CODE OF ETHICS​

 

Introduction

The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to act as a guide for our team at Horizon Business Plans to operate in a professional, ethical manner that reflects our values. It recognises our responsibilities to act intelligently, ethically, and sustainably within the organisation and provides a framework for how we connect with our clients, partners, and other stakeholders.

 

The Purpose and Values of the Business

Horizon Business Plans believes that small businesses are uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the world and can operate with a positive, regenerative relationship with nature. Our values embody this:

  • Make decisions thoughtfully

  • Tread lightly

  • Engage respectfully

  • Give back generously

 

Our mission is to help environmentally conscious businesses to access the support and funding they need to amplify their positive impact.

 

Our summary theory of change is:

1. We help environmentally conscious businesses through:

  • Business Plan Writing Services

  • Strategic Support Services

  • Financial Analysis Services

  • Connections with Potential Funders

2. So that:

They can receive the funding and support that they need to amplify their impact.

3. Which leads to:

More successful environmentally conscious businesses, leading to better outcomes for the environment, including:

  • Reduced emissions

  • Reduced waste

  • Improved biodiversity outcomes

 

First Peoples Acknowledgement

Horizon Business Plans operates on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung People and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

 

Clients

Our clients exchange their financial and human resources for our services. In this way, they trust Horizon Business Plans to be honest and clear in our communications. Most importantly, they trust that the work that Horizon Business Plans delivers also matches or exceeds their requirements, and that we provide our services on time and in a professional manner.

We place a great deal of importance on this trust and give it our all to take accountability for our actions to ensure our clients receive an exceptional level of service. When issues do arise, we address these fairly and promptly. We believe in fair pricing and in honouring agreements in good faith. We respect client confidentiality and honour any requests for non-disclosure.

Our focus is on supporting clients who are supporting the environment. That is why we place particular emphasis on working with clients who contribute to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & Production

  • SDG 13: Climate Action

  • SDG 14: Life Below Water

  • SDG 15: Life on Land

 

Marketing

We engage in ethical marketing practices. We only advertise in marketing channels where our clients find us and if they like who we are and the service that we offer, they can engage us. We do not cold call or cold email to scour for business unsolicited. In addition, we do not proceed with an engagement until our clients have met some qualifying requirements – we are not in the business of making money from those who do not need our service. We also check in with our clients within 12 months of engagement to track the quality of the service that was provided.

 

Suppliers

We rely upon our vendors to provide the highest quality products and services available in order to enhance the experience for our own clients. These include, but are not limited to, website hosting, accounting, utilities, software, and connectivity. We believe in the prompt settlement of bills and a quick resolution to any disputes with suppliers. All things being equal, including quality of services provided and cost, we try where possible to choose vendors, suppliers, and other partners that are owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups. We also prefer working with conscientious companies, social enterprises, mission-driven companies, B Corporations and not-only-for-profit organisations.

 

Community

Our existence is made possible by the quality and delivery of local, state, and federal services, including, but not limited to, government services like Medicare, courts of law, parliamentary democracy, and national defence. Our obligations to the natural world are countless as well; we receive and enjoy an abundance of clean water, air, and energy. In light of this, our obligation to the spirit and letter of the applicable laws of the land is paramount. We work actively through local community efforts to protect and preserve our natural world.

 

Charitable Giving

We are in business, not only to provide a living wage for our staff, but also to give back where possible. Through our charitable giving business model, our aim is to go past a mere sustainable relationship with nature to build a regenerative one. We therefore donate 5% of our time and 2% of our revenue each to support local environmental projects. Our charitable giving program is again aligned to the core UN Sustainable Development Goals that we support:

  • SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy

  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & Production

  • SDG 13: Climate Action

  • SDG 14: Life Below Water

  • SDG 15: Life on Land

Before deciding on charitable partners, we review their website, their mission, their financials via ACNC and their programs to make sure they align to our focus SDGs.

 

Sustainability

As part of our regenerative business model, the first step is to minimise our own impacts that we have on the environment. We monitor our environmental footprint on an annual basis across the below key areas:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Energy Use

  • Transport

  • Water Use

  • Waste (including ewaste, plastics, paper, metals and stationery)

Our aim is to reduce our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and to offset any residual emissions through verified carbon emissions offsets. We pay for 100% renewable energy. We ensure lights and computers are turned off after use. We avoid travel where possible, with meetings generally held over online video link. When flight travel does occur, we pay to offset the emissions. Our water use is limited to drinking water and bathroom water use. Our waste streams are minimal, however for the waste that we do produce, we keep separate recycling bins for different streams, including e-waste, organics, hard plastics, soft plastics, paper, metals and stationery and use the appropriate recycling channels for each of these streams in order to achieve zero waste going to landfill. Whenever possible, we will work with local suppliers to source products and services to fulfil our business needs. We aspire to keep sustainability a core feature of our practice, our work habits and workspaces, and our aspirations for ourselves, our clients, and our planet.

 

Review and Accessibility

We will review this code of ethics annually to ensure that it reflects our values, our communications and our actions. This code of ethics will be posted publicly online to promote accountability and with the hope that it might act as a model for others to use.

 

Reporting

The best way for our organisation to know that we are upholding this code of ethics, is if employees, clients, colleagues, partners, and others let us know and to call us out if we are not. As a values-driven organisation striving to continually improve, we invite this feedback and accountability.