Standards for Trust

Standards for Trust

Every October, Cincinnati Better Business Bureau celebrates businesses that do right by everyone they touch at its BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.

But that’s really the end of the story. BBB’s best practice story begins much earlier.

Throughout its 102-year history, this organization’s sole purpose has been to create an ethical marketplace. BBB comes at this goal from many different fronts. No matter the form delivered, service performed, or program offered - at the very core of what it does every day is our Standards for Trust. These standards represent good business practices generally and BBB Accreditation Standards specifically.

BBB Standards for Trust:

•      Build Trust

•      Advertise Honestly

•      Be Transparent

•      Tell the Truth                                       

•      Be Responsive

•      Honor Promises

•      Safeguard Privacy

•      Embody Integrity

As with most things, there is more to BBB Standards for Trust than these simple statements; things like honestly representing products and services; abiding by all written agreements and verbal representations; approaching all business dealings with integrity; protecting any data collected and collecting personal information only as needed.

BBB works with businesses and nonprofits every day to help them meet these standards. Many become BBB Accredited Businesses. And, while BBB would like every business and nonprofit to be accredited, its goal is an ethical marketplace.

“It’s important every executive take a serious look at their organization and evaluate it using the BBB Standards for Trust,” says Cincinnati BBB President and CEO Jocile Ehrlich. “BBB stands ready to help every business be the very best, ethics-based organization it can be because our best practice is literally to help you establish and maintain your own ethical best practices.”

Which brings us back to the Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics. Now in its 14thyear, applicants for this prestigious honor consistently reinforce that a commitment to BBB standards throughout their operations means the difference between a good business and a great business.

“A great organization has earned the trust of its customers, employees, vendors, donors, clients and the community because it is respectful, at every turn, of the relationship that is being built,” says Ehrlich. “It purposefully embraces BBB Standards for Trust, and the values exemplified by those standards. Those businesses and nonprofits are premier examples of what an ethical marketplace looks like.”

BBB extends an invitation to all of the readers of to be part of this year’s celebration of ethics. Businesses are also encouraged to participate as an applicant in the BBB Torch Awards process when it opens in January 2015. Those who have gone through the process say it is the best exercise they have ever done to really understand and evolve their business.

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