With a 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 sustainable products, services, and practices. We advance innovations that harness the power of markets to drive change by considering all costs and opportunities with a long-term perspective.
SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE MARKETS:
American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) leads the movement for renewable energy. It began by financing solar energy in India, South Africa and Brazil. ACORE has created a “renewable energy” community, ending a 30-year era of stove-piped, technology-specific RE industries. It has brought together technology companies, financial firms, universities, associations, NGOs and government agencies — all working on wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal and biomass sources of energy.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent global organization tackling the problem of overfishing, since more than 50 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks are fully exploited. It recognizes and rewards sustainable fisheries through its certification and eco-labeling program. McDonald’s recently introduced MSC certified white fish in its restaurants throughout Europe; the Filet-o-Fish sandwiches will carry the MSC logo starting in October 2011.
Ceres works with institutional investors who believe that companies should act on climate change because it is best for their shareholders. Its leveraging of financial power on climate helped lead to Texas Utilities’ decision not to build 8 of 11 traditional coal-fired power plants, for example. Its Investor Network on Climate Risk has more than 85 members, with $8 trillion in assets. Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, or BICEP, which now includes 17 companies, have met with 60+ Senate offices. Ceres built the Global Reporting Initiative, which allows companies to disclose what impact they have on their communities and put financial value on that.
BioRegional Development Group delivers practical sustainability solutions through consultancy, education and informing policy. Korea is using its work as a best-practice case study, Chinese Ministers are reviewing the use of its framework, and it made a significant contribution to the planning policy statement for the U.K. government’s eco-towns, which is now being used as best practice by many governments, including Quebec, Mexico and France.
Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade helps alleviate poverty in the developing world. It empowers consumers to vote with their dollars for fair prices, better working conditions, environmental stewardship, and brighter futures for people who make the high-quality products we buy.
Verite helps involve workers in the factory audit process. For example, in partnership with just a single leading brand, Verité’s social investigations helped return $3 million to hundreds of poor migrant workers in Asia who were cheated by labor brokers.