For guidance on conflicts-of-interest policies, we highly recommend reading this report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
We share our suggested rubric for ethical and responsible sponsorship (below) as one possible way to establish more stringent criteria.It is also our hope that a rubric like this one can help inspire companies to improve their practices.
- Companies that sell alcohol, soft drinks, and confectionery are automatically disqualified.
- All efforts should be made to select sponsors that sell minimally processed products.
- In the event that a prospective sponsor is owned by another company, we recommend scoring the parent company as well.
- Companies should be scored in all applicable categories. We consider a final average score of 1.5 or higher that of an ethical and responsible sponsor.
|CATEGORY||SUGGESTED SCORING CRITERIA|
|Artificial food coloring||2 = all products are free of artificial food coloring
0 = any use of artificial food coloring
|Artificial sweeteners (i.e.: aspartame, advantame, acesulfame-k, sucralose). We agree with the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s position||2 = all products are free of artificial sweeteners
1 = some products are free of artificial sweeteners
0 = any use of artificial sweeteners
|Eggs (animal welfare issues)||2 = pasture-raised
0 = conventional (including claims of “vegetarian-fed”, “natural”, “cage-free”, “naturally raised”, “no hormones”)
|Fair Trade Ingredients (including coffee, cocoa, tea, and vanilla)||2 = 50% or more certifiable products are fair trade
1 = up to 50% certifiable products are fair trade
0 = no certifiable products are fair trade
|Fishing and Aquaculture Practices||2 = certification from watchdog group AND has documented sourcing policy
1 = certification from group OR has sourcing policy in place
0 = no certification or sourcing policy in place
|LEED Certification||2 = LEED Platinum
1.5 = LEED Gold
1.25 = LEED Silver
1 = LEED certified or in pursuit of a certification
0 = no LEED certification/no current plans to pursue LEED certification
|Marketing to children||2 = no products are marketed to children
1 = marketing to children limited to product packaging (i.e. no commercials, print ads, collaborations with children’s TV shows and licensed characters, etc.)
0 = actively markets to children/uses mainstream cartoon characters on product packaging, commercials, and/or advertisements
|Meat & dairy products (NOTE: Processed meats are automatically disqualified; we agree with the American Institute for Cancer Research’s recommendations to avoid processed meats)||2 = grass-fed and organic feed
1 = grass-fed or organic feed
0 = grain-fed and conventional
|Organic Ingredients (NOTE: This relates to the environmental and ecological benefits of organic agriculture)||2 = 100% of products are USDA certified organic
1 = some products are USDA certified organic OR all products contain some organic ingredients
0 = no use of organic ingredients
|Organic Production Practices (as defined by the USDA)||2 = abides by all organic production practices
1 = abides by some organic production practices
0 = does not abide by any organic production practices
|Partially hydrogenated oils||2 = all products are free of partially hydrogenated oils
0 = any use of partially hydrogenated oils