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Change the World

Businesses are made up of people, too, and they want to do good for the world; but it's hard when even everyday survival is a challenge in a competitive market.

We'd like to change the game, so businesses that contribute to the common good get an advantage.

In mipa, a business can give different weights to its own financial success and the world's sustainability. As the business prioritizes its actions based on this weighting and executes its plan, the completed actions' sustainability metrics can be aggregated to quantify the business' (and its specific products') total social cost and benefit. Input resources from suppliers are also considered. See figure below for how these metrics are calculated.

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Sustainability metrics are designed to satisfy the following requirements:

  • encourage adoption by businesses even if a business currently makes net negative contribution to sustainability; it is better to reward a business' relative sustainability performance, so its entire industry can come onto the path of improvement

  • if a business' main activities have low sustainability, contributing to other organizations' sustainability efforts (such as by switching to sustainable supplies or by donating to an effective non-profit organization) can improve its own metrics

  • include two variations: 

    1. for a single product or service (metrics per quantity of product or service purchased)

    2. for the organization as a whole (metrics per dollar purchased from company)

  • allow self-assessment and disclosure, with auditing by algorithm and consumers to maintain fairness 

 

The final sustainability metrics that consumers see on a product or service represents the social cost and benefit of the entire supply chain. The figure below shows a proposal for how this information might be presented as a label on a product, and illustrates how upstream inputs contribute to final metrics.

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The multi-colored wheel is a logo for the UN's 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals). The fraction inside the SDG wheel represents a product's social benefit and social cost in standard units, while the background pie chart represents what percentage of the product's inputs is accounted for. The goal is to help a consumer quickly understand the scale of a product's social impact and the producer's effort in using an aligned supply chain.

For a business, actions to improve sustainability are rewarded with higher customer demand for its products, leading to the business' confidence to keep improving. It is also advantageous for the business to seek out suppliers that have better sustainability metrics, as this improves the business' own metrics. This incentivizes the entire supply chain to adopt and align with global sustainability metrics. The figure below illustrates this self-reinforcing cycle.

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With this feedback cycle, a business will gain market advantage by showing the sustainability label on its products even if the metrics are initially low, since alternative products lack such metrics altogether. When other brands start adopting the sustainability label and improving their own metrics to attract customers, striving for the common good becomes part of doing business.

As this new dynamic spreads to become the norm across industries, humanity will be making great strides toward a sustainable world.

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