Why Reporting 3.0 could mend the “broken” economic model highlighted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Why sustainability specialist Nicola Stopps thinks a new economic model could provide what human beings need from a financial system.
Capitalism in Britain is broken and needs urgent reform because it is leaving young people worse off than their parents, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has said. The most senior figure in the Church of England wrote in the Financial Times that Britain’s “broken” economic model was leaving younger generations behind. Many, including myself, share his sentiments. The “broken” model to which he refers would appear to be the “brown” economy, in which so many countries – not only the UK – have lived and relied upon so heavily, thanks to a dependency on fossil fuels, consumption of which has resulted in environmental degradation and a society that has focused on economic growth as the measure for future economic performance over social and natural resources’ development.
Adopting the “green” economy approach is now being seen as the way to achieving greater environmental, social and economic benefits as it makes for a more inclusive and open global economy. And this is why the framework Reporting 3.0 is fast earning a reputation as the economic model best positioned to help reach this goal.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 4th International Reporting 3.0 Conference in Amsterdam in May, where some of the world’s leading minds gathered to outline an agenda for triggering the emergence of a regenerative and distributive global economy through reporting, accounting, data and new business models. (Incidentally, as a result of the truly pioneering and innovative thinking and concepts what were delivered at the Conference, Simply Sustainable is now an Advocation Partner for Reporting 3.0. This means we have the opportunity to participate and benefit from Reporting 3.0’s Business Model and Accounting Blueprints and disseminate the exciting and forward-thinking learning and recommendations from its blueprinting activities to our clients and the wider business community).
The current “brown” economic system framework has so far not allowed sustainability to lead by allowing the financial system to act only in service of a ‘capitalist’ economy and nothing else. Reporting 3.0 gives a blueprint for business to consider wider impacts, or a multicapital approach, on all organisational stakeholders (Reporting 3.0 refers to the latter as “rightsholders” reflecting a move away from the typically narrow definition of the former which has become the norm), within the context of issues such as planetary boundaries and social thresholds.
Now, more than ever, is the time for business to lead the way with a financial system that will provide what human beings need from a financial system: to create meaningful jobs, decent work for all those who want it, one which closes the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, and which creates a lasting and ultimately sustainable, society.
As a final parting word, let’s not forget that before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby was an oil executive with considerable experience of understanding how economies and financial markets can be easily destabilized by changes in the price of oil and the huge impact made globally on the world by the sector in which he worked, be it environmentally, financially or societally. As such, his response to the current economic model should not be taken lightly.
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