When I worked as a Business Ethics Analyst for WWF-UK, our benchmarking tool was the Business & Industry Engagement Policy This policy sought to define which companies were acceptable donors and which were not, and to put quantifiable metrics around these decisions; percentage of turnover derived from certain activities, for instance.
Over time, I realised that ethical decisions are rarely as black and white as the panda logo we worked under. My role was to research potential donors, and advise on what risk factors were associated with those companies (or individuals). Despite a seemingly robust policy, there were huge grey areas. Banks, for instance, may fund or invest in (so tacitly support) ‘bad’ business; retailers may be seen to be promoting waste and conspicuous consumption. There were also gaps – for instance, companies engaging in active tax 'efficiency' schemes were depriving the public purse of funds, but if they were environmentally high performers, we did not have grounds within the policy to rule them out.
There were always huge internal conflicts between those people who said “take the money and do good with it” or “we’ll ‘green’ them from within” and those who believed that we’d have blood on our hands if we took any money from businesses other than grassroots unionised feminist organic recycling collectives!