An analysis of corporate conscience in a sustainable global food system

Danielle speaks at more than events per year, including major conferences and events all over the world. Socially responsible investing has matured beyond negative screening to become a value-seeking discipline and a positive impetus for change.

food sustainability

But the unfortunate effect of our seeing these inputs to well-being as incalculable has been that they are treated as free. That is precisely what happens when ecosystem service valuations are applied to VCIs: Not only does the blouse designer in our previous example get a better rating for selecting sustainably grown organic cotton, the VCI also shows her the economic impact of that choice.

Even less money is invested in the small and medium enterprises SMES that provide crucial jobs in rural and urban areas alike, and which make up the bulk of the food inputs, production, processing and distribution systems in developing economies.

A VCI uses such data to set realistic parameters within each category and provides a basis for weighing categories against one another to give priority to impacts deemed to have the most negative consequences. Companies that want access to such rewards must voluntarily provide a level of transparency into their operations that goes beyond regulatory reporting requirements.

Define the dimensions of measurement. None of the players that could potentially drive this scale—retailers, consumers, governments—are demanding such action in any organized or sustained way.

Food sustainability topics

Designate a driver. Start with a committed core. H unger is on the rise, one in three women is anemic, and food insecurity is manifesting itself in a rise of overweight and obesity. Organizations like WITNESS enable ordinary citizens with mobile devices to capture images of negative impacts and add them to a growing pile of evidence. That mind-set creates problems when resources turn out not to be limitless or indestructible. It is now possible to collect accurate-enough data to assign true costs to goods sold. But by the end of , a version 2. Developments on three fronts, long in the works and now converging, make it not only possible but inevitable that successful business will become synonymous with sustainable business. VCI ratings become harbingers of revenue. Higher cost to planet does not translate to higher price to customer. That is precisely what happens when ecosystem service valuations are applied to VCIs: Not only does the blouse designer in our previous example get a better rating for selecting sustainably grown organic cotton, the VCI also shows her the economic impact of that choice. Still, investors would like assurance that the most responsible companies would be those most likely to succeed in revenue terms. And yet collectively we have not been making progress on reducing the damage business does to the world. The Ariel Fund, for example, screens for environmental impact, tobacco, weapons, nuclear energy, and lack of diversity.

One last consideration driving fund managers toward sustainability-focused investments is hard to prove but widely suspected: Companies taking the lead in environmental, social, and governance matters have better management teams.

Have you read? Data, Vision, and Will The global population is projected to grow from 6. Other approaches seek to crowd-in private investments and optimize the use of scarce public resources to achieve sustainable development goals, for example by improving the policy and regulatory environment, reducing transaction costs and risks, and promoting environmental and social sustainability.

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Importance of tracking global food system sustainability