Ethical Policy


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Overview

Ecological Hosting is operated under the ethical guardianship of it’s creator (Jamie Simpson) in order to ensure the beliefs the company was founded on continue to be upheld.

Our corporate moral framework will naturally evolve over time, because like everyone, we learn, live and grow in knowledge and understanding daily.

We are open to the challenge of understanding and embracing the huge range of other equally valid and demonstrably viable and sustainable belief systems and in many cases may well end up incorporating elements of these into our own ideology.

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Corporate Responsibility and Accountability

  • We operate our business in a socially responsible manner, fully respecting the diversity of beliefs and moral view points of the people and organisations we provide services for.
  • We are a positively growing business, debt-free and operating entirely in the black on our bank account.
  • We are open, honest and fair in our operation & procedures.
  • We believe that using our service is just one step towards a more sustainable future and as such whilst working with our clients we inevitably impart valuable information that enables them to grow in their own sustainability and likewise, many clients inform us of things we may not be aware of or have previously thought about. This is part of the social network we inevitably operate in, learn from and feed back to.

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Customer Relationship

  • We will treat our customers as people, not just a number in a database. We always aim to treat others as we would expect to be treated ourselves – and we have very high expectations!
  • Our staff are honest, courteous, professional and highly skilled in their areas of operation and we pride ourselves on delivering to exceptionally high standards of service.
  • We will provide clients and prospective clients with sound knowledgeable advice as to the services they actually require based on the information provided (this includes our own services and those of other third parties as necessary).
  • We will not sell extraneous products that are clearly not required or requested by the client. Providing just what is needed is not only good for the client’s wallet, it’s also good for the environment.
  • In the unlikely event that our service does not fit a client’s requirements, we will where possible suggest alternative providers we may be aware of that may be a better solution for the client. We have no particular affiliations as such and so we make no gain by doing this, but we fully believe it’s the only way to operate in the best interest of the client. All advice given with respect to third parties is in the spirit of being helpful and we can obviously not be held responsible for the actions or delivery or otherwise of any third party supplier.

We feel confident we have our customer relations right because of the amount of positive feedback received and our clients just keep coming back for more. They also recommend us to their friends and family and our business continues to grow despite us having done little or no advertising in years! For this, we are very grateful and thank all of our loyal customers.

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Confidential Information

We fully respect our responsibilities regarding the custody of our clients’ private and confidential information and also operate to fully comply and exceed the requirements of the UK Data Protection Act.

  • When no longer required, all sensitive paper documents are destroyed using a Din Level 3 (confidential waste) cross-cut shredder.
  • Customer data and information on our hosting systems is always properly cleaned up and permanently deleted if a client no longer requires our services; in addition we always remove as much customer data as possible from our core business systems and databases, save the amount we have to retain in archive for legal compliance reasons.
  • All hard drives from our office systems are wiped to US Department of Defence (DOD) 5220-22 M standard for securely erasing magnetic media using a seven pass erase before being allowed out of the business.
  • We have also questioned the data centres we use regarding their disposal of hard drives and both the US data centre and the UK data centre have informed us that all drives are securely erased before being disposed of.
  • All off-site backup and data storage systems we use from third party providers outside the data centres, use encrypted connections and 256-bit encrypted storage systems locked to complex passwords.
  • We will never sell your details to any other organisation.
  • We will only give out access details to your hosting account to people you have told us are acting on your behalf and we have your authority for (e.g. your designated web designers). We hold this authority as either the billing or technical contacts in our database (maximum of two each).

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Pricing

  • We consider our pricing structure to be fair whilst still remaining competitive in an ever challenging climate.
  • The cost of our services is priced sustainably to ensure we stay in business and pay our staff a fair wage whilst still providing a high level of service to clients in the least environmentally damaging way. Going out of business because of unsustainably low prices would be bad for ourselves, our clients, the environment and the many organisations we support.
  • All our pricing is calculated based on actual costs at the time of the last pricing review; essentially, the number of clients we think a given system can comfortably serve, is divided into the cost price for the system required to provide the service and a profit margin added to cover our office, staffing and administrative costs.
  • We offer only one set of prices to all clients.  No affiliate schemes, no discounts for charities, just the best price we can for all. We believe this is the only fair way to operate because the cost to us to deliver the service is the same no matter what the organisation using the service and any discount scheme would effectively be a subsidy which would have to be covered by other clients.

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Office Equipment and Consumables

  • We aim to operate a paperless office. We mostly achieve that aim from our own side, but still receive a great deal of paper from outside sources.  We always try and stop these sources sending paper documents to us wherever possible.
  • On the very limited occasions we need to print something, we use recycled paper wherever possible for our office printing needs.
  • We recycle used office paper, card, envelopes and all other paper literature received.
  • We continually appraise our suppliers and our own procedures to reduce the amount of paper we use (e.g. email invoices, online banking, reusing envelopes, using online government systems for VAT returns etc).
  • We do not like waste and will not swap things just for the sake of it. We try and specify computer equipment to last as long as possible without breaking the bank and always try to reuse equipment in a different role if it becomes no longer sufficiently powerful for its original purpose.
  • In line with the founder’s ethics many of the daily products and practices in the business office are obtained from ethical and/or environmental sources, such as Fair Trade tea & coffee, recycled paper (though as mentioned above, we print very little) etc.

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Charitable Giving

  • Our company and staff are involved in charitable giving within and outside of regular business operations.
  • We do not generally publicise the many ways we help or assist charities or similar organisations unless this would be of benefit to the organisation concerned.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to offer special pricing for charities and similar organisations, because a great many of our clients are of this type and in order to be a sustainable and fair business, we keep the same pricing for all. By the same token, we do not operate any affiliate schemes or other similar systems.

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The Vegetarian Element

The founder (Jamie Rhodes-Simpson) follows a strict vegetarian diet for multiple personal reasons.

Please note: There is absolutely no requirement or expectation that our clients will follow this lifestyle choice. This is purely personal on the part of the founder and his support of the vegetarian movement.

We are occasionally asked:

“What has being vegetarian got to do with hosting, computers and the enviroment?”

The answer to this lies in the environmental impact of various food systems. It is now fairly well publicised and scientifically proven that being vegetarian (or better still, vegan) carries a much lower carbon footprint than the more traditional western diet. It is a little known fact that animal farming produces more greenhouse gas emissions (18%) than the world’s entire transport system (13.5%)!

Many of the people we work with and a number of our clients are vegetarian or vegan, or groups promoting the same.

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