Sustainability Metrics Capable of Bringing Human, Social, and Natural Capital to Life in a New Economy
Instead of focusing as hardnosed realists on shouldering the burden of the costs of carbon and sea levels, should not we focus creative efforts on how to make sustainability innovations profitable?
I think sustainability and transformative climate consciousness will be achieved when we realize the challenges we face are opportunities for fun and profit. How might this be true? By measuring sustainability well enough to buy and sell it in mass markets on global scales. Only then will we be able to reward the creation of socially responsible value in the same way we reward innovative creativity in manufactured value. LivingCapitalMetrics and ALDCPartnership are working together in this direction, building on the long-established interdependency of science and commerce.
The whole point of developing sustainability metrics is to manage sustainability. But sustainability is left fundamentally unmanageable if no mechanisms are provided for business managers to operationalize the metrics efficiently and meaningfully within their work flows, if no mechanisms are provided for investors to reward value creation in an efficient market with low transaction costs, and, most importantly, if individual citizens are cut out of the process and treated as voiceless commodity pawns because they have no ownership of their own shares in their personal stocks of human, social, and natural capital.
Scientifically sound work in this area has been repeatedly presented over the last ten years at global meetings of national metrology institutes, most recently in Belfast, Ireland, at the IMEKO World Congress. Sustainability and climate change activists should be enthusiastically supporting work in this area on the development of new metric standards for environmental management, education, health care, and social services.
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