Remaking the Economy For the Common Good

Alberto Manchado, coodinator, EBC Girona

Alberto Manchado, coodinator, EBC Girona

Yesterday myself and Kevin Flanagan of the P2P Foundation had the pleasure of attending a presentation on the Economy For the Common Good at an open day hosted by XES, the Xarxa d’Economia Solidària, a Catalan organisation linked with the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC).

A standout item in this presentation by Alberto Manchado of the Girona branch of ‘Economia del Bé Comù‘ was the concept of the Common Good Balance Sheet, a matrix which allows organisations to be evaluated not according to economic criteria but by how much they give to and preserve the commons by what they do.

The Financial Times’ Chris Bryant has produced an article (pdf version) about the Common Good Balance Sheet:

“This reporting innovation is perhaps better described as a scorecard. It awards participating companies points based on the extent to which they have acted in a humane, co-operative, sustainable, just and democratic manner. There are minus points for violating labour standards, pollution, unequal pay for women and using tax havens. An external auditor assesses the company’s dealings with suppliers, investors, staff, customers and the community according to a prescribed matrix of criteria, then awards an overall score – the maximum is 1,000 points.”

We feel this way of rating organisations, based on the work of Christian Felber could become very influential for organisations seeking to show their ethical credentials; for example the German enterprise Fairmondo, seeking to build an ethical version of an online marketplace similar to eBay has already produced their own Common Good Balance Sheet.