People often ask us how we select our companies. We understand your curiosity. Greenwashing has become so popular in marketing communication, it’s now difficult tosee the difference between true eco-friendly intentions and false money-fuelled intentions. To explain our selection method, we must first take a step back and ask ourselves the following question: What are our true aspirations for these companies?
Changing an economy that “always wants more”
We want to fix the economy. An economy can be defined as the production, distribution and consumption of nature’s wealth and goods in a society. The problem? The largecompanies that run it “always want more.” They’re always looking to maximize their profits for the benefit of an even smaller group. And to maximize profits, they must keep selling more, while lowering production costs. Businesses are therefore increasingly exploiting resources, humans and all living things. “Always wanting more in a world with limited resources … something doesn’t add up.
They're not all bad!
Companies that aren’t trapped by dogma, they exist. If they took on a larger role in today’s economy, they could change the worrisome direction we’re heading in. And that's what we believe in. In our ecosystem, we want companies that don’t sell products or services solely for profit. We want companies that tackle an environmental or societal issue, and operate with the goal of resolving said issue. They don’t sell to sell, they sell to make a change. This change addresses a problem we all face: you, me, a community, an ecosystem, the Earth. Now, that’s what we call impact.
Changing someone’s life = impact
The impact can be positive (improvement) or negative (deterioration). A business always negatively, and sometimes positively, impacts the Earth, humans, and all living things. For lack of something better, society has so far contented itself with companies that limit some of their negative impacts (when it's not all #greenwashing talk). We care about potential positive impacts, while paying attention to the negative ones.
What we look for
First off, we determine whether the organization's goal is to solve a societal or environmental problem. This translates to a clearly defined mission, a thorough understanding of the targeted problem, in addition to activities that help resolve said problem.
On an impact scale, companies that contribute solutions are often the most committed. That’s the case for Envie Autonomie , a company that addresses labour market exclusion and the need for affordable medical equipment, and Plastic Bank , a business that’s creating a new plastic recycling market. But that doesn’t mean other companies should be forgotten.
Businesses that keep humans and the Earth healthy are also welcome! That’s the case for Tentree, a brand that sells eco-friendly clothes and plants trees, Kataba , a business that locally manufactures furniture thanks to fairly paid artisans, and Biocoop , a company that distributes organic products.
Let's remember, we can’t change an economy with only a few market leaders. Instead, we must adopt an approach that includes all those who want to contribute and make a difference. We therefore also accept businesses that meet our basic needs, while respecting others, the Earth and all living things, concretely committed to improving overtime. It seems logical, but we automatically refuse companies if we believe they mostly have a negative impact. These companies are generally part of the following sectors: tobacco, drugs, pornography, gambling, weapons, nuclear and fossil fuels. Similarly, we won’t consider companies with religious or political missions.
Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals
We then want to know how companies will help solve the targeted problem. To standardize targeted problems, we use the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, a list of societal objectives the world committed to achieving by 2030. Because good intentions must translate into actions, we at impak believe that if a company truly wants to make a change, at least 50% of its activities will contribute to achieving said change. Stay tuned, we’ll soon provide a more detailed explanation using different businesses as examples. Join companies that have taken positive action to control their impact, and create your account today to suggest impact companies.