Code of Ethics

Introduction and Purpose

Conservation International’s reputation derives from our commitment to our core values: Integrity, Respect, Courage, Optimism, and Passion and Teamwork. CI’s Code of Ethics (the “Code”) provides guidance to CI employees, consultants, independent experts, interns, and volunteers in living CI’s core values, and outlines minimum standards for ethical conduct which all staff must adhere to.

CI relies on the personal integrity, good judgement and common sense of individuals acting on behalf of the organization to deal with issues not expressly addressed by the Code. Failure of a staff member to adhere to the Code may result in disciplinary action up to and, including discharge from employment and filing of criminal charges.

CI employees, consultants, independent experts, interns and volunteers shall:


  • Act in good faith, responsibly, with due care, competence and diligence and maintain the highest professional standards at all times.
  • Comply with CI policies as well as all applicable laws, rules and regulations, domestic and international, in every country where CI works.
  • Reflect actual expenses or work performed in expense reports, timesheets, and other records.
  • Never engage in any of the following acts: falsification of business documents, theft, embezzlement, diversion of funds, bribery, or fraud.


  • Perform duties, exercise authority and use CI resources and assets in the interest of the organization and never for personal benefit.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest and not allow independent judgment to be compromised.
  • Not accept gifts or favors in excess of $150 from vendors, consultants or grantees.


  • Disclose to a supervisor and the General Counsel’s Office, at the earliest opportunity, any information they have or become aware of, that may result in a real or perceived conflict of interest or impropriety.
  • Exercise responsible stewardship over CI's assets and resources; spend funds wisely, in the best interests of CI and in furtherance of its mission. Adhere to and respect the wishes of its donors.
  • Manage programs, activities, staff and operations in a professionally sound manner, with knowledge and wisdom, and with a goal of increasing overall organizational performance.


  • Not disclose confidential information obtained during the course of their work at CI.
  • Protect confidential relationships between CI and its grantees, donors, and vendors.

Mutual Respect and Collaboration

  • Assist its partners in building the necessary capacity to carry out conservation programs efficiently and effectively and to manage funds in a fiscally and operationally prudent manner.
  • Create constructive relationships with grant-seekers and other partners based on mutual respect and shared goals by communicating clearly and timely, and respecting our partners' expertise in their field of knowledge.
  • Engage with indigenous peoples and local communities in which CI works in a positive and constructive manner that respects the culture, laws, and practices of those communities, with due regard for the right of free, prior and informed consent.

Any violations of the Code of Ethics should be reported to Conservation International via its Ethics Hotline at​.