Free2Work

February 16, 2011

One of the big issues in making informed consumer choices is that it’s very difficult to get good information on which companies have a better record with how they treat people and which companies are lacking. For instance, did you know that Bridgestone has a terrible reputation in terms of human trafficking? To date, there are 21 lawsuits for slavery against Bridgestone in Liberia. Who knew?! The problem is that even if you truly care about the issue of slavery, it’s really hard to get the information about the supply chain of a product.

Here is a new tool that has the potential to help you make better choices in the way that you spend your money. The site is called Free2Work. Here is an explanation from their website:

Free2work.org is a singular location that streamlines and simplifies the process for consumers on the topic of most concern to its audience, modern-day slavery. On Free2work.org, consumers can easily search specific products, learn more about various labor standards and corporate practices, and further their engagement through their consumption decisions.

Companies can also take the Free2Work pledge. While taking the pledge doesn’t guarantee ethical behavior, it’s a step in the right direction. Taking the Free2Work pledge means that a company is subject to visits from Free2Work monitors. Hopefully, this will bring some level of accountability. Here is the pledge:

To have zero tolerance for forced labor inside their company operation
To develop an anti-slavery corporate policy
To require all outsource suppliers and contractors to hold the same anti-slavery protocol
To ensure that the providers of source materials for their products comply with their anti-slavery protocols.
To monitor their company’s compliance with all of the above, and responsibly address any violations.

The site is still being built out. It’s worth watching as the site becomes more densely populated. For those with an iphone, they have a free iphone app that you can download. Click here if you’re interested.

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