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Privacy Policy

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) takes your privacy seriously and is committed to complying with relevant government privacy regulations, rules and policies.

The IISD Website (https://www.iisd.org/) is managed by:
IISD
111 Lombard Ave, Suite 325
Winnipeg, MB R3B0T4
Canada
Telephone: +1 204 958 7700

This privacy policy covers all pages on the IISD Website. It does not apply to pages hosted by other organizations, including those that might be sponsored or hosted by IISD. Those websites may have independent privacy policies.

The IISD website may be used without entering any personal information.

Certain services and features listed below, however, do potentially use personally identifiable information either at your direct request, such as when you join a mailing list, or to provide a technical feature of the website implementation.

Cookies

We use cookies to track certain elements of your interaction with our website, including user analytics. These cookies are not required, and you may configure your browser to disallow this feature. The cookies are used to potentially customize and improve your experience on our website and to allow us to analyze usage patterns and behaviours to provide the best possible experience.

External Services

We use features and/or services from the following external service providers. They may have their own privacy policies and use your information independently of your use of our website.

Newsletters

IISD manages several newsletters to provide you with periodic information and updates about our work. We require a valid email address to send these newsletters. You may also opt to provide your first name, surname and location, so that you can receive a more personalized newsletter. You may cancel your subscription at any time.

Contact

Any requests regarding your personal information potentially held by IISD should be directed to webmaster@iisd.org.

 

Code of Conduct

Purpose of this Policy

As a registered charity dedicated to promoting human development and environmental sustainability, IISD is entrusted with funds from numerous governments, United Nations agencies, foundations, other non-profits and the private sector for our work in over 70 countries. IISD’s success over the years is due in part to our reputation for honesty, integrity, respect and excellence in the conduct of our activities.

Responsibilities

This Code of Conduct applies to all IISD Board Directors, employees, volunteers, associates and consultants (“Representatives”).

IISD’s Representatives are required to uphold the reputation of IISD by ensuring their professional and personal conduct is demonstrably consistent with our values:

We treat all people with respect and dignity and challenge any form of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, exploitation or abuse.

We believe that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognize our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people with whom we come into contact through the course of our work.

We carry out our commitments to provide value to donors with transparency, honesty and integrity in all business and professional relationships by:

  • Never offering or accepting bribes, favours or kickbacks to secure a business or professional transaction;

  • Not giving or accepting substantial gifts or gratuities, except where gifts are recognized as a custom of the trade, are of insignificant value, and could in no way cause IISD to be embarrassed, obligated, or incur liability;

  • Protecting IISD’s assets from fraud and theft and ensuring records are accurate, timely and complete;

  • Safeguarding IISD’s proprietary and confidential information, as well as proprietary information entrusted to IISD by funders, suppliers and collaborators;

  • Ensuring we avoid or remove and immediately disclose any conflict of interest or any situation that could reasonably be perceived as a conflict of interest.

Definitions

child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Abuse includes physical or mental violence, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment and sexual abuse.

Conflict of Interest: IISD’s Code of Conduct also includes guidance for how you can avoid any conflict of interest. A Conflict of interest is a financial or other interest, whether direct or indirect, that may affect or might reasonably be thought by others to affect, an individual’s judgement or conduct in matters involving IISD. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Placing yourself in a situation where a private or personal interest prevents you from being objective in your actions or decisions;

  • Undertaking outside employment, business transactions or other private arrangements for personal profit that are in conflict with the performance of your duties;

  • Seeking or receiving personal or private gain (financial or otherwise) by granting preferential treatment to any persons while performing your duties;

  • Seeking or accepting personal or private gain (financial or otherwise) from the use of information acquired during the course of your duties that is based upon confidential or non-public information.

Implementation and Monitoring

The President and Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this Code of Conduct.

All volunteers, associates and consultants are required to sign an acknowledgment form to demonstrate that the Code of Conduct has been read and understood upon engagement.

All new employees are required to sign an acknowledgment form to demonstrate that the Code of Conduct has been read and understood and asserting that they are unaware of any conflicts of interest upon engagement.

All existing employees are required to sign an acknowledgment form to demonstrate that the Code of Conduct has been read and understood and asserting that they are unaware of any conflicts of interest every two years, starting in 2019.

In the case of uncertainty related to a conflict of interest, employees are responsible for raising the potential conflict with their supervisor or the Human Resources Manager to agree upon a course of action.

All IISD Board Directors will be required to sign an acknowledgment form to demonstrate that the Code of Conduct has been read and understood and that they are unaware of any conflicts of interest at the start of each term of service.

If a Board Director flags a potential conflict, a committee of the Board will review the possible conflict and recommend a course of action. The Board committee will be comprised of the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, the CEO and the Chair of the Board. If the possible conflict of interest involves one of these Committee members, the International or European Vice Chair will serve in their place.

 

Whistleblower Policy (Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy)

This policy covers the steps to take when you feel you have identified or observed conduct in the organization that contravenes the Code of Conduct.

As IISD Board Directors, employees, volunteers, associates and consultants (“Representatives”), we are usually the first to be aware of any conduct that may be unethical, illegal or fraudulent and we must be able to raise legitimate issues in an open and honest way without fear of negative consequences.

Reporting

If you believe, in good faith, that you have uncovered or observed evidence that indicates conduct that is in serious breach of company policy, unethical, illegal or fraudulent, you should report this misconduct.

Nothing in this policy is meant to take precedence over a person’s duties under federal or provincial law. Any unlawful misconduct or incident that may affect public safety must be reported to the proper lawful authorities immediately.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is assumed unless you agree that your identity may be revealed. Any and all information collected under this policy or through the investigative process will be held in confidence, except where disclosure may be necessary to further the investigation or as required by law.

Investigating

All concerns raised under this policy will be dealt with promptly. Your concerns will be discussed with you in order to help determine what action to take.

The Managing Director is responsible for receiving reports of misconduct and will:

  • Assess the situation to make a determination of the process of investigation to be followed;

  • Alert the President and CEO or, alternatively, the Board Chair, of each disclosure;

  • Determine whether external authorities should be notified;

  • Lead the internal investigation process;

  • Send a report to the President and CEO or, alternatively, the Board Chair, with the results of the invesetigation and determine appropriate action;

  • Implement actions to resolve the issue and ensure procedural or policy changes that may be necessary to prevent a recurrence;

  • Develop and prepare, in consultation with the most appropriate senior authority, a communications strategy for internal and external use regarding the misconduct and/or investigation; and

  • Provide any information or follow-up as required by executive management, external authorities or agencies.

In carrying out these responsibilities the Managing Director may, at their sole discretion, involve legal counsel and/or independent audit representatives throughout the process.

All parties affiliated with IISD are required to cooperate with the investigation of incidents under this policy and, if necessary, will be granted paid time off to do so.

Penalties

If a legitimate concern is raised but proves to be unfounded on investigation, no action will be taken against the reporter.

Anyone who retaliates (through actions such as intimidation, harassment, financial penalty or other threats) against an employee who has reported a concern in good faith will be subject to disciplinary action.

Anyone who makes false and/or malicious accusations or who raises concerns for personal gain will also be subjected to disciplinary action.

Contacts

Following the procedure noted above, please send your concerns to: boardwhistle@iisd.org.

 

Safeguarding

IISD believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognize our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people with whom we come into contact through the course of our work. IISD expects all Board Directors, employees, volunteers, associates and consultants (“Representatives”) to share this commitment.

Purpose of this policy

The aim of this Safeguarding policy is to:

  • provide a framework by which IISD carries out its duty to protect children and young people from harm;

  • to raise the awareness of all IISD Representatives of their responsibilities to safeguard children and to identify and report possible cases of abuse;

  • to develop a safeguarding culture within the organization so IISD staff and partners feel informed and supported in their work-related connections with young people.

To improve our ability to protect children and young people, IISD is strengthening and harmonizing current policies and procedures, and ensuring that these are clear and accessible to all. We are also implementing new measures outlined below.

Definitions

Safeguarding is a term used to denote measures to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people — especially children, young people and vulnerable adults — to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.

IISD’s safeguarding focus is on children and young people. For the purposes of this policy, ‘safeguarding’ is defined as protecting children and young people from abuse.

child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Abuse includes physical or mental violence, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment and sexual abuse.

Vulnerable adults are defined as adults who are elderly and frail, have mental health issues, a physical disability, learning difficulties or who are made vulnerable by an emergency situation.

IISD’s Safeguarding focus is on children and young people because IISD Stakeholders come into regular contact with those vulnerable groups in Canada through education and awareness programs we provide in schools and other settings and through educational programs we host for high school students at our Experimental Lakes Area site. Our Reporting Services team also encounters children and young people at international meetings where we provide independent reporting of the proceedings.

While some definitions of safeguarding can also include vulnerable adults, IISD is not a humanitarian agency that provides direct aid to people. We do not usually work with elderly adults or those who have mental health issues or learning difficulties. We are not active in conflict zones or post-disaster relief efforts, although our Resilience team does work with communities who are vulnerable to conflict and climate change.

Current IISD policies protect the people we work with from abuse, exploitation and harm

IISD’s newly updated Code of Conduct must be signed by all IISD Stakeholders and contains our commitment to child protection and to treating all people with respect and dignity. We also have in place policies that lay out our commitment to workplaces free of harassment and violence, and a Whistleblower Policy to ensure that breaches of these policies can be reported without any fear of reprisal.

These policies are established and maintained to set the rules of behavior, and to create a positive and safe working environment. 

Additional requirements

In addition to our current policies, IISD requires that its employees, associates, volunteers and contractors (“stakeholders”) adhere to the following safeguarding standards:

  • Stakeholders will not engage in any form of sexual abuse or exploitation of any person of any age.

  • Stakeholders will not have sexual relations with any person under the age of 18.

  • To ensure protection of minors, all IISD Stakeholders with direct supervision or indirect responsibilities for persons under 18 years of age will undergo a national police background check and will not be offered employment if they have been convicted of child and/or sexual abuse.

  • IISD will not take any photos of children or young people at the Experimental Lake Area site without a signed written consent by parents/guardians. We will not take pictures of children or young people at international meetings we are covering as a reporting service unless they are speaking or demonstrating in public, have been brought in front of media by their parents or guardians, or are otherwise seeking media attention in a way that privacy cannot reasonably be expected.

  • All Stakeholders have a duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the actions of colleagues. (See attached Whistleblower Protection Policy for details)

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and will be presented to legal authorities as warranted.

How people can safely report cases of misconduct by IISD Staff

As IISD Stakeholders, we are usually the first to be aware of any conduct that may be unethical, illegal or fraudulent and we must be able to raise legitimate issues in an open and honest way without fear of negative consequences.

IISD’s Managing Director is the organization’s designated Senior Safeguarding Officer. People can make confidential complaints by email or by phone to the Senior Safeguarding Officer, without any fear of reprisals.  

Toll-free Phone Number to Call: 1-833-707-7890

What happens once misconduct is reported

In the event a complaint is made, IISD’s Senior Safeguarding Official will commence their work immediately under the Whistleblower Protection Policy (attached here).

A confidential report is provided to our President and CEO, who will make the final decision regarding disciplinary or other actions.

 

Whistleblower Policy (Safeguarding)

This policy covers the steps to take when you feel you have identified or observed conduct in the organization that contravenes the Safeguarding Policy.

As IISD Board Directors, employees, volunteers, associates and consultants, we are usually the first to be aware of any conduct that may be unethical, illegal or fraudulent and we must be able to raise legitimate issues in an open and honest way without fear of negative consequences.

Reporting

If you believe, in good faith, that you have uncovered or observed evidence that indicates conduct that contravenes the Safeguarding Policy, you have the ability to report any misconduct.

Nothing in this policy is meant to take precedence over a person’s duties under federal or provincial law. Any unlawful misconduct or incident that may affect public safety must be reported to the proper lawful authorities immediately.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is assumed unless you agree that your identity may be revealed. Any and all information collected under this policy or through the investigative process will be held in confidence, except where disclosure may be necessary to further the investigation or as required by law. IISD recognizes the additional importance of maintaining the privacy of children and young people in this situation.

Investigating

All concerns raised under this policy will be dealt with promptly. Your concerns will be discussed with you in order to help determine what action to take.

The Managing Director is responsible for receiving reports of misconduct and will:

  • Assess the situation to make a determination of the process of investigation to be followed;

  • Alert the President and CEO or, alternatively, the Board Chair, of each disclosure;

  • Determine whether external authorities should be notified;

  • Lead the internal investigation process;

  • Send a report to the President and CEO or, alternatively, the Board Chair, with the results of the investigation and determine appropriate action;

  • Implement actions to resolve the issue and ensure procedural or policy changes that may be necessary to prevent a recurrence;

  • Develop and prepare, in consultation with the most appropriate senior authority, a communications strategy for internal and external use regarding the misconduct and/or investigation; and

  • Provide any information or follow-up as required by executive management, external authorities or agencies.

In carrying out these responsibilities the Managing Director may, at their sole discretion, involve legal counsel and/or independent audit representatives throughout the process.

All parties affiliated with IISD are required to cooperate with the investigation of incidents under this policy and, if necessary, will be granted paid time off to do so.

Penalties

If a legitimate concern about the suspected abuse of a child or young person is raised but proves to be unfounded on investigation, no action will be taken against the reporter.

Anyone who retaliates (through actions such as intimidation, harassment, financial penalty or other threats) against an employee who has reported a concern in good faith will be subject to disciplinary action.

Anyone who makes false and/or malicious accusations or who raises concerns for personal gain will also be subjected to disciplinary action.

Contacts

Following the procedure noted above, the contact information of the Senior Safeguarding Officer is listed below:

Toll-free Phone Number to Call: 1-833-707-7890