Eneref Institute Journalistic Policy Guidelines

The key components of Eneref Institute initiatives include research and publishing the market obstacles to common sense solutions that can achieve effective results, and authoring compelling reports about success stories in order to recommend best practices. We respond to our research findings by advocating for them with key stakeholders.

What we will do

  1. Encourage civil dialogue.
  2. Respond to questions about accuracy and fairness.
  3. Verify information before releasing it.
  4. Use original sources whenever possible.
  5. Identify sources clearly.
  6. Encourage posting and redistribution of our reports.
  7. Allow others to respond to criticisms.

What we won’t do

  1. Deliberately distort facts or context.
  2. Write a report that is clearly promotional.
  3. Attribute quotes to someone other than the interviewee.
  4. Plagiarize others.
  5. Allow others to plagiarize our reports without attribution.
  6. Accept quotes that were obviously written to promote.
  7. Gather information surreptitiously.

On our editorial style

As with all publishers, we have a consistent editorial style we need to match. Visit report methodology to learn more.

On the use of brand’s trademarks

It is best for legitimate brands to have Eneref Institute, an independent third-party, use a brand name without a trademark or register mark as an endorsement of the brand. This shows—as a matter of fact— an independent party understands the name belongs to a brand’s owner. When Eneref Institute uses a brand name, in association with the brand’s owner, it is a strong, third-party argument, for the brand name, if a legal case were needed.

Secondly, a trademark is a claim of ownership. Eneref Institute has authority to claim of ownership only of its own brands, but we can make no such claim for other brands. In fact, use of a trademark or register mark in an Eneref report weakens a brand, because the mark indicates that Eneref Institute is working in cooperation with the brand. The mark in an Eneref report, therefore, dilutes the brand, because it calls into question Eneref Institute as an independent third party.

On the use of content received from brands

Eneref Institute has achieved great success because of our independent evidence-based journalism. Our reports are read by influential specifiers, re-published in the media, used to educate Washington decision-makers and even posted on the EPA website. Our advocacy for sustainable development is a partnership that brings together the experience of technology providers, decision-makers, and end users. Brands provide critical insight to ensure our reports are factually accurate but the editorial perspective is drawn from end-user’s viewpoints, based on Eneref’s field market research. That’s how we remain unbiased.

On product endorsements from users

The endorsements given to Eneref recommending solutions are entrusted to us with the understanding that they will be used to endorse social responsibility in our reports, only. Our sponsors regard Eneref Institute as a critical advocate for their industry, and in return, we judiciously guard their trust and the trust of their users. For Eneref to wear the third-party halo, but not act independently is unethical. Our adherence to our integrity is why companies continue to sponsor Eneref, some continually since 2001.


Eneref Institute gratefully acknowledges the help of the Society of Professional Journalists for our list of ethical standards.