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Charter guides ethical approach to philanthropy

The Ross Trust is formalising its ethical approach to philanthropy, decision-making and operations with the adoption of an Ethics Charter.

Ross Trust Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hardy said the Trust was marking its 50th year of values-driven grant-making, and the Ethics Charter would guide its work to create positive social and environmental change over the decades to come.
“We recognise that every commercial decision an organisation takes involves a social consequence,” Ms Hardy said.

“We therefore commit to addressing those consequences in the way we responsibly manage our land, assets and operations, for the long-term benefit of the community to which we belong. The Charter applies the ‘ethical lens’ through which we view and achieve this.”

The Charter applies four Guiding Principles to ensure the Trust acts responsibly, appropriately, and ethically in all facets of its operations, funding sources and grantmaking:

  • Prioritising social responsibility: focusing on being socially responsible in the way it conducts its operations 
  • Delivering community benefit: ensuring community benefit is given the highest priority 
  • Enhancing our environment: ensuring responsible management of the land and assets it owns, while enhancing the environment through targeted and considered initiatives
  • Achieving positive social impact: achieving long-term social impact for the most vulnerable members in our community.

Similarly, the Trust has clear expectations of the policies and practices of its subsidiary and primary funding source, Hillview Quarries.

Ms Hardy said the Trust strives to reflect the careful, measured approach of its founder, Mr Roy Ross, balancing the financial and infrastructure benefits offered by Hillview Quarries with biodiversity conservation, one of the Trust’s core priorities.

“The Trust acknowledges the importance of reconciling the future needs of the community and one of our core priorities, to support biodiversity conservation,” Ms Hardy said.

“We are always conscious that our social licence to operate as a trust comes from our doing the right thing by the Victorian communities in which we operate.”

You can download a copy of the Ross Trust Ethics Charter here