I wish we lived in a world where we had more control over how business shapes our lives and our futures. I value transparency and honesty, and I also value making decisions with my money to ‘vote’ with my dollar. As we have learnt this week, voting with your dollar is not always possible: companies lie and it’s hard to accomplish full transparency of supply chains, wages, working conditions, environmental impact, etc. I think an important place to start is to ask ourselves why the product is produced and what or who benefits or is disadvantaged from the messaging a product or service is using to sell their product to us, what the motivation is. I also think that at a system level, governments should be enforcing laws that force companies to pay for their own audits. This does NOT mean that the companies get to choose their auditors (which would an easy way to cheat). This just means that, with an understanding that being strict in the enforcement of environmental laws is expensive and requires resources, the government will be able to accomplish very strict environmental enforcement using these audits if companies that exist to make a profit are forced to pay for these audits…sort of like taxes? This isn’t a perfect system but it could be a good start. This would bring about increased transparency that could be made into an annual report that is distributed to consumers that is easy to understand. This process would also take resources and time, which can be paid for by those same companies, as a portion of their profits 😊. This might also help shed GOOD light on the companies doing good stuff, and hopefully incentivize others to follow suit.
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Hope that transparency and honesty would be more valuable in business.
I totally agree - I feel so frustrated when for-profit businesses do things and cause negative consequences for the consumers. It is super unfair and your solutions are a great step to start!
This is an interesting perspective! Transparency is useless without consequence and I really like the connection you make on the systems that allow for the companies to run wild with the current policies in place.
Want to clarify that I mean paying for audits from the government. Not the audits companies already pay consultants to do for them, which can be shaped to look a certain way and appear more positive than what it is.