Our Code of Ethics


The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to act as a guide for our team to operate in a professional, ethical manner at Manoverboard. It recognizes our responsibilities to act intelligently, ethically, and sustainably within the organization and provides a framework for how we connect with our clients, partners, friends, and the world at large.

The Purpose and Values of the Business

Manoverboard believes that our earth, in becoming smaller through technology and transportation, needs design practitioners to provide bold, clear advice and ideas that connect and compel us to, in turn, 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, every client engagement makes the world a little more equitable and viable.

Our mission is to help businesses create a better world by better design. We do this through careful research and responsible strategy followed by clear design. Our values underpin the work we do, the clients we seek, and the challenges we address Our B Corp Certification helps demonstrate these commitments.

Treaty Land and First Peoples Acknowledgement

Manoverboard is located on the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories and acknowledge the numerous and significant harms that were done to the First Peoples of Canada, who inhabited this land for thousands of years. We seek to be partners in peace and justice for all peoples in our work as designers and communicators.


Without its employees, Manoverboard is a pile of pretty computers and printed paper. 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 hope that employees will be respectful of each other and of clients, colleagues, and partners outside the firm. We are honoured to have earned an employee impact score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, receiving a Best for the World award in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

We strive to honour the diversity of our staff and to promote their ideas, work, and aspirations. We seek to create a studio in which the skills and talents of each employee are best used 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 it will not be tolerated.

Professional Conduct

The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada has built a foundation for professional conduct in the field of design since 1956. As members of the organization, Manoverboard upholds the GDC’s publicly available Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Graphic Designers. This document includes a number of core ethical provisions that form the bedrock of our services at Manoverboard. For example, the document prohibits speculative projects or schematic proposals (e.g. spec work). The document 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’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Graphic Designers and conduct themselves in accordance with it.


Our clients exchange their financial and human resources for our services and products. In this way, they trust Manoverboard to be honest and clear in our communications. Most importantly, they trust that the work that Manoverboard delivers also matches or exceeds their requirements, and that we provide products and services on time and in a professional manner.

We expect that all employees will treat clients courteously and kindly. And, when issues do arise, we expect these to be addressed 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 to be paid by clients in a timely manner as well.


As a privately held company with no outside source of funding, we hope that employees, partners and colleagues will treat our collective time, office space, technology and financial resources with respect and with care. This protects the large investment that Manoverboard, its partners, and clients have made in the organization.


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 quality of services provided and cost, we reserve the right to choose vendors, suppliers, and other partners that are owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups. We will always prefer working with fellow B Corporations as well as 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 social insurance, a court 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 aspire to keep sustainability a core feature of our practice, our work habits and workspaces, our designs, and our 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 (not profit) to charities in Canada that are focused on conservation and environmental education. Please visit our sustainability policy for more information.

Review and Accessibility

We will review this code of ethics annually to ensure that it reflects our values, our communications and our actions. This code of ethics will be posted publicly online with the hope that it might act as a model for other design and marketing agencies.


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 a values-driven organization striving to continually improve, we invite this feedback and accountability.

As a member organization of 1% for the Planet, Manoverboard gives the equivalent of one percent of all revenues to select nonprofit partners that are benefiting the environment.

Manoverboard is a Certified B Corporation, which means that we meet ongoing, rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.