Hazel Henderson, founder of Ethical Markets Media Certified B Corporation, is an author and long-time science policy advisor who, as a futurist, saw the need for new standards and metrics for the burgeoning green economy. As a result, in 2004 she launched Ethical Markets as a B Corp, which is a hybrid organization focused on social benefit beyond the traditional corporate form that has one goal of maximizing profit.
"As a futurist, you always try to be 10 years ahead of where you think the market is, so we can create new markets," she said. "We are a professional network of ethical green investors, asset managers and green entrepreneurs. As a B Corporation, we are not interested in growing in the traditional sense of getting a bigger building. We want to replicate our cultural DNA and we do that, in part, through licensing our intellectual property."
Ethical Markets seeks to reform markets and metrics while accelerating the growth of the green, sustainable, worldwide economy. It does that in several ways. It serves a watchdog function in addition to promulgating industry standards and providing tools to the finance industry that allows it to better understand the growing green economy.
"The Green Transition Scoreboard is one standard," Henderson explained. "We've tracked since 2007 all the private investments going into wind, solar and other green energy and technologies. Other standards we promulgate are what represents a green company and what technology standards we recognize as part of the new green economy. Since 2007, $7.1 trillion has been invested globally in the green economy cumulatively to date. What is useful for companies that refer to this data is that you can't find it on the usual financial shows because their advertisers, and the model that stock analysts use, are all still based on fossil fuels."
Henderson's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to make sure you are filling a real need. "Have a very clear goal of what service you want to provide," she said. "The genius of private markets is that they operate eventually by serving some real need. All markets rely on one important thing – trust. Look out there to see if anyone else is providing a solution to the need you've identified. If you find no one is providing the solution, then launch your organization."
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