With an over-focus on the short term, today’s markets do not reflect the real costs of degraded natural resources and unjust labor practices, or the hidden opportunities for long-term value creation. Governments and civil society cannot win this battle alone. Markets need to mobilize resources to speed this transformation, with supply and demand geared toward generating sustainable products, services, and practices. Innovations that harness the power of markets to drive change by considering all long-term costs and opportunities are the key to creating sustainable economies.
Responsible Supply Chains
Embedding sustainability issues—human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption—into supply chains is increasingly recognized as good business practice. More companies and individual investors are seeing the benefits of managing business risks, realizing efficiencies, and creating products to meet changing market needs and demands through better governance and increased transparency. Despite progress and ongoing public and private sector efforts, recent incidents in Bangladesh and China have demonstrated that more work is needed to manage supply chains sustainably.
- Skoll Awardees: B Lab Company, Ceres, Fair Trade USA, Global Witness, GoodWeave, Health Care Without Harm, IDE-India, Marine Stewardship Council, Verite
- Partners: Alianca da Terra
Certification standards are tools that have transformed business practices in sectors as diverse as agriculture, fishing, water, and carbon. As mechanisms for enhanced transparency and accountability, credible certification standards can help companies and other stakeholders understand the labor and environmental implications of their activities; recognize and reward sustainable practices; influence the choices people make when buying different products; and ultimately transform markets into more sustainable ones.
- Skoll Awardees: B Lab Company, Fair Trade USA, GoodWeave, Marine Stewardship Council, Telapak, Verite
Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. More than 1.3 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity, and 1 billion more only have intermittent access. The lack of modern energy services stifles income-generating activities and hampers the provision of basic services such as health care and education.
- Skoll Awardees: ACORE, Barefoot College, B Lab Company, BioRegional, Ceres, Health Care Without Harm
- Innovation Investments: Energy Pilot
Access to financial services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can serve as a critical catalyst for economic growth and poverty alleviation. Large commercial banking institutions typically perceive these enterprises as risky, costly, and difficult to serve. As a result, these organizations cannot get financing to expand and grow their businesses. SMEs play a major role in economic development, accounting for a significant share of employment and gross domestic product around the world.
- Skoll Awardees: Aflatoun, Building Markets, Fundacion Capital, Kashf, Kiva, One Acre Fund, Proximity Designs, Root Capital, Shack/Slum Dwellers International, Water.org
- Innovation Investments: Building Smallholder Lending Market
- Partners: Acumen Fund, CAPE Fund, Citigroup, Dalberg, GroFin, Sadara Fund