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Fidelis International Institute

2009-08-11

That’s the main idea behind the Fidelis International Institute of Rome dedicated to promoting ethical practices in the world of business.

This institution guides investors in deciding if an investment is worth their money on a certain company.

Maciej Bazela
Analyst, Fidelis International Institute

When we receive a name of a company from a potential investor, we just ask certain questions regarding ethical conduct, we have nine major criteria regarding human life, human rights, stewardship of the environment, cooperation with corrupt governments, and a few others.

The institute has studied 600 companies. They’ve identified the ones that practice unethically, as well as the ones that promote practices that benefit the environment, the poor and the family.

Maciej Bazela
Analyst, Fidelis International Institute

One example would be flexibility of work, for instance working from home, or working part time, or having a right to extended paternity leave or maternity leave, another would be some financial benefits for families like vouchers for kids, or having a kindergarten next to a work of place or having insurance for entire family or having a retirement plan for the good of the family.

The institute also offers courses, publishes books and articles, and conducts academic research in business ethics because they’re interested in educating leaders that practice these values at work.

Marcelo Benitez
Director, Fidelis International Institute

We found a very alarming practice that also was part of the process of this crisis which is the short term oriented profit-seeking of the companies, and specially of the directors or CEO’s of the companies, where this short term approach which is mentioned also on the encyclical forbids the company to look on the long term for the benefit of their shareholders and also on the benefit of the whole society.

Fidelis International Institute has a 12 person team with locations in Italy, Spain, United States and Mexico. They say that the more often companies get excluded from funds for ethical reasons, the more they will be motivated to change their practices.