Ethical Business Policy

We seek excellence in every aspect of our business. We believe that we have a responsibility to adhere to the highest standards of behaviour and care. We recognise our responsibilities as an international business and we aim to set, encourage and sustain the highest standards of corporate responsibility in everything we do across our operations. We believe that this not only makes good business sense, it also has the potential to improve our working relationships with our clients, suppliers, each other and the wider community around us.

This policy aims to outline the way in which we do business. We recognise that it is not possible to produce a set of standards that covers every situation that we may encounter in the course of our business. Instead, this policy will provide the framework within which we expect our people to operate and some guidance as to what may, or may not be acceptable. Where a particular situation is clearly at odds with our ethics as a business and is deemed to be unacceptable in any circumstance, this is made clear in this policy. As a general rule, we expect people to make sensible and informed judgements about whether a situation is ethical and likely to be acceptable to Hyphen, and to seek guidance from others within Hyphen where they are unsure.

Hyphen’s management team must:

  • Lead by example, promoting compliance and ethics in all their behaviours
  • Make sure that those who report to them understand the requirements of this policy and have adequate resources to meet them.
  • Monitor compliance and ethics within their teams and take appropriate action to address any shortcomings.
  • Use reasonable care to monitor the behaviour of third parties working with Hyphen to ensure that they behave in an ethical manner.
  • Support employees who raise questions or concerns about ethical issues within Hyphen and those we work with.

Employees, agents, contractors, subcontractors, consultants, business partners and any other parties (including individuals, partnerships and bodies corporate) associated with Hyphen are expected to:

  • Work within the letter and spirit of this policy and related procedures.
  • Ask a member of the senior management team if they are unsure about any aspect of this policy.
  • Bring to the attention of a director any suspected breach of the policy by another member of Hyphen. In considering whether to speak up about a suspected breach, you should ask yourselves some simple questions:
    • Is the action legal?
    • Does it comply with Hyphen’s Ethical Business Policy?
    • Does it expose Hyphen to any unacceptable risks?
    • Is it in line with the Hyphen values?
    • Does it meet the commitments and guarantees that we have made to others?
    • How would it look if reported publicly?
    • Does it feel right?

As well as compliance with this policy, everyone at Hyphen is expected to exercise good judgement and common sense, so that their actions never jeopardise our reputation as a responsible business.


We are committed to following key principles of corporate responsibility, in line with our company values to achieve our work and mission. These are never compromised and are fundamental to our responsible corporate behaviour. We believe in:

  • Honesty, integrity & trust
  • Loyalty & fairness
  • Respect for others
  • A commitment to excellence
  • Abiding by the law relating to our business activities
  • Accountability and reputation

International Operations 

We recognise that our dealings with clients, suppliers, and each other often take place in cultures with different norms and values. We also recognise that laws vary from country to country. Each of us is responsible for knowing and complying with the laws that apply to us where we work, however sometimes the way in which we work goes further than existing legislation. Our Ethical Business policy therefore sets out the universal standards of individual and collective behaviour that we will apply to all of our activities, throughout Hyphen, across all of our operations, regardless of geographical location. Where differences exist as a result of local culture, laws or regulations, Hyphen staff are expected to adhere to the principle and spirit of this policy and with local requirements.

Working as One Hyphen, our values in practice

At Hyphen, we insist on ethical standards from our clients and suppliers, and in turn we must exhibit the highest ethical standards ourselves. We must not only be fair and above board in our dealings, but avoid any conduct which is capable of being misinterpreted.
Certain standards are universally applicable and we expect everyone with whom Hyphen has commercial dealings to meet these standards. We will not accept commissions that we consider may irrevocably damage the environment, cause a criminal offence, undermine successful social structures or engage with companies, authorities, or within countries that are party to the abuse of human rights.

We expect our clients, staff and suppliers to have a natural respect for our ethical standards in the context of their own particular culture. Our relationships with our staff, clients and suppliers are based on the principle of fair and honest dealings at all times and in every way. We specifically expect our clients and suppliers to extend the same principle of fair and honest dealings to all others with whom they do business, including employees, sub-contractors and other third parties. We will not work with companies who may compromise our own ethical standards. The Hyphen Board of Directors will make a final decision on any of our business dealings with specific companies.

All individuals in our practice are aware that their contributions are vital to the success of the projects that we undertake together for our clients, and that their actions should reflect the highest standards of ethical behaviour. Every individual in our company and those with whom we work are treated as equals. We are not prepared to compromise our ethical principles for profit.
All employees are expected to follow the principles set out in the Corporate Code of Ethics of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. These principles are:

  • To maintain the highest standard of integrity in all our business relationships.
  • To reject any business practice which might reasonably be deemed improper.
  • Individuals must never use their authority or position for their own personal gain.
  • To enhance the proficiency and stature of the profession by acquiring and applying knowledge in the most appropriate way.
  • To foster the highest standards of professional competence amongst those for whom individuals are responsible.
  • To optimise the use of resources which individuals have influence over for the benefit of their organisation.
  • To comply with both the letter and the intent of:
    • the law of countries in which we practice
    • agreed contractual obligations
    • guidance from professional bodies with whom we are registered
  • To declare any personal interest that might affect, or be seen by others to affect, an individual’s impartiality or decision making.
  • To ensure that the information individuals give in the course of their work is accurate.
  • To respect the confidentiality of information individuals receive and never use it for personal gain.
  • To strive for genuine, fair and transparent competition.
  • Not to accept or offer inducements or gifts, other than items of small value as outlined in our anti-bribery policy.
  • To always declare the offer or acceptance of hospitality and never allow hospitality to influence a business decision.
  • To remain impartial in all business dealing and not be influenced by those with vested interests.

Restricted geographical regions
The safety of our staff comes first. Everyone who works for Hyphen must be safe, and feel safe in the performance of their duties. The Hyphen Board of Directors will make a final decision on any business dealings in specific countries. We will not carry out work in countries that we consider have inadequate ethical standards.

Safe reporting
Our staff must feel safe to report any incidents of non-ethical behaviour, including behaviour that is not consistent with our values. This can be done by talking to a member of the senior management team or through our whistle-blowing policy. Reporting can be made in confidence and anonymously.

Our reputation
We will not conduct any business that will negatively affect our reputation. The Hyphen Board of Directors will make a final decision on any business dealings which may potentially damage our good-standing. Our decisions are always made on the basis of fact, not rumour.

We must carry out its business efficiently and in a fair and reasonable manner with integrity. It is the duty of every individual at Hyphen to maintain the highest standard of integrity in all business relationships, both internally and externally, rejecting those practices which might be seen as improper so ensuring that both employees and the company are trusted and respected by all.