Some fundamental obstacles prevent most big companies adopting methods or business models that are more sustainable. C Corporation company directors have their hands tied by legal requirements to maximise shareholder value. Stock markets appear to believe shareholder value is entwined with relentless growth targets. Though too many companies chasing growth in a world of finite resources is unsustainable. Prize challenges accelerate sustainable business growth.
Since 2007, an alternative B Corporation structure allows businesses to also incorporate social and environmental impact factors alongside financial returns in their articles of association (articles of incorporation in North America). These articles set out a company’s constitution and the responsibilities of its directors. Both B and C Corps are realising that crowdsourcing initiatives through open innovation and prize challenges for sustainability can boost their social, environmental and reputational returns.
Under B Corp articles, the purpose of a for-profit company is able to be more than making money for shareholders. Nevertheless, it has to make enough money to remain solvent and accomplish its sustainable social and environmental aims. Some call it eco-capitalism.
This article was first published by Crowdsourcing Week, and please continue reading it at https://crowdsourcingweek.com/blog/crowdsourcing-innovation-and-prize-challenges-for-sustainability/