Business as a force for good
- Content Overview: Poster
- Framing Questions
- Point of Departure
- Situating Frameworks in the Certified Benefit Corporation Movements
- Focus Questions
- Next Steps
- Annotated Bibliography
Descriptive: What strategies have businesses adopted to be a force for good? Explanatory: Where did the desire to be a force for good emerge from? Evaluative: Are these strategies for good an effective method to address social inequalities and environmental degradation occurring in the neoliberal market? Framing Question: How, if it all, can businesses work for more than profit?
Point of Departure: Reimagining Capitalism
The proliferation of the neoliberal capitalist system has increased the international exchange of money and goods at the expense of people and the planet. Lack of government regulation and free market principles incentivize the pursuit of profit without regard for impact on the communities and ecosystems of which production depends. In the last decade, consumers and civil society groups have emerged to demand regulation of the market and transparency in corporations supply chains. In recognition of the failings of capitalism today, many economists and scholars have called for ‘green capitalism.’ Green capitalism considers ecosystems a wealth of natural capital, and demands governments regulate resources to preserve their future extraction (Scales, 2017). Classic environmentalist Garrett Hardin believed private property rights, administered under a centralized state, would reduce consumption-based collective-action problems and solve ecosystem degradation (Hardin, 1968). Today, green capitalism tends to refer to the maintenance of our current neoliberal capitalist system with various sustainable components, such as carbon trading and corporate social responsibility programs. Green capitalism fails to address the exploitative and consumption based system of capitalism itself.
There are three major flaws that suggest green capitalism is not an adequate response to the social and environmental problems we face today. First, green capitalism does not intend to transform or reform the system. It does not address that the system is based on exponential growth to maintain a profit, and the pursuit of profit at the expense of various communities, be those human and non-human actors. Second, green capitalism is inherently anthropocentric- it considers resources important to preserve only in their relation to future human profit. A more biocentric view, which includes ecosystems and humans as intrinsically valuable, is more holistic as it considers the impacts capitalism has on all stakeholders. Finally, green capitalism tends to only consider environmental resource impacts- not those impacts on people in production processes and those impacted by rising sea level and toxic waste dumping. Environmental justice is entirely missing from these conversations.
Despite these flaws, the colloquial use of green capitalism does recognize that the current system is unsustainable- the Earth simply can’t sustain business as usual. However, many struggle to identify how the capitalist system can be transformed for the benefit of human and non-human actors. Borrowing from ecotopian literature, theorist David Pepper discusses the creation of transgressive spaces which seek to ground utopian hopes with socio-ecological conditions (Pepper, 2005). By grounding desire for a transformed capitalist system consider the material reality of today, there is a possibility to make change. I argue that social justice interventions at large, be that civil society naming and shaming, voluntary standards and certifications, states increasing regulation, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs responding to consumer demands, all create transgressive spaces which support the transformation of our system to work for the global good. In order to identify avenues for change, we must first identify the major actors of the neolierbal capitalist system.
How, if at all, can businesses work for more than profit?
The neoliberal capitalist imaginary posits that there are three powerful interactions which shape the modern world: the state, the market, and civil society. The state’s primary role is to provide stability, law and order, and ensure the market behaves humanely (Dabhi, 2005). However, free market capitalism of the mid 20th century had elevated market concerns above citizens, and to a certain degree, the state too (Fletcher, 2015). The state, influenced by vested interests of corporations and foreign relations, does not always act in the interests of citizens (Dabhi, 2005). Civil society emerged amid rising concern over the colonising forces of market and state. Comprised primarily of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, and issue networks, civil society ensures transparency and accountability, increasingly occupying a governance role in the neoliberal system. Historically, individuals have been excluded entirely from this tripartite economy or lumped with civil society. However, given the increasing legitimacy of civil society and the rise of mass consumerism, and thus demand power, I identify a fourth major actor in this imaginary- individuals. This distinction is important because of the vastly different role each plays. Civil society organizations create and enforce regulations on government and market actors. Individuals, meanwhile, consume the material and ideological goods produced by civil society organizations and the market. By discussing the necessary interactions of the neoliberal capitalist economy most powerful actors, this thesis seeks to determine the most effective social justice intervention to transform the system entirely.
In the context of resource degradation, climate change, and rising inequality, and given the failures of governments to protect citizens and the planet on which we depend, this paper examines the modern capitalist triad of state- market- civil society- individual to evaluate the potential of businesses to work for more than profit. ‘More than profit’ refers to an economic system where social and environmental conditions of production are included in business decisions, rather than displaced as externalities. Capitalist institutions will likely not reform themselves to give equal weight to economic, environmental and social justice goals. With the increased subordination of state governance to the neoliberal economic agenda, competition and market deregulation is prioritized. However, conventional economic growth and environmental protection are incompatible. Given the markets immense power in the current system, this thesis weaves corporation among the other major actors in our world economy- states, civil society organizations and individuals, to determine how these actors can assist in the transformation of neoliberal institutions.
This framework includes theories of the state, market, civil society, and the individual. Multi Level Environmental Governance (MLEG) represents a shift in power from a centralized state to various forms of governance at different scales and institutions. Concern for the international nature of environmental concerns and demand for international agreements, MLEG reflects the changing nature of state control. Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and programs are an attempt by business to self regulate. These programs typically focus on compliance with existing laws and adherence to voluntary standards, which corporations adopt to signal their commitment to issues at best or profit off increased prices, at worst. An increasing source of legitimacy in corporate regulation comes from Voluntary Sustainability Standard Setting Organizations and Voluntary Sustainability Standards that provide additional guidance on production processes and communicate product attributes to consumers. Lastly, ethical consumer movements uphold a market transformation with buy-in (literally and figuratively) from purchasers. By ‘voting with their dollars’ individuals signal to state, businesses, and civil society, that people demand corporations, and the capitalist system, work for more than profit. The proliferation of corporate business models that consider more than profit is inextricable from the other forces of the modern economy. The next section identifies various methods of social justice intervention to create a better word and how they interact.
State: Multi-Level Environmental Governance
Multi-Level environmental governance (MLEG) is understood as governance systems which operate in different spatial scales (local versus global) and institutions (state, market, and civil society). The global environmentals movements of the 1970s was marked by a specific concern over governance. Garrett Hardin’s tragedy of the commons described a future of resource depletion from self-interested users. Hardin’s solution to common-pool resources, appearing as climate change and ozone depletion, was the centralization of resource control by a state or other large governing body- this concept was widely adopted into practice by the US and Europe (Hardin, 1968). The United States began with governments regulating within their borders, including the United States seminal Clear Air and Water acts of the 1970s (Jordan and Benson, 2018). However with the rise of globalization and a recognition of increasingly cross-boundary environmental concerns, centralized systems of government gave way to new forms of governance. Today, MLEG take form in carbon markets, the United Nations Climate Change Conferences, and multilateral environmental agreements (Jordan and Benson, 2018). MLEG can often provide solutions to collective-action problems. They can also operate at various scales, responding to the strength of local governments and organizations. By doing so, governments can become more cost effective. Additionally, MLEG is be needed to address the redistribution of costs and benefits between parties given the globalization of environmental problems, and solutions, today.
The three major modes of governance include markets, networks, and communities. Markets refer to economic forces and the power of businesses such as setting industry standards or having working groups to problem solve. Networks are comprised of many sectors involved, including NGOs, non-profits, and other related non-state organizations. These organizations promote voluntary compliance and the meeting of standards above state minimums, and sometimes even the enforcement of state minimums (Cashore, 2002). Finally, communities refer to the actions of individuals. Public boycotts and youth climate strikes mobilize populations to demand regulation or provision. Together, these promote global regulation, market-based approaches, and voluntary agreements (Jordan and Benson, 2018).
Given the proliferation of varying types and sources of environmental governance, coordination has become an essential component, and sometimes, a barrier. Communication within multi-level governance scheme is difficult, especially across international lines. The preferences of actors involved in decision making has the most impact on prescription outputs (Newig and Fritsch, 2009). Thus, to achieve high quality environmental governance, actors with various perspectives must be involved.
Multi-level governance is a clear indicator to the changing role of the state, where increased participation of non-state actors challenges traditional notions of autonomy. Bache and Flinder worry about the nature of democratic accountability is challenged too? (Bache and Flinders, 2014). Despite this relatively absolute look on MLEG, it doesn’t signify the ‘end of the state’ at all- the state continues to provide essential frameworks and functions. Rather, there is an expansion on what is considered legitimate governance, where civil society has an increasingly prominent role, as does the input of corporations and individuals. In recognizing the new dangers of industrial capitalism, states are faced with new demands which they don’t have the bandwidth, or were designed to solve. States can maintain authority by working with civil society networks and listening to the demands of citizens. Multi-level governance is essential in the ability of corporations to work for the global good- they must work within the market, with civil society, and the state.
Market: Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation that promotes businesses as responsible for their supply chain impacts on human and non-human actors. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) emerged in response to new ecology and labor rights movements following public concern for the Earth’s ability to sustain ‘business as usual’ into the future (Meadows et. al, 1972). Neoliberal deregulation resulted in the movement of many corporations production offshore to take advantage of lower environmental and social standards. Spurred by the Committee for Economic Development’s declared ‘social contract’ between business and society, consumers demanded businesses take ownership of their impacts (Committee for Economic Development, 1971). In the late 1980s there was a rise in market regulation, with the state still playing a diminished role. Rather, it was corporations that began self-regulating following consumer demand and NGO shaming campaigns. Author and businessman John Elkington coined the phrase “triple bottom line” in 1994 , referring to a new framework to evaluate the success of a business- does the bottom line consider social, environmental, and financial factors (Elkington, 1998)? Elkington claimed, along with other CSR advocates, that to succeed in the 21st century, businesses must adopt strategies such as these.
The legitimacy of CSR programs has long been questioned. Major critiques of the movement include it’s voluntary nature, relation to advertising, and dependence on consumer support. At an institutional level, CSR is market driven, meaning that anything beyond state regulation, which often operates at a minimum requirement, is voluntary and legally (Gordon, 2017 and Fransen, 2012). CSR departments are often situated in advertising or legal, acting primarily as a method to increase profits or avoid compliance issues, rather than true commitment to work beyond profits. Because CSR emerged largely as an insurance policy against NGO expose reporting, marketing as green becomes more central than the actual accomplishments (Luke, 2013). Critics of CSR programs believe they rarely result in meaningful change and are simply an advertising ploy for public approval. Businesses depend on consumer buy-in to adopt and maintain sustainable attributes.
Another failure of CSR is not CSR itself, but the lack of state involvement in businesses efforts towards sustainability. There is a clear disconnect between the role of state in governing corps and their role in CSR programs. This “missing link” between CSR (and associated reporting initiatives) and governance mechanisms that are capable of embracing stakeholder accountability. The effectiveness of CSR depends on a substantial force for better global corporate governance and accountability, be that nonprofits or state (Demirag, 2005).
The major critique of this article is the dichotomous representation of the CSR argument with corporations as the sole cause or solution regarding environmental degradation (Frederikson, 2018). However, businesses can, and often do, occupy both spaces at once. Corporations are inherently causal actors given their local in the neoliberal economic space, where accumulation of goods and profit is infinite. However, this does not mean they can’t limit their impact as many are. The other extreme considers businesses alone as the sole solution- again, this is improbable, as it ignores the various actors, including the states. It assumes there are inherent differences in state, market, and civil society, when in fact all of these factors interact. CSR could not succeed without the legitimization of voluntary sustainability standards and certifications or buy-in from consumers.
Civil Society: Voluntary Sustainability Standards
Standards and certification schemes are created by voluntary sustainability standards setting organizations (VSSSOs) to improve social and environmental impacts of production networks. Voluntary Sustainability Certifications (VSCs) provides guidelines to producing, selling, and purchasing in an effort to reduce negative environmental impacts and improve the lives of stakeholders (International Institute for Sustainable Development). The 21st century’s “certification revolution” has witnessed the emergence of hundreds of certifications, moving from niche economies into mainstream markets and certifying various goods, from coffee and apparel to buildings (Conroy, 2007). Primarily operating in the civil society sector, VSCs supply companies with a level of legitimacy through third-party verifications (Bennett, 2017). Certifications thus strengthen the reliability of market claims through increasingly independent monitoring and enforcement processes (Potts et al., 2014).
Businesses adopt voluntary standards and certifications for a variety of reasons. Certifications signal to stakeholders that a company is invested in some cause- often environmental or social rights. Early adopters suggests a stronger commitment than competitors. Businesses aim to benefit from certifications- the “business case for sustainability” suggests increased profits follow adoption of sustainability standards (Lahneman, 2018). This occurs because of the upcharging for eco-labels and the reputation boost. Finally, certifications ensure firms are in compliance with local laws, reducing risk for damaging name and shame campaigns (Lahneman, 2018). Certified products are distinguished by logos and stickers that inform consumers of the additional benefits products have achieved. Author and economist Michael Conroy believes brand identity is the essential component to certification- businesses adopt certifications to both retain their preferred image and align it more clearly with consumer preference (Conroy, 2007). Thus, there is rising concern over the effectiveness of voluntary standards given their relation to a brands image.
In recent years, certifications have been under fire for greenwashing, wherein standards are less robust and those promises of improved lives aren’t being achieved. Greenwashing is “any communication that misleads people into adopting overly positive beliefs about an organization’s environmental performance” (Bowen, 2018). Greenwashing includes selective disclosure, empty green claims, and misleading narrative and discourse and can occur by association with dubious certifications and labels, ineffective public voluntary programs, and NGO endorsements and partnerships.
Another major concern relates to the sheer number of certifications on the market- upwards of 400, and growing (International Institute for Sustainable Development). Companies are able to ‘shop for standards,’ adopting certifications with the lowest standards in order to gain consumer buy in. Integral to this process is the watering down of standards, where standards are made easier to achieve, sometimes influenced by industry groups. Given the number and breadth of certifications, it’s nearly impossible to determine the real impact. However, sectoral specific investigations reveal that, in general, certifications have modest, positive impacts (Elliot, 2018). However, the extent to which this goes depends on certifications. Coffee certification can have modest, positive effects with relatively few negative effects (Elliott, 2018). However, in the closely related tea industry, Fair Trade certification has had major negative impacts by undermining local law; the Fair Trade premium can be used to finance basic needs for workers, which, under law, ought to be required without the support a premium would provide (Besky, 2013). Certifications are not an imperfect solution.
Despite these concerns, sustainability standards and certifications have emerged as one of the most promising avenues to address the inequality of the market and protect people and the environment. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and ISEAL Alliance identified four primary attributes credible voluntary sustainability standards should include in order for business to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first is multi-stakeholder participation; standard should be developed through a process which involves businesses, civil society, and producers and local communities. Certifications should be transparent in how standards are applied and how decisions are made. Affective certifications must provide independent verification from an accredited, third party- auditor. And lastly, certifications must be geared towards continuous improvement, with annual review of standards to incorporation latest information and lessons learned (Ugarte, 2017)
The future effectiveness of these standards relies on their substantive components and avoidance of becoming watered down or adopted only as symbolic action. This must occur with the support of state and consumers. Gereffi et al. argues that states must accept certification as an opportunity to reinforce labor and environmental laws, rather than let standards override state authority (Gereffi, 2001). Standards alone cannot solve our issues, but the interaction of third party auditing, widespread VSSOs are an essential component of how businesses can work for global good- they provide frameworks and audits to legitimize corporations initiatives. Certifications, and businesses which utilize them, garner support of ethical consumers, who are willing to pay more for goods they believe are beneficial to their communities. Consumers are an essential component of the schemes- not only do NGOs rely on naming and shaming techniques, where consumers voice concerns in a public space, but they also utilize the power of the consumer dollar to impact supply, often what businesses consider the limiting factor to more responsible practices. Certifications operate as the middle-man which ties together businesses, consumers, and the state to a lesser degree.
Individuals: Ethical Consumerism
Ethical consumption emerged in the late 1970s as a type of political activism where global north consumers could “vote with their dollar” in favor of socially and environmentally responsible products. By focusing on the impact of household consumption, individuals could partake in more bottom-up approach rather than top-down state regulation (Carrier, 2010). Decision to boycott or buycott products with preferred attributes, such as fair trade principles, organically grown processes, working practices in developing nations, and the depletion of natural resources, means consumers can generate demand for ethical production (Scales, 2018). Decisions to purchase are based not only on the quality and price of goods, but on their moral attributes (Scales, 2018).
Ethical consumerism allows individuals to lead more moral lives and to use their purchases to affect the larger world by putting pressure on firms. Ethical consumption occurs when consumers have clear information regarding impacts of goods and services, (2) informed labels on products allow consumers to make preferred decisions and (3) producers of goods react to changing consumer demand by changing how they make goods (Scales, 2018). This assumes that in a competitive market, individuals have the power to demand corporations make changes to retain consumers (Carrier, 2010). Ethical products are communicated to consumers primarily through VSC’s and key words in advertising (such as natural or local) which signal to consumers the ‘ethicality’ of their purchases. Eco-labels represent the defetishization of a product- consumers can trust that positive relations exist with workers and the environment.
Ethical consumerism faces various challenges in today’s market. The saturation of green symbols has influenced consumers ability to discern between corporate appropriation of symbols and reference to authentic environmental improvement (Bowen, 2018). Additionally, the relationship between consumers and labels is based on the idea that labels ‘reveal’ the conditions under which a good was produced. Some authors suggest that ethical consumerism merely re-fetishzies a good, complacing the consumer and alleviating their guilt whilst having little to no impact on those producing their goods (Goodman, 2004). A second major concern is that ethical consumerism fails to apply sustained pressure to market forces given human imperfection. The ethical purchasing gap exists with a strong difference between an individual’s intention to consume ethically and their actual purchasing behavior. An Exploratory Study into the Factors Impeding Ethical Consumption found that price sensitivity, personal experience or knowledge of ethical consequences to purchasing, ethical obligation (which exhibited a contradiction between rhetoric and action), lack of information, quality perception (of ethical goods as both potentially better and worse than traditional goods), interia in purchasing behavior (wherein consumers purchase brands they trust), cynicism towards ethical claims as a marketing ploy, and the experience of guilt all result in consumers failure to purchase ethical alternatives (Bray et al., 2011). Thus, while individuals do have power to govern their decisions and influence markets, these are limited given the complexity of identifying true impact of labels and various concerns people face, including the ability to afford price-hikes given preferred attributes.
The most salient concern for ethical consumerism is the fear that it strengthens the belief that personal decisions are an adequate method to change the capitalist system which itself relies on continued production (Carrier, 2010). ‘Think globally, act locally’ emphasis the far reaching impacts individual lifestyle choices have. While the movement recognizes inherent connections in our globalized world, and empowers individuals into action, it may also limit action to continued activism. In industrialized societies, power lies with large producers and states. Producers and state government must work in concert with consumers to maximize the reach of ethical consumerism. In some states, this has looked like the banning of plastic bags or a store giving consumers .05 cents off their bill for bringing their own grocery bag. Many corporations claims ethical consumerism is the limiting factor to their sustainability programs- without consumer demand, or the guarantee that people will purchase higher priced goods, firms simply claim their consumer base isn’t interested, and support from upper level management or ownership can’t be earned. Similarly, voluntary standards and eco-labels rely on a globalized effort of both consumers and corporations willing to “do the right thing” (Poynton, 2015). These institutions cannot be extricated from one another.
Situating Frameworks in the Certified Benefit Corporation Movements
These theories encompass broad questions about the changing relationship between business, government, civil society, consumer activism and concerns rising out of globalization, stakeholder demand, and changing political values (Crane et al., 2008). The interplay of market responsibility, NGOs reporting on production, voluntary standard organizations providing legitimate standards to protect workers and environments, buy-in from consumers, and increased support from states suggest there is opportunity for the various components of the imaginary to create a ‘race to the top.’ The proliferation of more than profit depends on continued rigour and transparency of sustainability standards, businesses commitment to environmental goals, consumers vocalizing their needs and producers responding, and a rise in government partnership with all three entities to create legally binding and widley enforceable regulation, as well as support during the transition. Some argue for market accountability, where businesses face clear consequences for damage of the environment. Better business relies on the interaction of all actors of the modern world. Yet, this question is not one of mere utopias- it is happening now. All four of these actors converge in the relatively recent movement of benefit corporations. Benefit corporations, and Certified Benefit Corporations (Certified B Corp) seek to spread businesses for more than profit- businesses for good through VSC’s, ethical consumerism, and multi-level governance with new state level enforcement of certification.
Benefit Corporations and the Certified B Corp Movement
The B Corp Certification movement harnesses the power of business to transform the global economy into a force for good. For-profit businesses earn Certified B Corp status through an online and third-party environmental and social standards assessment by B Lab, the associated non-profit which creates and enforces standards. Corporations must earn a minimum score based on existing performance and must amend their legal governing documents to require their board of directors to balance profit and purpose. This creates ‘benefit businesses’ where shareholders are legally bound to concerns other than profit. The B Corp Certifications connection to state law makes it the first certification to create lawful obligation of businesses to uphold certification demand.
The benefit corporation status is a for-profit corporation that legally defines positive impacts on community and the environment as part of a corporation’s best interest, meaning that shareholders cannot sue for mismanagement of the corporation includes community in its mission. The first benefit corporation law passed in the United States in 2010; 35 states now have such legislation, with British Columbia the only local outside the US to pass such legal standing (Benefit Corporation 101). B Corp Certification is to spread the law internationally. The private sector, a combination of NGO and market forces, has expressed concerted effort to influence the state into more regulation.
To fulfill the performance requirement for B Corp Certification, a company must complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA). This 200 question platform measures a company’s positive impact on workers, community, customers and the environment. B Corp Certification requires a minimum verified total score of 80 across all impact areas. The independent Standards Advisory Council at B Lab reviews the assessment and provides a final score. Upon verification, companies must then change legal protections for decisions based on the interests of stakeholders, not just shareholders. B Corp emphasizes a certification which desires continued improvements- support and tools intent to set-goals and get businesses on track to improve. Recertification is mandated every 3 years, and every year the B Corp changes slightly, with a new emphasis given changing trends in business. Thus companies must continue to improve or there assessment score may change over time. B Certified Corporations are those which adhere both to state legal requirements but also go beyond to meet requirements regarding governance, workers, community, and the environment.
B Corp Certification operates as the pinnacle of social justice movements which address all four components of modern society. The certification takes place within multilevel environmental governance, is itself a voluntary standard setting organization and a voluntary sustainability certification, is a major component of many corporate social responsibility practices, and is supported only by the buy-in from individuals that consumers are willing to pay more. An important processes within these interactions is the reproduction of trust. The entire system relies on trust. Businesses trust in the certification body or internal initiative to provide a standard and label which sells, while consumers trust the certification to deliver the ideas they believe it represents, and trust the businesses to only sell products with verified ethical attributes. A certified business, or one which sells certified products, becomes a space where a consumer does not have to engage with their actions, but can trust the businesses to provide them both the ethical products they wish to support and the personal identity they desire to obtain. B Corporations are an emerging method to support businesses working for the global good by working within the various levels of the market, the state, and civil society.
My thesis at large questions the ability of modern state components to transform the system- and the B Corp Movement may be an example of a transgressive space in which a new purpose for business arises. When benefit corporations work for ‘more than profit’ they are transforming capitalist norms by grounding hope for a better future in socio-ecological and material conditions/realities. The question regarding the limitations of such transgressive spaces remains. If benefit corporations represent a transformation of the liberal-economic system, just how effective is the movement in creating change?
Descriptive: How does the B Corp Certification provide businesses the opportunity to include more than profit into business objectives? Explanatory: Why did the B Corp certification arise? Why do businesses become B Corp certified over other eco-certifications? How does B corp certification compare to the legal benefit corporation status? How does B Corp Certification interact with state, market, civil society, and people? Evaluative: How is B Corp Certification succeeding and/or failing at creating a new economic system of businesses which creates benefit for all stakeholders? How, if at all, can businesses work for more than profit?Instrumental: How can Certified B Corporations harness market, state, civil society, and consumer power to transform the global economy into one which considers more than profit?
The next stage of this project is the execution of my research project. I am interested in examining how scores for Certified B Corps change between recertifications. I hope to gather the scores of all Portland, Oregon Certified B Corporations that have recertified at least once to n, or determine if the certification, or benefit corporation status, is related to continued improvements of social and environmental standards. Regardless of my final methodology, I am spending the next two months learning from various champions of the B Corp movement and benefit businesses to determine how the B Corp Certification movement interacts with the neoliberal capitalist imaginary.
Bache, Ian, and Matthew Flinders. 2014. Multi-Level Governance. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press.
“Benefit Corporation 101.Pdf.” n.d. Accessed December 1, 2019. https://benefitcorp.net/sites/default/files/Benefit%20Corporation%20101.pdf?_ga=2.82131030.1756533498.1575259199-899919440.1575259199.
Bennett, Elizabeth A. 2017. “Who Governs Socially-Oriented Voluntary Sustainability Standards? Not the Producers of Certified Products.” World Development 91 (March): 53–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.10.010.
Besky, Sarah. n.d. The Darjeeling Distinction – Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press.
Bowen, Frances. 2018. “Greenwashing.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James Proctor. Routledge.
Bray, Jeffery, Nick Johns, and David Kilburn. 2011. “An Exploratory Study into the Factors Impeding Ethical Consumption.” Journal of Business Ethics 98 (4): 597–608. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0640-9.
Carrier, James G. 2010. “Protecting the Environment the Natural Way: Ethical Consumption and Commodity Fetishism.” Antipode 42 (3): 672–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2010.00768.x.
Cashore, Benjamin. 2002. “Legitimacy and the Privatization of Environmental Governance: How Non–State Market–Driven (NSMD) Governance Systems Gain Rule–Making Authority.” Governance 15 (4): 503–29. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0491.00199.
Conroy, Michael. 2007. “Branded! How the ‘Certification Revolution’ Is Transforming Global Corporations.” In . New Society Publishers.
Crane, Andrew, McWilliams, Abagail, Matten, Dirk, Moon, Jeremy, and Stegel, Donald. 2008. The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dabhi, Jimmy. 2005. “State, Market and Civil Society in the Era of Globalisation.” Social Change 35 (1): 35–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/004908570503500104.
Demirag, Istemi. 2005. Corporate Social Responsibility, Accountability and Governance: Global Perspectives. Routledge.
Elkington, John. 1998. “Partnerships from Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st-Century Business.” Environmental Quality Management 8 (1): 37–51. https://doi.org/10.1002/tqem.3310080106.
Elliott, Kimberly Ann. 2018. “What Are We Getting from Voluntary Sustainability Standards for Coffee?” CGD Policy Paper. Washington, DC: Center for Global Development, 34.
Fletcher, Robert. 2015. “NatureTM Inc.: Nature as Neoliberal Capitalist Imaginary.” In .
Fransen, L. 2012. “Multi-Stakeholder Governance and Voluntary Programme Interactions: Legitimation Politics in the Institutional Design of Corporate Social Responsibility.” Socio-Economic Review 10 (1): 163–92. https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwr029.
Frederiksen, Tomas. 2018. “Corporate Environmental Responsibility.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James Proctor, 581–85. Routledge.
Gereffi, Gary, Ronie Garcia-Johnson, and Erika Sasser. 2001. “The NGO-Industrial Complex,” 10.
Goodman, Michael. 2004. “Reading Fair Trade: Political Ecological Imaginary and the Moral Economy of Fair Trade Foods.” Political Geography 23 (September): 891–915. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2004.05.013.
Gordon, Jennifer. 2017. “The Problem with Corporate Social Responsibility.” Fordham University School of Law.
Hardin, Garrett. 1968. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162 (3859): 1243–48. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.162.3859.1243.
Jordan, Andrew, and David Benson. 2018. “Multi-Level Environmental Governance.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Hulme Mike, Noel Castree, and James Proctor. Routledge.
Lahneman, Brooke. 2018. “Environmental Certifications and Standards.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James Proctor. Routledge.
Luke, Timothy W. 2013. “Corporate Social Responsibility: An Uneasy Merger of Sustainability and Development: Corporate Social Responsibility: An Uneasy Merger.” Sustainable Development 21 (2): 83–91. https://doi.org/10.1002/sd.1558.
Meadows, D et. al. 1972. “The Limits to Growth; a Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind.” New York: Universe Books.
Newig, Jens, and Oliver Fritsch. 2009. “Environmental Governance: Participatory, Multi-Level – and Effective?” Environmental Policy and Governance 19 (3): 197–214. https://doi.org/10.1002/eet.509.
Pepper, David. 2005. “Utopianism and Environmentalism.” Environmental Politics 14 (1): 3–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/0964401042000310150.
Potts, Jason, Matthew Lynch, Ann Wilkings, Huppe, Gabriel, Cunningham, Maxine, and Voora, Vivek. 2014. The State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014: Standards and the Green Economy. Winnipeg; London, England: The State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI). https://www.iisd.org/pdf/2014/ssi_2014.pdf.
Poynton, Scott. 2015. Beyond Certification. UK: Greenleaf Publishing Limited.
Scales, Ivan. 2018. “Green Consumption.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James Proctor. Eds Hulme, Castree,. Routledge.
“Social Responsibilites of Business Corporations.” 1971.
Ugarte, Sergio et al. 2017. “SDGs Mean Business: How Credible Standards Can Help Companies Deliver the 2030 Agenda.” Gland, Switzerland: World Wide Fund For Nature. http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/2017_wwf_sdgs.pdf.
“Voluntary Sustainability Standards.” 2015. December 6, 2015. https://www.iisd.org/topic/standards.