Wholegrain ethical policy

Wholegrain Digital was established with the objective of making a positive impact on the world by helping good people do good things, while working in a way that has minimal negative impact on society and the environment. Our ultimate goal is to create a company that has a genuinely positive impact on the world, and we’ll continually strive towards that goal.

A big part of the impact we have revolves around the type of projects we work on. We work with clients in many different industries and try to work with positive people on positive projects. This is determined on a case-by-case basis where we feel there is a good fit. However, we screen new clients and projects to ensure they fit with our values and turn down those that don’t sufficiently align with our values and mission as a company.

All new leads should be screened using the following process:

A flowchart diagram showing ethical screening policy at Wholegrain

Step 1 – Assignment

All new business leads are passed to a Business Development (BD) member of the team.

Step 2 – RED Screening

The BD reviews the lead against our RED ethical criteria. If the project or client is primarily focussed on any of the following, then it should be automatically declined.

Prohibited RED Criteria

  • Animal agriculture, products or testing
  • Arms, ammunition and conflict
  • Discrimination or extremism
  • Fossil fuels
  • Gambling
  • GM (genetically modified crops)
  • Predatory financial services (e.g. loan sharks)
  • Tobacco
  • Unhealthy products aimed at children

Step 3 – GREY Screening

Any leads that pass the RED criteria are then reviewed by the BD against the GREY criteria. This initially takes place based on information within the client enquiry, their website and simple web searches, requesting help from colleagues where needed.

Check whether the client project and organisation:

  • Presents a mix of activities that are close to both RED and GREEN
  • Lacks a clear positive impact on people or planet
  • Has connections to prohibited RED industries via ownership, investments, lobbying or key personnel
  • Has a past record of being accused of poor social or environmental practices
  • Is funded by a big corporate that lacks clarity on their social and environmental stance
  • Is a political organisation or close political associations
  • Is based in a country that is listed as an authoritarian or hybrid authoritarian regime in the Democracy Index
  • Offers goods or services that are classified as a controversial industry by B Lab
  • Feels culturally aligned with Wholegrain
  • Gives you a bad ‘Gut feeling’

Step 4 – SLT Review

If any potential issues from the GREY criteria are identified by the BD, the initial findings should be shared with the Senior Leadership Team.

If there is sufficient information:

The SLT will vote by majority rule to classify the lead as RED or GREEN and proceed accordingly. In the event of a tied vote, either the Founders will make one deciding vote to break the tie or the BD will also get a vote dependent on size and scope of the work and availability of founders.

If more information is needed:

The BD will be tasked with obtaining the additional information. Once obtained, they should loop back to this step.

Step 5 – Proceed or Decline

Following the above steps, if no issues have been identified that lead to a RED classification then the lead will be classified as GREEN and proceed. Details of all screening decisions should be posted in the CRM for future reference.

Improving the process

We believe in continuous improvement and will update this process in future when needed. We welcome input from team members and clients to help improve it, particularly where the current process creates any tension or ambiguity. The Senior Leadership Team will review suggestions and update the policy periodically.

Please find our Business and Impact Reports.