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This Good World

February 05, 2014
tags:#Green Economy
by:Itai Lahat
Last April, the U.S. research firm Harris Interactive, released the results of a survey about the readiness of consumers to pay more for green products.

The Intriguing results sparked great interest in the world. The researchers' conclusion was that consumers are willing to pay more for green products, up to 20 % more. For example, 64 % of them were willing to pay more for an electric car, 63% are willing to pay more for organic, local or fair trade certified food. 62 % would be happy to pay more for environmentally friendly cleaning products and on general 57% are willing to pay more for products that come from recycling. These consumers were nicknamed “ethical consumers ", a term that is wider than ecological awareness. It contains deep social values, as well as an environmentally friendly approach.

The challenge for these consumers is finding the right place to purchase the products that meet their criteria. Ethical consumers are forced to make numerous in-depth market research, digging through the information on the web and taking the time to locate a suitable business in their local environment. Those businesses that meet the new consumer ideology fall into a general category that received the name "good doers“. While Google seeks to do no evil, the “good doers” choose a more active approach of doing good.

Those businesses that inspire to grow are a part of the B Corporations movement, which is gathering momentum. B Corporations are businesses which want to grow, not only seeking to be the best in the world, but also the best to the world. This business community, that promotes values such as environment, community, transparency and accountability, is slightly different from the “average” corporation. While corporations are implementing environmental programs and social responsibility to offset damages that they themselves caused to the environment and society, certified B corporations are demanded to stand the most rigorous certification program, and make an effort not to cause at all those preliminary damages in need of repair by the programs mentioned above.

Gavin Thomas and LisaKribs-LaPierre, are two young American entrepreneurs who have decided to facilitate ethical consumers and good doers’ businesses under the same roof. The couple, who have gained much experience in recent years in the field of B Corporations, established a website called This Good World to fill a dual purpose: to provide the ethical business with exposure and at the same time give ethical consumers an easy way to find such businesses. The site achieves this by using a geographical interface that allows users to search for such a business in their local regions. In the future it will also allow for businesses to collaborate with each other and create new projects. At this point in time, the use for customers is free, but businesses are required to pay an annual fee ranging from 0 to 2500USD per year, depending on the size of the business.

While the site is still in preliminary stages, it already has a list of several hundred small and medium sized businesses, for now only in the United States. Residents of Boulder can find a small cleaning company from their city, which uses only ecological cleaning materials while a significant portion of its profit goes to providing free cleaning services for women undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Another company in Seattle, producing branded apparel and equipment for men, enters the list due to its insistence to only produce locally and use local raw materials. The brand, which is strongly opposed to worker exploitation, pays its employees premium production salaries, and produces its orders in the factory nearest to the customer’s location, thus saving pollution due to transportation. There are many other companies that find their ways to do good, way before they start to offset harm. Hopefully this trend will only increase.

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itai portray 2
Itai Lahat