What if more companies were willing to "stick their necks out"?
I envision a world where all companies are motivated to lead on sustainability issues. Leadership requires vulnerability and transparency. As we saw in class, transparency, and the financial vulnerability associated with it, is often not in a company's self-interest. Volkswagen increased profits by cheating tests, while Unilever and Patagonia's reputations suffered when they were honest.
So, how do we incentivize transparency?
By reducing the vulnerability associated with it.
My proposed intervention is a mindset shift in NGO strategy. Instead of targeting transparent companies, the primary goal of NGOs should be evaluating and ranking actors, with transparency as a key indicator. Once actors are ranked, NGOs would promote the best. Promotion tactics would include endorsements or brand awareness campaigns. Endorsements would be given, even if the company was involved in a "dirty" industry (e.g. oil or mining), to encourage transparency in all sectors.