WWF Code of Ethics

How we behave towards our Mission, Our World, and Ourselves

WWF has a clearly stated mission and purpose. All of our programmes support that mission, and its goals will be more easily reached if the following principles are embraced.
  1. We will be global, independent, multicultural and non-party political.

  2. We will use the best available scientific information to address issues and critically evaluate all our endeavours.

  3. We will, wherever possible, seek dialogue and avoid confrontation.

  4. We will build concrete conservation solutions through a combination of field-based projects, policy initiatives, capacity building and education.

  5. We will involve local communities and indigenous peoples in the planning and execution of our field programmes, and we will respect their cultural and economic needs.

  6. We will maximize our effectiveness by building partnerships with other organizations, governments, businesses and local communities.

  7. We will run our operations in a responsible and cost-effective manner, and apply donors’ funds according to the highest standards of accountability and transparency.


We will at all times seek to minimize the environmental impact (especially any adverse impact) of our activities, and make sure that they always comply with all environmental protection legislation. In our daily lives, both at work and in our private time, we will practice what we preach by doing all we can to reduce pollution and waste, and wherever possible use renewable and recyclable materials. And we will encourage all those with whom we interact to do the same.

  1. Our behaviour towards each other. We will at all times respect the rights of our colleagues, welcome the strengths of our differences, enjoy the richness of diversity, treat each other with dignity and respect, encourage teamwork and collaboration, foster an atmosphere of candour and openness, whilst always condemning all forms of discrimination and political manoeuvring.

  2. Our behaviour towards the public at large. Just as we respect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our colleagues, so we respect the diversity of the peoples of the world. In our dealings outside our organization we will always be honest and open, never discriminate or pre-judge others for cultural, ethnic, religious or political or any other reasons.  We will record and respond to criticisms we receive, in order to learn from, and avoid repeating mistakes.

  3. Our behaviour towards governments and organizations. As a global, multi-cultural organization, we embrace the concept of “better together”; we recognize and encourage cooperation and collaboration with like-minded organizations. While their missions may not be the same as ours, we recognize the validity and value of their goals.  At the same time, we maintain our independence and vigorously defend our point of view.   We will always share credit with our partner organizations, be they strategic, funding or implementing partners.

  4. Our behaviour towards the media and opinion influencers. While we recognize and appreciate the value of the world’s media in disseminating our point of view and informing governments, industry and the public at large of our mission and goals, we will always be honest, unambiguous and politically neutral in all contacts with them. We will do all we can to prevent our statements being manipulated or misused in order to support any political, ethnic or religious viewpoints with which we disagree.

  5. Our behaviour towards our corporate partners.  In order to achieve our mission, we recognise the need to engage with the corporate sector and foster active cooperation with sector leaders.   We will work with the corporate sector in a professional, open, honest and straightforward way.   We will maintain our independence whilst respecting their views and we will challenge and inspire them to move towards a more sustainable future.

  6. Our behaviour towards our suppliers and consultants. In selecting outside, independent resources, we will at all times be fair, objective and open-minded in our assessment of their abilities. We will not accept favours or bribes, and we will not allow any tokens of appreciation we are offered to affect our judgement. We will not allow family, religious, tribal, political or any other personal connections to influence the award of contracts.

  7. Our behaviour towards our institution.  We will at all times conduct ourselves in a manner which brings credit to WWF and which enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of our organization.  We will be careful custodians of the funds placed in our care, managing them with stringent honesty and transparency and constantly seeking the most cost-effective solutions, even at the price of personal inconvenience.

WWF International Fraud and Corruption Prevention

WWF’s principle is to take a “zero tolerance” approach towards fraud and corruption in its offices around the world. The WWF Network follows common standards on the prevention of fraud and corruption. This is WWF International’s policy on the prevention of fraud and corruption. It is followed by WWF International and all the Programme Offices which report into it.

WWF International Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Investigation Policy – Contractee Version

This policy is for people and organizations who provide services to WWF International and its Programme Offices: it is a required attachment to all service provider contracts.

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