Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Social License to Operate

A social license to operate is an intangible, fragile thing - an extension of Good Will in businesses. It depends on perception, communication, transparency and community values. I suspect though that it will be a pretty good indicator of the future viability of a company. I've done my rant about the ills of decoupling money from the goods and services it represents; now I'm thinking that a method of assessing and recording the social license might be as important as the current accounting of a company when due diligence is done.

A system of assessment would need to be agile and flexible to allow for lots of different situations and technologies, and would need to be able to cross national borders. It needs to be community based and not an arm of a multinational company. In other words it needs to be crowd sourced and used. And verified - no one wants a good company ruined by false information or misrepresentation.

Should an individual self assess? What is my long term philosophy?
I think in future rubbish will be more expensive than recycling
Recycled will be cheaper than virgin materials
Renewable should mean just that - consumption no greater that the earth's replacement capacity - with a bit built in for resilience and global repair.

Kiri and Jamie's Tea light holder
And where do I stand? A long way behind my own standards: this little item in cast glass doesn't just have glass manufacture and a kiln firing - there's a pile of waste mould material I have to answer for - how can that be re-used or recycled? I should get back to carving wood!

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