Three-thinking criteria

The Purple Map lists B2B focused businesses. Your business will be approved onto the map if it is clear that it values people and planet, as well as profit. Social and environmental considerations must be core elements of its business ethos and can relate to the products and services the business sells or how the business is run.

Products and services

The products and services sold by the business should be ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable. Some examples include being fairly-traded, organic, secondhand, low carbon, locally sourced, produced from recycled or sustainable materials, or with respect for animal welfare.

For more options see the following categories on the mapping search page:

Ethical standards labels
Ethics keywords

How a business is run

In relation to business governance you could let us know if the business is actively working to lower its carbon footprint, water usage and production of waste. Or maybe it uses ethical banking, provides an employee pension from an ethical provider, ensures all staff (including contractors e.g. cleaners, labourers) are paid at least a living wage, practices community giving, uses fairly-traded refreshments or environmentally friendly cleaning products in the workplace, or aims to work only with other businesses that share its ethical values.

As many of these items are not visible parts of a business offering we also like to see that there is an environmental, social impact and/or ethical procurement policy on the business’ own website clearly stating their commitments to a number of the items listed above for customers to review. For an example please see our own social and environmental policy statement.

Three values

We recognise that working in a three-thinking way isn’t always easy.  Although a business will ideally be strong across all three values - people, planet and profit - we appreciate that some businesses are further along their three-thinking journey than others. Therefore the Purple map allows each business to highlight their specific ethical credentials so people can choose which businesses to buy from based on what matters most to them.

Although being three-thinking includes financial sustainability we currently don’t ask for evidence of this other than to say that you have to be selling a product or service to be added to the map. However as we do believe that it is important for ethical businesses to be financially strong our consulting services cover financial management as well as social and environmental impact management.

Read more about how a business’ ethics are demonstrated in its mapping entry.