This code of ethics acts as a framework for acting and working professionally and responsibly at Manoverboard.
Manoverboard believes that our earth, as it becomes smaller through technology and transportation, needs design practitioners to provide bold, clear advice and ideas that connect and compel us all to do better. Our business objective is to help clients deliver their messages through smart, clear design that relies upon best practices in technology. We value strong communication and elegant design solutions that connect and impact diverse constituents. Ideally, each client engagement makes the world a little more equitable, compassionate and viable.
Our mission is to help organizations create a better world by better design. We do this through careful research and responsible strategy followed by clear design and empathic collaboration. Our values underpin the work we do, the clients we seek, and the challenges we address. Among other things, our B Corp Certification helps demonstrate our commitment to purpose.
Manoverboard is located on Treaty One Territory. We honour the lands that we occupy and their traditional keepers: the Anishnaabe, Cree, Dakota and Métis.
We respect the Treaties made on these territories and acknowledge the numerous and significant harms that have been done to the First Peoples of Canada, who inhabited this land for thousands of years. We seek to be partners in peace and in justice for all Indigenous peoples in our work as designers and communicators.
As a professional services firm, our employees are the heart and head of the organization. We seek to nurture the talent, health, happiness, education, and skills of our employees. In turn, we expect that employees will be respectful of each other and of clients, colleagues, and partners outside the firm.
We strive to honour our staff’s diversity and promote their ideas, work, and aspirations. We seek to create an environment where each employee can best use their skills and talents to help us achieve our overarching goals. All employees have access to a regularly updated employee handbook that provides details about benefits, travel, volunteering, and other work-related information. Discrimination, of any kind, is not consistent with our mission and values, and we will not tolerate it.
For many decades, the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), the Association of Registered Designers (RGD) and the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ) have built a foundation for professional conduct in design practice. As individual members of these organizations, we uphold their Code of Ethics. That code includes several core ethical provisions that help to form the bedrock of our services.
For example, their code prohibits speculative work (creative work that is unpaid and submitted to secure client interest and commitment). It also states that “members shall take a responsible role in the visual portrayal of people, the consumption of natural resources, and the protection of animals and the environment.”
As a condition of employment, employees of Manoverboard must be familiar with the GDC/RGD/SDGQ Code of Ethics and conduct themselves accordingly.
Our clients exchange their financial and human resources for our services and products. In this way, they trust Manoverboard to be honest and straightforward in our communications. Most importantly, they trust that the work that Manoverboard delivers matches or exceeds their requirements, and that we provide products and services in a timely and a professional manner.
We expect that all employees will treat clients courteously and kindly. And, when issues do arise, they will address them fairly and appropriately. We believe in fair pricing and in honouring agreements in good faith. We will do our best to send timely invoices, and we expect clients to do their best to pay them on time.
As a privately held company with no outside source of funding, we hope that employees, partners and colleagues will treat our collective time, workplace, technology, and financial resources with respect and care. This protects the substantial investment that Manoverboard, its partners, and clients have made in the organization.
We also recognize that there are many stakeholders in our work with clients, including those without voices at the table. We take into consideration those who are underserved, those who are disenfranchised, and those who, for whatever reason, cannot speak.
We rely upon our vendors to provide the highest quality products and services available. These include, but are not limited to, website hosting, accounting, bookkeeping, printing, telephony, software, and connectivity. We believe in the prompt settlement of bills to Manoverboard and a quick resolution to any disputes with suppliers.
All things being equal, including the quality of services provided and cost, we reserve the right to choose vendors, suppliers, and other partners that are local and owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups. We will always prefer working with fellow B Corporations and conscientious companies, social enterprises, mission-driven companies, and not-only-for-profit organizations.
Our company does not act in a vacuum. Our existence is made possible by the quality and delivery of local, provincial, and federal services, including, but not limited to, government services like health insurance, social insurance, courts of law, parliamentary democracy, and national defence.
Our obligations to the natural world are countless as well; we receive and enjoy an abundance of clean water, air, and energy. In light of this, our obligation to the spirit and letter of the applicable laws of the land is paramount. We will protect and preserve our natural world and be involved in our local community.
Whenever possible, we will work with local organizations to provide educational opportunities, sponsorships, or giving. Nationally and internationally, we will work to better the practice of design and help the world become a healthier and more equitable place. Manoverboard will continue to assess and reduce its carbon footprint, recycle and reuse products, and source sustainably produced paper and other products.
We strive to keep sustainability a core feature of our practice, work habits and workspaces, designs, and aspirations for ourselves, our clients, and our planet. While far from perfect, we aspire to do what’s right for the place we call home. We contribute one percent of annual revenue to charities in Canada focused on conservation and environmental education.
We will review this code of ethics regularly to ensure that it reflects our values, communications, and actions. We have posted this code of ethics publicly online, hoping that it might act as a model for other design studios.
This code of ethics was last updated on June 4, 2021.
The only way to know if Manoverboard is upholding this code of ethics is if employees, clients, colleagues, partners, and others let us know. As an organization striving to continually improve, we invite your feedback.