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How the 'Certification Revolution' is Transforming Global Corporations
Making responsible social and environmental choices has not always been a first priority for many corporations, but recent history has changed all that. Small but mighty NGOs, using 21st Century global communications, are nipping at the heels of corporations caught in unethical and irresponsible practices.
NGO "market campaigns" are moving these companies toward the higher standard now demanded by their clients, their consumers, and society as a whole. The lever that moves these giants is the risk of destroying their carefully built "brands" if they fail to recognize their "moral liability" and clean up their practices.
Branded! outlines the ability of NGOs to affect corporate markets. It shows how the development of certification systems for corporate social and environmental practices has created some intriguing questions:
- Why are retail giants paying premiums for ethically-produced products and not overcharging their customers?
- How have NGOs gained such power and credibility?
- What are the challenges of these new modes of corporate accountability for both NGOs and corporations?
- What are the unexpected opportunities for newly accountable corporations?
Branded! is a "must-read" book for corporate executives, NGOs and concerned consumers. It is rich with vignettes of firms, NGOs, campaigns, failures, successes, memorable personalities and hard-fought battles.
Michael E. Conroy is an economist who taught for 25 years at the University of Texas. He has spent 12 years in various philanthropic positions in support of certification systems and serves on the boards of several key organizations in the certification field.