Research Database for Ethical Consumer

A .Net application with a SQL Server backend, RefsBase contains information on the ethical behaviour of over 30,000 companies. It is front-ended by the [Corporate Critic](http://www.corporatecritic.org) and [Ethical Consumer](http://www.ethicalconsumer.org) web sites, and is founded on our ground-breaking dataspace technology.

Situation

Refsbase is a unique project that enables researchers to model the structure of companies and corporate ownership, to enter media monitoring and other information and link to companies and products, to classify that information, and to automatically calculate corporate ethical ratings. In the past this had been done in a much more time-consuming manner, and the resulting data was presented to the end-user in the form of a printed bi-monthly magazine.

Solution

Idonix created a system for Ethical Consumer Information Systems that enables their research team to input and maintain the currently more than 65,000 records on issues of corporate responsibility. The system also allows modelling of the complex ownership links that sometimes exist between corporate entities. All this data feeds into a rule-base that enables scores to be calculated, taking into account categorisation of the data and ownership links through the corporate hierarchy.

Two asp.net web sites were also created to make this information available to a wider audience. SQL Server merge replication is used to synchronise data between the main system and the web database.

Corporate Critic Thumbnail

Corporate Critic

Corporate Critic is a decision making tool aimed at institutions, charities, campaign groups and ethical investors, and allows users to view corporate records directly.

Ethical Consumer

Ethical Consumer is aimed at consumers, and provides product reports to help them decide which brands to buy.