Ethics and the Consumer Essay

Words: 2475
Pages: 10

Ethics and the Consumer


The objective of this paper is to identify and analyse the policies specified by government and organisations for the protection of consumer interests and the role of ethics in consumer choice. It also analyses the role of ethics in consumer culture and give examples of how the service sector reacts to it.

The aim of this paper is to understand the movement for ethical consumption and reflect on its scope on the constitution of a new consumer culture, and its role in the “public space”.

It is important to consider, as a starting point to study the importance of ethics in business and the involvement of government in consumer policy, to make a short approach to moral and social responsibility
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These measures aim to increase consumers’ confidence to shop cross-border by ensuring a guaranteed minimum level of protection throughout the EU. The key Directives adopted by the EU Member States are described in a separate report published at However the legal drivers have generally been internal market, and despite the introduction of a legal chapter for consumer policy in the Maastricht Treaty, there is little evidence to date of the integration of consumer policy in other areas. (DTI 2010)

Ethics in Consumer Culture

The rise in popularity of social responsibility over the last two decades has increasingly entered the domain of the market. Organisations have been exhorted to practice corporate social responsibility (CSR), and becoming more aware of environmental and social implications of their every day decisions and starting acting ethical. However, this practice is far from consistent or universal and the question of consumer responsibility for the social, ethical and environmental impacts of consumption decisions has begun to permeate the debate.

To gain a better understanding of this subject, let us explain first the importance and the issues addressed in a code of ethics. For an organisation is standardising its function and duties of