Code of Ethics and Antitrust statement
All members abide to the Life Cycle Initiative’s code of ethics, and any members actively participating in steering, execution, review or coordination fill out a conflict of interest disclosure statement. For funding institutions, and for institutions acting as implementing partners, a due diligence procedure is followed as per UN rules and regulations. Some of the activities of the Life Cycle Initiative may involve commercial competitors being in the same room/discussion group – thus, a generic anti-trust statement may be provided for it to be read at the beginning of such discussions in order to enable the participation of the private sector.
Code of ethics
The Code of Ethics of the Life Cycle Initiative (also denoted as “the Initiative”) has been inspired by its guiding principles, as well as from similar documents of a variety of institutions. Members of the Initiative abide to this Code of Ethics, and non-compliance may result in dismissal from the Initiative.
The Initiative always conducts its own activities honestly and honourably, and expect all its members and partners to do the same. The Initiative’s advice, strategic assistance and the methods imparted through its platforms and training, take proper account of ethical considerations, together with the protection and enhancement of the moral position of the users of Life Cycle Initiative products.
Duty of care
The Initiative’s actions and advice will always conform to relevant law, and specifically to United Nations Rules and Regulations. The Initiative believes that all businesses and organizations, including this partnership, should avoid causing any adverse effect on the human rights of people in the organizations it deals with, the local and wider environments, and the well-being of society at large. The Life Cycle Initiative and its members commit to acting responsibly toward the communities in which we work and for the benefit of the communities that we serve, upholding the mission of the Initiative and the values of the UN before any particular interests.
The Initiative yields to no political or business pressure in delivering independent and impartial approaches to support policy and decision making.
Objectivity and Integrity
The Initiative’s work is based on critical, unbiased reviews of the best available science; the Initiative members uphold the integrity of the scientific process and identify any conflicts of interest. The Initiative ensures regular review of its deliverables by independent experts.
Scientific Rigour and Pragmatism
The Initiative seeks to utilize robust, credible data and methodologies, and the best available science on systemic environmental, social and economic consequences of decisions and policies and present them in a way that can be practically applied by governments and businesses.
Balance, Openness and Inclusiveness
The Initiative includes a diversity of expertise, gender and cultural background, providing the interface between science for sustainability, governments, businesses and civil society to ensure that all communities benefit from its outputs. The Initiative always strives to be fair and objective in the advice and actions provided, and is never influenced in its decisions, actions or recommendations by issues of gender, race, creed, colour, age or personal disability.
Accountability and Transparency
Activities of the Initiative should be undertaken in a responsible, transparent and accountable manner.
Collaboration and Non-Financial Contributions
The Initiative builds on partnerships which enable the delivery of the mission and collective impact. Many of the outputs are delivered through in-kind contributions and this is recognized accordingly.
Sustainability as a public good
The Initiative understands its work towards supporting sustainability related decisions as a public good, and strives to provide non rivalrous, non-excludible and non-competitive advice and expertise to enhance human prosperity towards sustainable development.
Conflict of Interest Policy
The Life Cycle Initiative recognizes that its members and partners have broad interests and participate in many scientific, policy and business activities. The broader the individual’s experience, the more valuable the member is to the Initiative. This may however generate situations when perceived or actual conflicts of interest may arise, i.e. when decisions by such individual(s) may be (potentially) unduly influenced by conflicting interests beyond the Initiative’s. i.e. a member or institution serving as the Steering Committee of the Initiative may be under consideration as an implementing partner. Situations also may arise where a life cycle approach developed by one member may be recommended or endorsed by the Initiative.
In all such cases, the Initiative understands that the potential for conflict of interest needs to be recognized and disclosed, and appropriate steps taken to prevent influence or favoritism in the Initiative’s decision. To that end, members actively involved in financial transactions or technical recommendations of the Initiative annually complete a conflict of interest disclosure statement.
As the Life Cycle Initiative may include multiple manufacturing partners from the same industry, UN Environment will monitor for risks of antitrust activities, and request its members to commit to avoid discussions potentially linked to such antitrust activities, including:
- Price fixing: to avoid price fixing, meetings will not include discussion or exchange of price from the private sector;
- Market allocation: industry participants will not agree to certain market shares, assign territories, and/or forego a product market in favour of a competitor;
- Group boycotts: Industry participants shall not boycott business with a particular supplier or other commercial entity. If any member of the Initiative has any concerns over antitrust behaviour, they should not hesitate to discuss with UN Environment.