The urgency of the problems facing humanity is inspiring corporations, entrepreneurs, and individuals to find ways to do good (and generate results) at a faster pace than ever before.
About This Trend:
As the challenges we face—from helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves to saving our shared planet—are becoming larger and more complex, pioneering entrepreneurs and leaders of responsible companies are responding to our planet’s maladies with increased urgency, inspired innovation, and speed.
Platforms like Roundup or Good Street have sprung up to offer easy—and instant—ways for people to make such donations, simply by using their mobile devices or computers. For years, DonorsChoose.org has offered this capability by allowing teachers to post projects to the site and individual donors to fund them directly. It has also become easier to measure how your spending impacts the world around you—and make necessary changes in your investment and spending mix so it better reflects your values. Aspiration is one example of a new checking-account app that measures and scores the environmental and ethical practices of over 5,000 companies. The app compares users’ spending habits against these companies to generate an “Aspiration Impact Measurement” (AIM) score that effectively quantifies the impact that your spending has on the world.
Stories & Examples
- Toy manufacturer LEGO has invested $150 million in a massive initiative to find a more sustainable material with which to manufacture its iconic products.
- To counter the perception that home goods brand Ikea’s products are so cheap they are disposable, the brand has launched several pilot programs across the world to encourage consumers to give back their furniture for a voucher, after which the retailer will either recycle it or sell the furniture “as-is.”
- Patagonia encourages its customers to save and recycle their products, and even created their own online marketplace called “Worn Wear” for customers to resell their used gear for others to enjoy.
- Fast fashion retailer H&M hosts an annual contest for startups developing technologies to help make fashion greener.