Filming Nargis
Filming Nargis

Corporate responsibility

Oxfam's corporate responsibility (CR) programme ensures that our activities are aligned with our values, mission and ethics.

It brings together the ethical standards across the organisation under one programme to provide clarity and coherence on Oxfam's ethical positions and how these relate to what we do. It also improves risk management, accountability and drives efficiency to integrate our standards into our business activities relating to partnerships, operations and supply chains.


The Oxfam GB corporate responsibility programme follows a devolved governance approach led by four key groups:

  • The Corporate Responsibility Steering Group, is the governing body with director-level representation from each division. The group's role is to champion the vision for CR at Oxfam GB, to provide a high-level steer on CR strategy, to hold divisions to account and to escalate CR issues to the CEO when required.
  • The Corporate Responsibility Divisional Leads, are senior managers from each division who sign off high level CR frameworks and standards. They are accountable within divisions to ensure CR is appropriately integrated into divisional strategy and implemented.
  • The Corporate Responsibility Checking Committee, is the delegated decision body for Corporate Responsibility risks for partnerships with representation from Oxfam International, Trading, Communications, Fundraising and Campaigns Policy & Influencing Team.
  • The Corporate Responsibility Team, is a central team that enables organisational alignment. The CR team owns the CR strategy and policies and provides specialist advice for activities.

Oxfam’s corporate responsibility policies and positions

Anti-slavery policy

Oxfam GB is a complex organisation, with operations and supply chains which span multiple countries. The nature of the work we do and the countries we source from and operate in, mean that despite our best efforts, there is a risk that various forms of modern slavery could exist. This policy sets out OGB's anti-slavery standards for our operations, supply chain and implementing partners as well as our approach to remediation.

Gender equality policy

Our vision of gender equality is that through our work many more women will gain power over their lives. This will happen through changes in attitudes, ideas and beliefs about gender relations, and increased levels of women's active engagement and critical leadership in institutions, decision-making and change processes. To achieve this vision we will put poor women's rights at the heart of all that we do.

Ethical and environmental policy

Oxfam GB recognises the importance of sustainable development for people living in poverty, and the long-term benefits of becoming a more sustainable organisation. This policy outlines Oxfam GB’s standards for working with its suppliers to take responsibility for the ethical and environmental impacts of our operations and supply chains.

Our procurement falls into four main categories: central procurement, Sourced by Oxfam (retail), humanitarian and international programmes .

Sourced by Oxfam (retail)

Due diligence assessments are carried out on all of our retail suppliers and we actively favour suppliers whose businesses put people and the environment before their profit.

Approximately 50% of our retail suppliers are fair trade. Oxfam shops pioneered the idea of fair trade back in the 1960s. Paying people a fair and decent price for the goods they produce, and giving workers a say in the future of their company. Times have changed but our commitment to fair trade hasn't and we're proud to work with suppliers who practice these principles.

Ethical standards for partnerships

Working with partners is integral to achieving our mission to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. As part of this, Oxfam GB will accept donations (including cash and gifts in kind) from any source that contributes towards Oxfam's mission, unless there is strong reason to believe that doing so risks harm to people living in poverty, compromises the independence of our advocacy, campaigning or programme work, or will cause significant damage to Oxfam GB's integrity and/or reputation.

Oxfam GB carries out due diligence on our partners in line with our approach to corporate responsibility - balancing potential conflicts with our campaigning priorities and ensuring integrity on core issues relating to our mission to end global poverty. We do not accept funds from companies manufacturing arms, tobacco or pornography.

Reporting and accountability

Annual Report and Accounts

Oxfam GB is committed to strengthening our accountability, being transparent and judging the impact of our work on the people and communities reached by our programmes. We continually monitor, evaluate and learn from our stakeholders to review the outcome achievements and challenges of our work on the people and communities reached by our programmes.

Oxfam GB's gender pay gap report

Oxfam GB's overall median gender pay gap is 12.5 per cent. The national average is 18.4 per cent. We take our gender pay gap seriously and have made a range of commitments to address the issue.

The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women working for an organisation, irrespective of their job or position. It is not a comparison of pay between men and women doing like for like roles or jobs of equal value and Oxfam always pays men and women the same for the same work. All organisations in the UK, who employ more than 250 workers, are required to publish their gender pay gap by April 2018.

Modern Slavery Act transparency statement

The UK's Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires organisations with an annual turnover of at least £36m to make a public statement on steps they are taking to identify and prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

Oxfam GB advocated for this policy development, and this statement describes steps taken in relation to our own operations and supply chains. Our first statement gave detailed information about our policies and processes in order to demonstrate transparency on this challenging issue and to encourage other companies to be transparent. This statement is an update on progress against the commitments we made in our first statement and shares two case studies of how we work.

Carbon reporting

We are committed to managing our environmental impact and we report annually, in line with Accountable Now's framework on initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, environmental impact of affiliate HQ operations and mitigating environmental impacts in our programme work.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Our SECR disclosure can be found in the Ethical and Environmental Standards section of our full Annual Report and Accounts for 2019-20. In that disclosure the methodology that we used in compiling our data is briefly introduced. For those readers that are interested, the purpose of this document is to supplement that commentary with a more detailed explanation of how we compile the data used to report our energy and carbon impacts.

Methodology Statement for 2019-20

Oxfam’s carbon commitment

We know that we must play our part in tackling the climate emergency, for the world's poorest people, and for all of us. As a priority, we are significantly reducing emissions related to our own activities, and have committed to at least a 66% reduction by 2030 (from a 2011/12 baseline, without offsetting), with a commitment to being zero carbon by 2045 at the latest. This will be reviewed each year and increased as new opportunities and technology become available.

Other policy documents


UN Global Compact

In July 2018, Oxfam GB became a participant of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and our first Communication on Engagement is due to be published in July 2020.

Oxfam GB has a long history of engagement with the UNGC. We have used our critical friend approach to support UNGC initiatives such as the; Multi Stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC) Group of the UNGC & Global Reporting Initiative Action Platform Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals and were part of the UNGC's Task Team to support the delivery of a Blueprint for SDG Leadership.

The UNGC is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. It is a call to companies to align strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption to advance societal goals, such as the SDGs.

Accountable Now

Oxfam International is a member of Accountable Now, a cross-sector platform for internationally operating civil society organisations (CSOs). Together, we strive to be transparent, responsive to stakeholders and focused on delivering impact.

Explore our Accountability Charter

The Ethical Trading Initiative

Oxfam GB is a founder member of Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), with active Board and NGO caucus representation.

The ETI is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe. Their vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.

We have adopted the ETI Base Code of labour practice, which is derived from the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and we have made a commitment to align our existing due diligence processes with the ETI Human Rights Due Diligence Framework.

The Living Wage (UK)

Oxfam has been an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer since 2013 and we have a commitment to pay at least the Living Wage Foundation rate for all UK employees.

We support the Living Wage Foundation because we believe that fair wages, along with more secure, predictable and progressive work can be instrumental in addressing the high levels of poverty we are now seeing in working households in the UK.

Good Business Charter

Oxfam has joined The Good Business Charter (GBC) a new accreditation which recognises responsible business practices, The GBC is an independent not-for-profit organisation supported by the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) and Trades Union Congress (TUC) and brings considerable expertise from leading figures from the world of commerce. Consisting of 9 different components covering employees, tax, the environment, customers and suppliers. It's a simple, effective way to measure how a company is behaving.

Make My Money Matter

At Oxfam we recognise the power and potential of finance to create a fairer and more environmentally sustainable world. The default investment approach in our pension scheme for staff is ethically screened and aligns with our organisational values and mission. Oxfam supports the Make My Money Matter people-powered campaign for all organisations - businesses, NGOs, universities and local authorities - to commit to pension schemes that invest in a better future.