WWF's global mission – to build a future in which humans live and prosper in harmony with nature – sees us operating at all levels. Our practical programs and groundbreaking campaigns resonate regionally, nationally and internationally. This not only requires thinking; it also demands policies befitting the breadth and scale of our work.

We're committed to following a set of guiding policies to ensure that everything we do is carried out ethically. These policies give structure to WWF's global network and help us to integrate social dimensions into our conservation endeavours. For while responsible trade and investments and good environmental governance are all critical to ensuring the responsible management of our natural capital, so too are people. Including social equity in our programs – on-the-ground and within the boardrooms and businesses that we operate – assures local communities vital input.

Feedback is also important both to WWF and our partners because it helps us to continually strive for improvement.

Details of how you can send us your comments can be found on our Contact us page.

Code of Ethical Conduct

We are committed to high ethical standards and the protection of our reputation as a professional and responsible conservation organisation. Our Code of Ethical Conduct sets the standards of behaviour and describes the decision-making processes expected of all WWF-Australia Board members, staff members, volunteers and interns. We are expected to apply WWF’s values and principles when making decisions on behalf of the organisation or when making decisions that may impact or reflect upon WWF and its public image.

Our Values: I-CCaRe

  • Integrity: We live the principles we call on others to meet. We act with integrity, accountability and transparency, and we rely on facts and science to guide us and to ensure we learn and evolve.
  • Collaboration: We deliver impact at the scale of the challenges we face through the power of collective action and innovation.
  • Courage: We demonstrate courage through our actions, we work for change where it’s needed, and we inspire people and institutions to tackle the greatest threats to nature and the future of the planet, which is our home.
  • Respect: We honour the voices and knowledge of the people and communities that we serve, and we work to secure their rights to a sustainable future.



Human Rights Suite and Sustainable Development Suite

Equity, fairness, participation, impartiality, tolerance and justice – these are principles that we embrace and embed in the way we work. The policies below reflect our dedication and guide our commitment to:

  • promoting the integration of human rights into conservation policy and practice;
  • contributing to social and economic development as part of our efforts towards achieving lasting and equitable conservation outcomes;
  • supporting local people, particularly marginalised groups and vulnerable people, to meaningfully participate in determining their own sustainable development;
  • gender equity and integrating a gender perspective in our policies, programs, and projects, as well as in our own institutional structure;
  • respecting Indigenous and Traditional Peoples' human and development rights and recognising the importance of conserving their cultures;
  • endorsing the Australian Aid program's approach to family planning and reproductive health;
  • non-discrimination against colleagues, applicants or stakeholders having, perceived as having, living with or otherwise affected by HIV or AIDS; and
  • non-discrimination against people with disabilities, and ensuring that programs are disability-inclusive and activities promote accessibility.

WWF-Australia retained independent consultant Dr Jennifer Zerk of Jennifer Zerk Consulting to undertake a review of WWF-Australia policies relating to human rights and their implementation. WWF-Australia is very gratified at Dr Zerk’s finding that WWF-Australia has a high degree of alignment in the objectives and approaches of existing Australian Government, NGO development sector and WWF International and network human rights related standards and initiatives. WWF-Australia accepts that there are opportunities to simplify and strengthen current WWF-Australia policies and practices further, and will do so. Dr Zerk’s review and WWF-Australia’s management response to Dr Zerk’s recommendations are available below.

WWF Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework (ESSF)

Safeguards play a vital role in achieving WWF’s vision. They guide how we engage local communities to plan and manage our work to improve and protect their lives, rights and livelihoods while conserving nature and wildlife. WWF’s enhanced Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework establishes a common set of standards, policies, planning and implementation mechanisms, and compliance systems that govern how activities on-the-ground are carried out. This framework has been adopted by the entire WWF Network to ensure consistent, comprehensive application of safeguards across all that we do. For further background on this policy.

Operational Safeguards Suite

Integrity, safety, transparency, prudence – these are principles that underlie everything we do. The policies below reflect our dedication and guide our commitment to:

  • a zero tolerance approach to fraud and corruption;
  • transparency and accountability;
  • assessing and eliminating or mitigating the risk of child abuse associated with the delivery of WWF and partner organisation programs and activities;
  • ensuring that funds entrusted to WWF are used for their intended purposes, and do not support any activity directed towards welfare, evangelism, or partisan political activities;
  • ensuring that WWF does not directly or indirectly support terrorism, money-laundering or other criminal misuse of funds;
  • ensuring that all WWF staff, volunteers, interns and contractors can work in a safe environment, free of bullying, harassment and discrimination.

WWF-Australia recently updated a number of policies. To review the list of deprecated policies, access our Archived Policies page.