The Designers Accord


Guidelines for the three types of adopters are roughly the same, but tuned to the industry orientation.
Guidelines for Design Firm Adopters
  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with each and every client. Rework client contracts to favor environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your teams about sustainability and sustainable design.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your firm, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

Guidelines for Corporate Adopters
  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Provide strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design of products and services, and pledge to help customers reduce their negative impact.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your teams about sustainability and sustainable design.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your organization, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.
Guidelines for Educational Institution Adopters
  1. Publicly declare participation in the Designers Accord.
  2. Initiate a dialogue about environmental and social impact and sustainable alternatives with every student and colleague in your educational program. Rework curricula and assignments to emphasize environmentally and socially responsible design and work processes. Provide course content, lectures, and assignments that focus on strategic and material alternatives for sustainable design.
  3. Undertake a program to educate your colleagues about sustainability and sustainable design, and plan the integration of these concepts into course curricula.
  4. Consider your ethical footprint. Understand the environmental impact of your institution, and work to measure, manage, and reduce it on an annual basis.
  5. Advance the understanding of environmental and social issues from a design perspective by actively contributing to the communal knowledge base for sustainable design.

The World Federation of Engineering Organisations-Ethics

"Since 1990 WFEO worked to prepare a Code of Ethics under the supervision of Donald Laplante (Canada), David Thom (New Zeland), Bud Carroll (USA) and others.
It is expected that this model code will be used to define and support creation of codes in member institutions, that will be adopted in near future.



Final version adopted in 2001


Ethics is generally understood as the discipline or field of study dealing with moral duty or obligation. This typically gives rise to a set of governing principles or values which in turn are used to judge the appropriateness of particular conducts or behaviors. These principles are usually presented either as broad guiding principles of an idealistic or inspirational nature, or, alternatively, as a detailed and specific set of rules couched in legalistic or imperative terms to make them more enforceable. Professions that have been given the privilege and responsibility of self regulation, including the engineering profession, have tended to opt for the first alternative, espousing sets of underlying principles as codes of professional ethics which form the basis and framework for responsible professional practice. Arising from this context, professional codes of ethics have sometimes been incorrectly interpreted as a set of "rules" of conduct intended for passive observance. A more appropriate use by practicing professionals is to interpret the essence of the underlying principles within their daily decision-making situations in a dynamic manner, responsive to the need of the situation. As a consequence, a code of professional ethics is more than a minimum standard of conduct; rather, it is a set of principles which should guide professionals in their daily work.
In summary, the model Code presented herein expresses the expectations of engineers and society in discriminating engineers' professional responsibilities. The Code is based on broad principles of truth, honesty and trustworthiness, respect for human life and welfare, fairness, openness, competence and accountability. Some of these broader ethical principles or issues deemed more universally applicable are not specifically defined in the Code although they are understood to be applicable as well. Only those tenets deemed to be particularly applicable to the practice of professional engineering are specified. Nevertheless, certain ethical principles or issues not commonly considered to be part of professional ethics should be implicitly accepted to judge the engineer's professional performance.
Issues regarding the environment and sustainable development know no geographical boundaries. The engineers and citizens of all nations should know and respect the environmental ethic. It is desirable therefore that engineers in each nation continue to observe the philosophy of the Principles of Environmental Ethics delineated in Section III of this code.
Professional engineers shall:
* hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and the protection of both the natural and the built environment in accordance with the Principles of Sustainable Development;
* promote health and safety within the workplace;
* offer services, advise on or undertake engineering assignments only in areas of their competence and practice in a careful and diligent manner;
* act as faithful agents of their clients or employers, maintain confidentially and disclose conflicts of interest;
* keep themselves informed in order to maintain their competence, strive to advance the body of knowledge within which they practice and provide opportunities for the professional development of their subordinates and fellow practitioners;
* conduct themselves with fairness, and good faith towards clients, colleagues and others, give credit where it is due and accept, as well as give, honest and fair professional criticism;
* be aware of and ensure that clients and employers are made aware of societal and environmental consequences of actions or projects and endeavor to interpret engineering issues to the public in an objective and truthful manner;
* present clearly to employers and clients the possible consequences of overruling or disregarding of engineering decisions or judgment;
* report to their association and/or appropriate agencies any illegal or unethical engineering decisions or practices of engineers or others.
Engineers, as they develop any professional activity, shall:
* try with the best of their ability, courage, enthusiasm and dedication, to obtain a superior technical achievement, which will contribute to and promote a healthy and agreeable surrounding for all people, in open spaces as well as indoors;
* strive to accomplish the beneficial objectives of their work with the lowest possible consumption of raw materials and energy and the lowest production of wastes and any kind of pollution;
* discuss in particular the consequences of their proposals and actions, direct or indirect, immediate or long term, upon the health of people, social equity and the local system of values;
* study thoroughly the environment that will be affected, assess all the impacts that might arise in the structure, dynamics and aesthetics of the ecosystems involved, urbanized or natural, as well as in the pertinent socioeconomic systems, and select the best alternative for development that is both environmentally sound and sustainable;
* promote a clear understanding of the actions required to restore and, if possible, to improve the environment that may be disturbed, and include them in their proposals;
* reject any kind of commitment that involves unfair damages for human surroundings and nature, and aim for the best possible technical, social, and political solution;
* be aware that the principles of eco-systemic interdependence, diversity maintenance, resource recovery and inter-relational harmony form the basis of humankind's continued existence and that each of these bases poses a threshold of sustainability that should not be exceeded.
Always remember that war, greed, misery and ignorance, plus natural disasters and human induced pollution and destruction of resources, are the main causes of the progressive impairment of the environment and that engineers, as an active member of society, deeply involved in the promotion of development, must use our talent, knowledge and imagination to assist society in removing those evils and improving the quality of life for all people.


The interpretive articles which follow expand on and discuss some of the more difficult and interrelated components of the Code especially related to the Practice Provisions. No attempt is made to expand on all clauses of the Code, nor is the elaboration presented on a clause-by-clause basis. The objective of this approach is to broaden the interpretation, rather than narrow its focus. The ethics of professional engineering is an integrated whole and cannot be reduced to fixed "rules". Therefore, the issues and questions arising from the Code are discussed in a general framework, drawing on any and all portions of the Code to demonstrate their interrelationship and to expand on the basic intent of the Code.
Sustainable Development and Environment
Engineers shall strive to enhance the quality of the biophysical and socioeconomic urban environment and the one of buildings and spaces and to promote the principles of sustainable development.
Engineers shall seek opportunities to work for the enhancement of safety, health, and the social welfare of both their local community and the global community through the practice of sustainable development.
Engineers whose recommendations are overruled or ignored on issues of safety, health, welfare, or sustainable development shall inform their contractor or employer of the possible consequences.
Protection of the Public and the Environment
Professional Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and the protection of the environment. This obligation to the safety, health and welfare of the general public, which includes one's own work environment, is often dependent upon engineering judgments, risk assessments, decisions and practices incorporated into structures, machines, products, processes and devices. Therefore, engineers must control and ensure that what they are involved with is in conformity with accepted engineering practice, standards and applicable codes, and would be considered safe based on peer adjudication. This responsibility extends to include all and any situations which an engineer encounters and includes an obligation to advise the appropriate authority if there is reason to believe that any engineering activity, or its products, processes, etc. do not confirm with the above stated conditions. The meaning of paramount in this basic tenet is that all other requirements of the Code are subordinate if protection of public safety, the environment or other substantive public interests are involved.
Faithful Agent of Clients and Employers
Engineers shall act as faithful agents or trustees of their clients and employers with objectivity, fairness and justice to all parties. With respect to the handling of confidential or proprietary information, the concept of ownership of the information and protecting that party's rights is appropriate. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data or information obtained in a professional capacity without the prior consent of its owner. The only exception to respecting confidentially and maintaining a trustee's position is in instances where the public interest or the environment is at risk as discussed in the preceding section; but even in these circumstances, the engineer should endeavor to have the client and/or employer appropriately redress the situation, or at least, in the absence of a compelling reason to the contrary, should make every reasonable effort to contact them and explain clearly the potential risks, prior to informing the appropriate authority.
Professional Engineers shall avoid conflict of interest situations with employers and clients but, should such conflict arise, it is the engineer's responsibility to fully disclose, without delay, the nature of the conflict to the party(ies) with whom the conflict exists. In these circumstances where full disclosure is insufficient, or seen to be insufficient, to protect all parties' interests, as well as the public, the engineer shall withdraw totally from the issue or use extraordinary means, involving independent parties if possible, to monitor the situation. For example, it is inappropriate to act simultaneously as agent for both the provider and the recipient of professional services. If client's and employer's interests are at odds, the engineer shall attempt to deal fairly with both. If the conflict of interest is between the intent of a corporate employer and a regulatory standard, the engineer must attempt to reconcile the difference, and if that is unsuccessful, it may become necessary to inform. Being a faithful agent or trustee includes the obligation of engaging, or advising to engage, experts or specialists when such services are deemed to be in the client's or employer's best interests. It also means being accurate, objective and truthful in making public statements on behalf of the client or employer when required to do so, while respecting the client's and employer's rights of confidentiality and proprietary information.
Being a faithful agent includes not using a previous employer's or client's specific privileged or proprietary information and trade practices or process information, without the owner's knowledge and consent. However, general technical knowledge, experience and expertise gained by the engineer through involvement with the previous work may be freely used without consent or subsequent undertakings.
Competence and Knowledg
Professional Engineers shall offer services, advise on or undertake engineering assignments only in areas of their competence by virtue of their training and experience. This includes exercising care and communicating clearly in accepting or interpreting assignments, and in setting expected outcomes. It also includes the responsibility to obtain the services of an expert if required or, if the knowledge is unknown, to proceed only with full disclosure of the circumstances and, if necessary, of the experimental nature of the activity to all parties involved. Hence, this requirement is more than simply duty to a standard of care, it also involves acting with honesty and integrity with one's client or employer and one's self. Professional Engineers have the responsibility to remain abreast of developments and knowledge in their area of expertise, that is, to maintain their own competence. Should there be a technologically driven or individually motivated shift in the area of technical activity, it is the engineer's duty to attain and maintain competence in all areas of involvement including being knowledgeable with the, technical and legal framework and regulations governing their work. In effect, it requires a personal commitment to ongoing professional development, continuing education and self-testing.
In addition to maintaining their own competence, Professional Engineers have an obligation to strive to contribute to the advancement of the body of knowledge within which they practice, and to the profession in general. Moreover, within the framework of the practice of their profession, they are expected to participate in providing opportunities to further the professional development of their colleagues.
This competence requirement of the Code extends to include an obligation to the public, the profession and one's peers, that opinions on engineering issues are expressed honestly and only in areas of one's competence. It applies equally to reporting or advising on professional matters and to issuing public statements. This requires honesty with one's self to present issues fairly, accurately and with appropriate qualifiers and disclaimers, and to avoid personal, political and other non-technical biases. The latter is particularly important for public statements or when involved in a technical forum.
Fairness and Integrity in the Workplace
Honesty, integrity, continuously updated competence, devotion to service and dedication to enhancing the life quality of society are cornerstones of professional responsibility. Within this framework, engineers shall be objective and truthful and include all known and pertinent information on professional reports, statements and testimony. They shall accurately and objectively represent their clients, employers, associates and themselves consistent with their academic, experience and professional qualifications. This tenet is more than 'not misrepresenting'; it also implies disclosure of all relevant information and issues, especially when serving in an advisory capacity or as an expert witness. Similarly, fairness, honesty and accuracy in advertising are expected. If called upon to verify another engineer's work, there is an obligation to inform (or make every effort to inform) the other engineer, whether the other engineer is still actively involved or not. In this situation, and in any circumstance, engineers shall give proper recognition and credit where credit is due and accept, as well as give, honest and fair criticism on professional matters, all the while maintaining dignity and respect for everyone involved. Engineers shall not accept nor offer covert payment or other considerations for the purpose of securing, or as remuneration for engineering assignments. Engineers should prevent their personal or political involvement from influencing or compromising their professional role or responsibility. Consistent with the Code, and having attempted to remedy any situation within their organization, engineers are obligated to report to their association or other appropriate agency any illegal or unethical engineering decisions by engineers or others. Care must be taken not to enter into legal arrangements which compromise this obligation.
Professional Accountability and Leadership
Engineers have a duty to practice in a careful and diligent manner and accept responsibility, and be accountable for their actions. This duty is not limited to design, or its supervision and management, but applies to all areas of practice. For example, it includes construction supervision and management, preparation of shop drawings, engineering reports, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments, engineering developmental work, etc.
The signing and sealing of engineering documents indicates the taking of responsibility for the work. This practice is required for all types of engineering endeavor, regardless where or for whom the work is done, including but not limited to, privately and publicly owned firms, crown corporations, and government agencies/departments. There are no exceptions; signing and sealing documents is appropriate whenever engineering principles have been used and public welfare may be at risk.
Taking responsibility for engineering activity includes being accountable for one's own work and, in the case of a senior engineer, accepting responsibility for the work of a team. The latter implies responsible supervision where the engineer is actually in a position to review, modify and direct the entirety of the engineering work. This concept requires setting reasonable limits on the extent of activities, and the number of engineers and others, whose work can be supervised by the responsible engineer. The practice of a "symbolic" responsibility or supervision is the situation where an engineer, say with the title of "chief engineer", takes full responsibility for all engineering on behalf of a large corporation, utility or government agency/department, even though the engineer may not be aware of many of the engineering activities or decisions being made daily throughout the firm or department. The essence of this approach is that the firm is taking the responsibility of default, whether engineering supervision or direction is applied or not.
Engineers have a duty to advise their employer and, if necessary, their clients and even their professional association, in that order, in situations when the overturning of an engineering decision may result in breaching their duty to safeguard the public. The initial action is to discuss the problem with the supervisor/employer. If the employer does not adequately respond to the engineer's concern, then the client must be advised in the case of a consultancy situation, or the most senior officer should be informed in the case of a manufacturing process plant or government agency. Failing this attempt to rectify the situation the engineer must advise in confidence his professional association of his concerns.
In the same order as mentioned above, the engineer must report unethical engineering activity undertaken by other engineers or by non-engineers. This extends to include for example, situations in which senior officials of a firm make "executive" decisions which clearly and substantially alter the engineering aspects of the work, or protection of the public welfare or the environment arising from the work.
Because of the rapid advancements in technology and the increasing ability of engineering activities to impact on the environment, engineers have an obligation to be mindful of the effect that their decisions will have on the environment and the well-being of society, and to report any concerns of this nature in the same manner as previously mentioned. Further to the above, with the rapid advancement of technology in today's world and the possible social impacts on large populations of people, engineers must endeavor to foster the public's understanding of technical issues and the role of Engineering more than ever before.
Sustainable development is the challenge of meeting current human needs for natural resources, industrial products, energy, food, transportation, shelter, and effective waste management while conserving and, if possible, enhancing the Earth's environmental quality, natural resources, ethical, intellectual, working and affectionate capabilities of people and socioeconomic bases, essential for the human needs of future generations. The proper observance to these principles will considerably help to the eradication of the world poverty."

Green Home Building

Building Codes
"Dealing with building codes can be a major hurdle for those who want to build with natural materials, especially if there is anything experimental about the design concept or building technology. I have rassled with this issue many times in my life. I have ignored the local building authorities and either been caught or felt deceptive. I have complied with local authroities and been forced to do things that I considered either of questionable value or in opposition to my intentions. Occasionally I have been glad that the code was there to point out a safe approach to some building problem. So I approach the issue of building codes with very mixed emotions.
Building codes tend to be extremely specific about what materials may be used where and in what way. Little is really left to the discretion of the builder. Sure, design elements can vary, but they all must fit within certain parameters that regulate every aspect of building, from the nature of the foundation, to the size and placement of windows, to what materials may be used to create the shell. The Uniform Building Code does provide for the discretion of the inspector to allow different interpretations of the code, if he feels that the intent of the code is met. In reality this is rarely done, because there is a disincentive: anything that doesn't come straight from "the book" could possibly come back to haunt him. His supervisor may not like it, or if there were a failure at some point, somebody might try to hold him liable. Besides, people who are attracted to be inspectors tend to fit the profile of a bureaucrat. This degree of micro-management can easily squelch innovation in building technologies.innovation which is vital to evolving what I would call sustainable architecture.
This wonderful example of an alternative home would not meet UBC standards. The straw bale walls are resting on old tires, the straw bale tower is load bearing and most of the lumber and poles that frame the house are not graded.
The specifications of the UBC are derived from historical building habits, which currently means primarily the use of wood framing and highly industrial materials, such as steel and concrete. Using such natural materials as straw bales, cordwood, adobe etc. if allowed at all, must fit within the accepted scope of the code. Usually this means such materials may be used as "infill", but cannot be used structurally to support any weight of the building. We obviously need to come up with more earth-friendly ways of building than what the UBC requires. Our forests cannot sustain continued decimation, our air cannot accommodate continued industrial pollution, and people need to be able to afford adequate housing. The requirements of the UBC add up to a lot of money because many simple, effective means of construction (such as rubble trench foundations) are not allowed, and the use of used or ungraded lumber is not allowed, which means going to the store and buying lots of stuff.
So what is the driving force behind instituting building codes? The usual response to this is SAFETY and HEALTH; without the codes, people will build unsafe houses. I think that primarily the driving force behind the codes are certain industries that want to protect their investments, and are afraid that without the codes their investments may not be secure. It's FEAR. I'm talking about banks that loan on mortgages, insurance companies that provide homeowner's insurance, real estate companies that sell and resell houses, and manufactures of industrial building products that rely on business as usual. They all want to be assured that the house won't fall down or burn to the ground. The other industry that benefits from the UBC (and the plumbing and electrical codes) are the contractors and subcontractors who do the work. The codes have become such an arcane maze of requirements that the average homeowner who might do the work himself is baffled and bewildered by them. So the professionals get more work, because they do it all the time; they know what the inspector will allow.
This housing development is an example of the uniformity that the UBC promotes.
The thing is, we ALL want assurance that our houses are safe. That's why we go to such trouble to build safely. If you are going to live in something, you find out what works and what doesn't. Building codes are more likely to insure uniformity than safety. Much detail in the UBC is devoted to mitigating against potential fires. This is good, because wood frame houses are probably the most dangerous fire traps ever conceived. They provide all of the necessary ingredients for a great blaze: small dimensional lumber spaced in vertical and horizontal boxes, with lots of air provided on most sides. No wonder the codes try to give the fire department a few extra minutes to put out the fire! Most of the alternative building that I have seen is far safer on this score: straw bales, adobe, earthbags, rammed earth, and cob do not promote combustion.
The agency that created the UBC is the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), a non-profit organization. Over the last few years they have gotten together with several other similar organizations and come up with a new set of building codes that they are promulgating. These new codes are called the 2000 International Codes, and are intended for use around the world. I find this concept especially disconcerting in view of the fact that vernacular building has been under pressure from "modern" methods for some time and we could lose much valuable knowledge if new codes replace old ways. Also the issues around sustainability are a global concern.
I have a proposal that could satisfy everybody's concerns. Why not create a certification process for building according to codes that is voluntary? This could be administered either by the city, county, or by a private entity. Those builders who want their buildings to be certified (whether to satisfy the needs of banks, insurers, realtors or their own concerns) could avail themselves of this service, for a fee to cover the cost of administration and inspection. Home buyers who wanted this certification could only consider homes that have it, and would perhaps be willing to pay a little more for it. Those people who see no need for the certification would not be coerced into it, and would take responsibility for making their own homes safe. This would allow flexibility for the experimentation that is essential in creating earth-friendly ways of building. New building technologies could eventually find their way into the codes so that everybody could benefit from them. It doesn't have to be "all or nothing," where we either have no codes, or everybody must comply with them. A cooperative approach seems like the best solution to me.
In 2008 the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in conjunction with the International Code Council (ICC) developed a new National Green Building Standard. This has also been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is a first for this organization. This new Green Home Building Standard is similar to the LEED process for evaluating and certifying homes, but is probably less costly to perform. It does rely on independent inspections to verify claims that are made. These standards will help home buyers realize just how green the claims might be for any given home they might be considering to purchase.
I would say that this new standard for evaluating the "greeness" of buildings is a giant step in the right direction. Virtually all of the basic criteria for building green that I have been advocating for years at this website have been recognized to some extent. The next step is to begin incorporating these green criteria into the actual codes.
We have reached a critical point in the United States, where there are very few places left without mandatory building codes. We need to express our concerns to those making the decisions through letters, phone calls or attending any meetings that are scheduled around this issue. Our future is at stake."


 Various Authors

We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.

Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.

Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.

There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programmes, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.

We propose a reversal of priorities in favour of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift
away from product marketing
and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.

In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.

Jonathan Barnbrook
Nick Bell
Andrew Blauvelt
Hans Bockting
Irma Boom
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Max Bruinsma
Siân Cook
Linda van Deursen
Chris Dixon
William Drenttel
Gert Dumbar
Simon Esterson
Vince Frost
Ken Garland
Milton Glaser
Jessica Helfand
Steven Heller
Andrew Howard
Tibor Kalman
Jeffery Keedy
Zuzana Licko
Ellen Lupton
Katherine McCoy
Armand Mevis
J. Abbott Miller
Rick Poynor
Lucienne Roberts
Erik Spiekermann
Jan van Toorn
Teal Triggs
Rudy VanderLans
Bob Wilkinson

HASSELT CHARTER (Platform of Architecture Sans Frontières International Network)

1.     Cooperate for fair and sustainable development initiatives in active collaboration with disadvantaged people or communities. This process shall follow principles of human solidarity, non- discrimination and will be aimed at promoting their self-sufficiency;

2.     Foster the socially responsible role of built environment professionals by stimulating social modes of practice before speculative economic profitability;

3.     Encourage ‘ethical professionalism’ by favouring cooperation and practice in hand with ‘ethical trade’, and with entities and financing institutions that work for peace-building processes;

4.     Identify, disseminate and work alongside public institutions, multilateral organisations and private sector’s policies, programmes and sustainable socio-economic systems fostering social equity and inclusion within the built environment;

5.     Facilitate the use of appropriate technologies, materials and labour adequate to local values, to the cultural specificity and responsive to the natural environment;

6.     Share knowledge, promote discussion, reflection and awareness, and collaborate in the advancement of the ‘social production of habitat’;

7.     Promote the facilitation of trans-national dialogues and long-term partnerships with and within the less affluent countries;

8.     Support participatory, democratic, multicultural and interdisciplinary processes and approaches in community building;

9.     Endorse the integration of post-emergency relief interventions into long-term sustainable development strategies;

10. Defend, promote and enable access to adequate and dignified habitat as a ‘Fundamental Human Right’.


Considering the existence of numerous codes of ethics, most being specific to a single discipline and often to the scientists and scholars in only one country; Considering the difficulty of expressing in a single code the concerns of scientists and scholars in various disciplines and in different countries; Considering that war is obsolete, at best futile and at worst destructive beyond comprehension or tolerance, and that the present level of direct military research is unprecedented, with human, physical and financial resources being thus diverted away from the proper ends of science and scholarship:

1. a code should articulate as far as possible the underlying assumptions and guiding principles of a working ethic;

2. a code should indicate specific measures designed to ensure that signatories adhere to its principles;

3. a code should be sufficiently general to encompass scholarly work and basic, applied and technological research as well as the actions of practitioners engaged in the discipline or profession;

4. a code should oppose prejudice with respect to sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual preference, colour, or physical or mental disability;

5. a code should take into account that, while in general it is difficult to anticipate all the consequences of research, scientists and scholars have a responsibility, individually and collectively, to try to foresee, and to keep themselves aware of, the developing applications of their work, and to choose or redirect it accordingly;

6. a code should recognize that actions designed narrowly to benefit humankind may in fact threaten the survival of all species, since the ecosystem is a seamless web;

7. a code should forbid research directed towards developing or using methods of torture, or other devices and techniques that threaten or violate individual or collective human rights;

8. a code should direct scholarly and scientific activity towards the peaceful resolution of conflict and universal disarmament; since all research has military potential, every scientist and scholar should seek to resolve the ethical problem that knowledge, which should enlighten and benefit humanity, may be used instead to harm the planet and its people in war and in preparation for war;

9. a code should encourage its adherents to comply with established procedures for the scientific and (where appropriate) ethical peer review of research studies conducted under its auspices and, where such procedures do not exist, a code should specify them;

10. a code should urge its adherents to make all basic research results universally available;

11. a code should urge its adherents to identify and report violations of its terms, and should correspondingly ensure their protection from retribution by their fellow scientists, professional and learned societies, and the judiciary for such exposure;

12. a code should be widely disseminated through the school and university curricula, to educate the rising generations, as well as practising scientists and scholars, about their emerging responsibilities.

CODE OF ETHICS of the National Association of Social Workers

Ethical Principles

The following broad ethical principles are based on social work’s core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire.

Value: Service

Ethical Principle: Social workers’ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems.
Social workers elevate service to others above self interest. Social workers draw on their knowledge, values, and skills to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers are encouraged to volunteer some portion of their professional skills with no expectation of significant financial return (pro bono service).

Value: Social Justice

Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.
Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

Value: Dignity and Worth of the Person

Ethical Principle: Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.
Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers promote clients’ socially responsible self determination. Social workers seek to enhance clients’ capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs. Social workers are cognizant of their dual responsibility to clients and to the broader society. They seek to resolve conflicts between clients’ interests and the broader society’s interests in a socially responsible manner consistent with the values, ethical principles, and ethical standards of the profession.

Value: Importance of Human Relationships

Ethical Principle: Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships.
Social workers understand that relationships between and among people are an important vehicle for change. Social workers engage people as partners in the helping process. Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.

Value: Integrity

Ethical Principle: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner.
Social workers are continually aware of the profession’s mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards and practice in a manner consistent with them. Social workers act honestly and responsibly and promote ethical practices on the part of the organizations with which they are affiliated.

Value: Competence

Ethical Principle: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.
Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice. Social workers should aspire to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.