Post-Carbon Corps Network

A key discussion point in climate change mitigation is the balance of responsibility between individuals and corporations. Though individuals are increasingly motivated to reduce their carbon footprints, this is a necessarily slow process because it implies a change in behaviourally ingrained social practices. The incidental changes in business practices that follow and support these social changes are therefore also slow, in light of the 1.5? and 2?Paris Agreement ceilings. Consequently, expecting demand-side changes to lead supply-side changes will almost certainly leave mitigation targets unmet. However, each unit from the supply-side (corporations) captures a much larger proportion of CO2 emissions than demand-side units (individual consumers); corporate action is therefore critical.

 

Actor(s)

Operated by an independent body (the key actor), such a standard would create transparency by avoiding the greenwashing associated with sustainability self-reporting. Especially as the standard develops, government will be another key actor. Its backing/accreditation/partnership will be vital in granting legitimacy and in allowing governments to more carefully monitor business operations and apply any legal/regulatory repercussions as necessary for CPR. The more widely advertised and known the standard the more effective a selection pressure it would create.

 

Trigger (intervention)

That targeted selection pressure be designed to propel mitigation efforts amongst corporations. This would take the form of a standard against which corporations can be audited/measured for the sustainability of their operations.

 

Criticality

The growing tide of mandatory corporate responsibility (CSR) schemes is the criticality which is paving the way for change.

 

Feedback Dynamics

Organisations operating favourably by this sustainability standard would join a publicised network of other such organisations, celebrated with an annual gathering to create an accessible selection standard in peoples minds showing them where to dedicate their business to live more sustainably, more effortlessly; thereby producing a feedback loop. Transmitted up the value chain, this knowledge could promote additional feedback by promoting restructured professional networks favouring the operation of sustainable businesses.

 

Timescale and scaleability

The scale of possible impact is theoretically worldwide (geographically) whilst impact-wise it is proportional to the demand for sustainable lifestyles and technical capacity of corporations to change. Therefore public figures would also be important actors , as their influential voices reach far and wide. I envision this intervention in two timescales : Stage 1 can be rapid - whereby businesses are joined to the standard and marketing makes it widely known (1 2 years); Whereas Stage 2 involves refinement of the standard and partnerships long-term (2 years).

 

Resistance

 

Author

Topo Mokokwane

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