Five exciting ways businesses use their Fair Tax Mark

Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses are proud to demonstrate they pay the right amount of corporate income tax at the right time and in the right place – following both the spirit and the letter of the law. The way they display the Fair Tax Mark and show their customers, clients and other stakeholders they are certified can be as unique as the business itself. From custom-printed team sweaters to talking about it on podcasts, here are five ways businesses are sharing their commitment to responsible tax conduct.

1. In stores, branches and shops

Every business knows the best way to connect with their clients and customers, and for Timpson Group, this means putting their own spin on things. Timpson, Johnsons Cleaners and Max Spielmann stores proudly display Fair Tax Mark signs reading “We’re proud to pay our taxes. No schemes. No funny stuff.”

Putting the Fair Tax Mark front and centre, other businesses have ensured the public and customers see the certification in prominent places. Leeds Building Society has placed large posters in branch windows stating the UK mutual aims to “…lead the way when it comes to fair tax”, while Scotmid Co-operative have used digital screens next to tills to show shoppers they’re ‘saying what they pay with pride’.

2. Merchandise and advertising

SSE have run adverts highlighting their Fair Tax Mark

Gaining the gold standard of responsible tax conduct is a huge achievement, and we encourage all businesses to shout loud and proud about it. Soon after Scottish multinational SSE received accreditation, the business ran prominent print advertising with the headline: “Proud to be the first FTSE 100 company to achieve the Fair Tax Mark”.

Providing assurance to their customers that they do the right thing on tax, United Utilities  have positioned the Fair Tax Mark on the back of the envelopes they send out to millions of customers in North West England for several years.

Showing there are no limits on where a business can place their Fair Tax Mark, Finnish energy firm Fortum celebrated the milestone of being the first in the country to join the movement with custom-printed hoodies and a glass of fizz.

3. Spreading the word with other businesses

AgroFair discovered the Fair Tax Mark through Ethical Consumer – another accredited business

As companies join the movement, they frequently express eagerness to spread the word within their networks. Numerous businesses have pursued and attained the Fair Tax Mark based on recommendations from peers or other accredited companies.

For instance, Jupiter Fund Management and Westmorland Family both heard about the Fair Tax Mark through other certified businesses and their professional circles. Dutch multinational AgroFair secured certification after discovering it through Fair Tax Mark accredited Ethical Consumer magazine, who listed the global distributor of Fairtrade and organic bananas as an ‘Ethical Consumer Best Buy’. 

4. Populating podcasts

Businesses often shout about the Fair Tax Mark beyond their immediate networks too, and many have chosen to use podcasts to get the word out. “What we have demonstrated at Epworth through obtaining the Fair Tax Mark is that for asset managers it’s achievable, and not only is it achievable but the world doesn’t end when you get it – we have this idea that tax is the monster in the closet.” Epworth’s Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Harper told the ESG Clarity podcast in 2022.

group photo of Unite staff with Fair Tax Foundation's Graham Drummond holding Fair Tax photo prop with Unite logo

Unite were the first German multinational to gain the Fair Tax Mark

“So what I would say to other [ESG asset] managers is apply for it, go through the exercise with your teams, carefully consider what you should pay and where you should pay it.”

German multinational Unite, known for connecting buyers and suppliers through a B2B procurement platform, released an episode of their podcast about the Fair Tax Mark, exploring ‘…how adopting fair tax practices contributes to a brighter and more equitable future.’ The Leipzig-based company has been a vocal supporter of fair tax, with a significant section of their website explaining their dedication to responsible tax conduct. Recently they shared their certification as a ‘2023 sustainability highlight’.

5. Incorporating it into ESG literature and reports

The Fair Tax Mark is often featured in the official outputs of businesses that have it – from public tax and sustainability documents to annual reports and accounts. When Mundys received their accreditation, Chief Financial officer Tiziano Ceccarani told us it was part of the firm’s wider ESG strategy, “which puts community engagement and transparency at the heart of what we do.” It’s no surprise then to see Mundys’ Fair Tax Mark accredited tax transparency report embedded in the governance section of their ESG strategy.

And we can’t round things off without another tip of the hat to SSE, who produce an excellent annual Talking Tax report that tackles topics around what it means to be a responsible taxpayer. Highlighting their devotion to fair tax and it’s principles, the report also recently won a PwC Building Public Trust Tax award.  



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