less trusted.
In response, we conceived a website for 'credible CSR.' From the outset, we sought to create something that would be supported by NGOs and campaign groups, trusted by a sceptical public, yet, at the same time, beneficial to businesses that participated.
We developed questions for businesses which examined a wide range of responsibility issues. Manifest and Investor Responsibility Research Center became our first two partner organisations to help develop these questions. We then persuaded three businesses - Adnams, Listawood and Digital Unite to provide answers which we could publish online for the world to see and respond to.
Profit Through Ethics Ltd was incorporated in May 2003 (as SEECorporatePolicy.com Ltd) to continue this early development work. Since then we have developed and prototyped the right framework and brand through which the concept can flourish. After almost eleven years of work, Responsible 100 was proposed in early 2013 and soft launched at the end of the year.