Funding and Is planet Earth a stakeholder in every business?

This is something that stands out as being a situation where people can do more than they realise, using a basic set of skills.

I started out working on tool systems as it was something that i enjoyed, and i wanted to share the fun.

It was after i realised that not everyone enjoys making things the way that i do, that i had to think about what people really needed, which is how i ended up looking the the Resilience Maps.

One resource that is worth exploring is Appropedia,

as they document a wide variety of solutions to the various niches within the overall maps.

They also have a wide range of case studies, that come from people documenting their own projects. :smiley:

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For a brief example of a basic work-flow in terms of time and energy, one friend was sitting in his back garden on a Saturday morning, and saw that his neighbour and neighbour’s son were busy putting in a new fence to keep the local flock of sheep out of their garden.

They were using bailing wire and pre-cut fence-posts.

My friend thought “That’s a good idea.”, went down to the local harbour to borrow a stack of pallets, then used 2by4’s from storage as the fence-posts.

Stick two posts in the ground, and slot a pallet over the top.

Move along one pallet width.

Rinse and repeat.

It took him two hours.

Then he sat down with another mug of tea, and watched them take the next two days to install the fence.

This is not including the time that they had to take in order to earn the money to buy the baling wire and the pre-cut posts. :smiley:

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Coops are doing already a lot, although surely they could do much more. For example, the largest cooperative in the world, Credit Agricole, is also the world’s largest underwriter of green bonds. In Finland, my native country, the largest producer of renewable energy is the forestry cooperative Metsä Group, that is owned democratically by around 100,000 forest owners who own most of the privately owned forests in the country. Also, the leading retailer S-Group is on its way to become the largest solar energy producer in Finland. Here’s a list of more facts about what cooperatives are doing regarding the environment.

However, as cooperatives are not charitable organisations but have to compete by providing goods and services that people want to buy, I’m bit skeptical about making the cooperatives “business that donate more to charity than others”. The customers might ask a good question - why do you charge me more to give more to charities (not saying this is a claim someone in this thread has made), instead of just charging me less and letting me decide whether I want to donate it to charity and what charity I want it be donated to? Not saying cooperatives shouldn’t donate to charities, just that it’s not a strategy that makes the model capable of replacing capitalist economic order. My personal opinion is that large cooperatives should dedicate more of their charitable donations towards building new, successful cooperative businesses instead of donating them to more “altruistic” causes.

We need mechanisms that make environmental externalities costly for businesses that produce them, which requires government action like cap-and-trade or/and carbon tax. That way being environmentally friendlier than your competitors becomes an advantage, not a disadvantage, as would happen if cooperatives would simply charge their customers more to donate more to environmental charitable causes.

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I don’t think particularly that doing things for the Living Systems of the planet is the duty of coops only, but of all humans. It is not a matter of charity, but necessity. We can ignore it, and insist that it is indeed charity and that each of us can decide which charity to support. It is one approach, perhaps as valid as many others. Up until now that approach didn’t lead to where it needs, to but… who knows… perhaps one day it will.
Do you seriously think that Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson,Putin, and similar kind are capable of leading the world to where it needs to go? Or that big business will? Up until now, they haven’t, but who knows… they may one day?
Earth is a stakeholder, wether we decide to acnowledge and represent it somehow in our accounting, bookkeping, profits or not.
Perhaps the world looks in a bit better shape looking at it from Finland…

I don’t think Trump, Bolsonare, etc. will fix it. Which is why we need to elect better politicians. Politicians will change their behaviour if they know that it will help their chances of getting elected. Big businesses will change their behaviour if we have incentives and sanctions that encourage and discourage certain behaviours. If Trump would improve his chances of getting re-elected by reducing emissions, he would do it. If businesses would have to pay more carbon tax, they would try to find ways to reduce carbon emissions to save money.

I think it’s great if there are people who are willing to sacrifice their immediate, individual economic self-interest for the collective good of the entire planet earth, such as by paying more for goods and services if the company is more environmentally friendly.

But I think the solution lies in government action that makes businesses pay for the environmental destruction they inflict, so that goods and services produced in unsustainable ways start to cost more.

OK,. What do we do if there is no government action? Or not enough of it?

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