We believe that it’s important for a company like Firetop to publicise standards of conduct and moral judgement (what we call our ‘ethics’) in order for new customers and suppliers to ensure that we fit in with their own policies. Our ethics statement can be divided into two key areas:
- Stakeholder Responsibilities
- How we conduct business with customers and suppliers.
- Social Responsibilities
- How our business operations impact on the rest of the world and its inhabitants.
1. Stakeholder Responsibilities
At Firetop we place honesty and integrity at the top of our list of stakeholder responsibilities. We are extremely transparent about how complicated a task might be to complete and will not dress it up as a full day task at £400 if it really is just one hour @ £60. Of course we accept that there are probably competitors exploiting your lack of technical knowledge who think it makes good business sense to overcharge you, but we prefer to be upfront and honest in an effort to build a long-term relationship and not just a short-term high value cash injection.
Within online marketing an ethical approach needs to feature highly on any list of potential vendors. There are many companies who are in the habit of selling email lists compiled through automated address harvesting from websites or WHOIS databases – with potential legal implications for buyers under the Data Protection Act 1998. You should ensure that all purchased data is from reputable sources and that any data collected on your behalf as a result of a web development project is stored privately and securely. Firetop Ltd is registered as a Data Controller with The Information Commissioner’s Office (no. Z1427594). Notification is a statutory requirement and every organisation that processes personal information must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), unless they are exempt.
The search engine marketing industry is increasingly populated with ‘companies’ claiming to provide paid for submission services (which are no longer needed) or incredibly cheap link-building services (the kind of people who send you five emails a week about their supposed services!). It’s important that you avoid companies employing unethical techniques or obtaining/buying links from ‘bad neighbourhoods’ as the results can be quite the reverse of the original intention (possible Google blacklisting). Our company founder Matt Peskett has been working in the search engine industry since 1998, and has presented on related topics at Search Engine Strategies on several occasions as well as at The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).
2. Social Responsibilities
Whether you believe that climate change is man-made or an entirely natural cycle one cannot dispute that it is taking place. As a business Firetop does at least have a few things on its side in the battle against greenhouse gases:
- 100% remote working environments – minimal traffic pollution generated by our staff.
- No enormous office building – no power needed for heating or air conditioning.
- We’re almost 100% paperless (aside from tax and accounting documentation!)
We have had trees planted by the International Tree Foundation to offset carbon emissions produced by our dedicated servers. We are pleased to be able to display their logo on our website as a result of the Firetop tree!
Further adding credit to our efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions and man’s destruction of the natural world… we are pleased to count Greenpeace among the many clients we have worked with over the past six years. As well as managing general Greenpeace search engine marketing campaigns for donations, in 2005 we ran significant International pay per click campaigns to drive up support on two key issues: