Looking for Sustainable Business Practices? Check out ethipedia.

Posted by on July 13, 2009 in Featured, Tech


Many people have contacted us lately searching for resources about best practices for a socially conscious business.  Whether it’s a large corporation seeking to lessen their environmental impact, or students in college researching for a report on the socially conscious movement, demand is strong.

Organizations have recognized this need, and are working diligently on increasing transparency in the industry.  ClearlySo has built a great glossary of social business terms, WiserEarth is working on opening their database of 100,000+ social businesses, and now we learn that ethipedia has launched an interactive encyclopedia of replicable, sustainable development initiatives.


The newly launched ethipedia includes a directory of over 75 case studies from around the world, the largest free resource of its kind.  The case studies are available in English and French and include information such as the implementation process, the challenges and results, and provide instructions for sustainability.  The cases are produced by global organizations for businesses which seek to incorporate practices which incorporate greater social and environmental responsibility into their operations.

To ensure a high degree of credibility, ethipedia’s administrators monitor and evaluate submitted practices according to a set of concrete social and environmental criteria such as:

‘The Practice must have a ‘net positive’ effect on the environment or social conditions when all surrounding and subsidiary effects are considered. That is, that a perceived benefit is not cancelled out by an accompanying drawback’

– and –

‘Ensuring that stakeholders have access to a living wage and basic services such as medicine’

Co-founder Brenda Plant mentions that “The goal of this portal is to offer a library of replicable strategies for applying sustainability principles to one’s organization. By making this information accessible, this site hopes to accelerate the market shift towards sustainable operations.” A very noble initiative and one we at SocialEarth are excited to promote.

Although the company is only a few months old, they have already gained a tremendous following.  There are over 227 organizations on the site, partners include Canadian Business for Corporate Social Responsibility and Fondaction, and they have received endorsements from pioneers in the social enterprise industry including John Elkington, Amy Domini, and Tim Draimin.

Elkington, renowned author and Co-Founder of SustainAbility notes “For those who want to act, ethipedia showcases the best of current practice, offering key insights into where markets will take us in the coming year and decades.”

Take a look at their site and consider leveraging this amazing resource in your businesses’ operations.



  • Interactive encyclopedia of replicable sustainable development initiatives
  • Organization Type: For-Profit
  • Website: ethipedia.net
  • Founder(s): Brenda Plant and Tom Liacas
  • Founded: 2009
  • Location: Montreal, Canada
  • See complete company list here

Image sources: daylife.com, ethipedia.net


Erik is a perpetually curious social innovator. As a serial entrepreneur, Erik knows a thing or two about change. As a co-founder of SocialEarth, Erik hopes to channel his passion for social advocacy into an innovative venue of social awareness for others.

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