Corporate Honesty Scoreboard
In This Episode
Companies make promises about cutting emissions, plastic production, and investing back into the environment all the time.
Do we see them sticking to these promises? How do we even know if they are doing what they said they would?
Without proper transparency or accountability, companies continue to get away with generating masses of waste and pollution everyday that goes in to the soil, air, and water that we live from.
Just open Amazon and you’ll see much of it is in the name of single-use, low-value junk that has little to no marginal benefit for anybody aside from the pockets of shareholders.
Capitalism has been fundamental to human progress, but the old way is no longer optimal. And so the question now for us is—how might we redesign capitalism to be more holistic and in tune with the planet?
We propose an online scoreboard that ranks companies based on their impact on the planet.
Imagine a website where you can see the actual, real time waste/pollution creation and natural resource usage of every major brand out there.
From there you would be able to see what the company has promised in terms of reducing their impact on the planet, and what their actual progress is towards those goals (based on real time production data)—an “honesty ranking”, if you will.
By seeing more clearly who is honest and who is not, you as a consumer get to make far more informed decisions about where you spend your money. Your money becomes a tool to directly reward sustainable behavior, putting a new level of power back in the hands of citizens.
Overall, the public visibility afforded by the platform would incentivize greater follow-through on corporate promises and less room for greenwashing than the current paradigm.
1. Corporate Honesty Scoreboard
An online dashboard ranking all companies against their promises to cut emissions, plastic, waste etc.
- Companies first commit to putting all production on-chain by issuing digital twins (NFTs) for every item they produce.
- This means things like total materials usage, emissions, plastic production, and waste are measured live and made available as public data. This can be done today using blockchain technology.
- This data is aggregated and displayed in the context of each company’s promises to do better vis-a-vis the environment and other impact metrics, giving everyone the ability to see who is leading and who is lagging.
- As consumers choose to spend more with those leading the way and less with negligent laggards, companies are increasingly incentivised to incorporate sustainable practices into their operations.
2. CSR Lock-Ins
A feature where companies lock in money as bets on their CSR commitments, which pay out to a good cause if they fall short.
- Instead of just making promises without being held accountable, companies put their money where their mouth is and invest into a smart contract tied to each CSR commitment.
- If they meet their CSR goals they receive the cash back, if not the funds get automatically paid out to a pre-defined cause e.g. regenerating the forest.
- Amounts invested are publicly visible, so the platform could be used by the public to set challenges for companies to meet specific targets.
- In this way, this could become a platform for companies to launch and manage all aspects of their corporate commitments.
3. DAO-Funded Verification
Each corporate commitment is set up as a DAO that supports its own network of verifiers, auditors etc.
- The trickiest part of this whole concept is verification. A company can say that each shoe they make contains 30g of plastic but how do you verify that? There needs to be a universally agreed upon form of measurement.
- One way to handle verification would be to spin each cash-backed corporate commitment off into its own DAO. The fund would supports its own network of verifiers and auditors to do the work on ensuring production data is valid and accurate.
Absent some sort of government intervention, this concept requires companies to voluntarily put their production on-chain.
To get momentum towards this way of doing business, it would first need a few forward-thinking brands to recognize the business case and embrace this level of transparency before competitors would follow suit.
Companies like Patagonia already do something similar with their annual sustainability report. This takes it one step further.
You can imagine someone like Nike stepping up to lead the way, committing to put all production on-chain and holding itself publicly accountable against its stated CSR commitments. Soon you’d have all the other sneaker giants following suit in a race to the bottom in terms of environmental impact.
Which companies do you think are most likely to lead the way in this type of honest capitalism?
This design solution was conceived during the Modern Mantra Podcast. Listen or watch now.
What are we missing here? What would you do differently? Share your thoughts.
Believe that this concept should actually exist? Co-design it with us.