FAQs

FAQs2020-05-16T21:46:24+02:00
Is the ECG necessary despite all the existing CSR programs?2020-04-09T22:00:37+02:00

Most CSR tools have shown to be ineffective because critical requirements are not fulfilled. The ECG has defined the following requirements for effective CSR:

  1. Holistic approach (covers basic constitutional values)
  2. Comprehensive
  3. Measurable
  4. Comparable
  5. Understandable
  6. External audit
  7. Legally binding
What’s the difference between Ecosocial Market Economy and the Economy for the Common Good?2020-04-29T23:46:00+02:00

The Economy for the Common Good aims for an ecological, social, solidary, democratic, and humane economy.

The Ecosocial Market Economy aims for social and ecological factors, but basically remains a capitalistic market economy with the paradigm of financial growth and competition.

Is it realistic to establish co-determination in companies?2020-04-29T23:46:53+02:00

Many countries already require co-determination in large companies (such as worker’s council and worker representation on the board of directors). ECG calls for expanding co-determination for three reasons:

  1. Human dignity requires all people who are involved in or are directly affected by a project to be involved in the decision-making process.
  2. Empirical research shows that worker participation leads to better results, more identification with the company, more motivation and more productivity.
  3. Co-determination eliminates the concentration of power within companies.

The ECG suggests that democratic structures are supported in small companies and should be legally required in large corporations.

Is it realistic to have an economy without competition?2020-04-29T23:47:15+02:00

Aggressive competition has many disadvantages in comparison to cooperative behavior. Rewards should be given for cooperation instead of for competitive behavior. Studies show that cooperation motivates more than competition. Cooperation works through good relationships, whereas competition is based on stress, burnout, mobbing, etc.

Who checks the results of a Common Good Balance Sheet?2020-04-29T23:47:35+02:00

The Common Good Balance Sheet is checked by independent, certified ECG auditors.

A peer-reviewed evaluation is a first step to a full audit and gives companies the opportunity to learn from each other.

What are the advantages for companies when they draw up a Common Good Balance Sheet?2020-04-29T23:48:00+02:00

Based on feedback from companies the following seven advantages have become evident:

  1. The process of creating a Balance Sheet motivates workers and business leaders to actively participate in the transformation of the economic system.
  2. The Common Good Balance Sheet is a high quality management tool giving a 360-degree view, which shows in which areas the company can operate more ethically.
  3. It is a platform for like-minded people where companies support each other in all aspects from industry know how to human resources to finances.
  4. The companies are more attractive for potential employees and for existing staff.
  5. Conscious consumers prefer ECG companies.
  6. Local governments can provide subsidies to ECG companies.
  7. Companies that draw up a Common Good Balance Sheet, before it is required by law, will have the “first mover advantage”.
I’d like to receive updates and find out more about the ECG. Can I sign up for a newsletter?2020-05-20T12:00:54+02:00

Yes, here.

How can I contribute to the ECG?2020-04-29T23:48:51+02:00

You can support the ECG movement by becoming a member and/or donating money to the ECG. We always need people who actively support the work of the ECG. You can contribute at local events or you can use your professional knowledge and experience for the ECG, e.g. if you are in IT, marketing, fundraising, etc.

Where do I become a member, with the local chapter, the national association or the international federation?2020-04-29T23:49:19+02:00

You become a member with the association in your area.

Do I have to become a member right away?2020-04-29T23:49:53+02:00

You are welcome to get involved in a Local Chapter or attend ECG events without becoming a member. It would be great, though, if you show your commitment by becoming a member to help cover the movement’s expenses.

How can I adopt the concept of the ECG in to my work in politics?2020-04-29T23:50:51+02:00

ECG has made amazing inroads in politics across the spectrum. Find out more about our work and how to implement ECG in legislation here.

I want to write an article about the ECG. Do you have a media kit?2020-05-26T09:22:01+02:00

Yes. You can download the ECG Media Briefing here.

I want to produce a movie about the ECG. Whom can I contact?2020-04-29T23:52:53+02:00

Please get in touch with press@ecogood.org

Whom can I contact to discuss some issues about the Economy for the Common Good?2020-04-29T23:53:44+02:00

You can send your questions and comments to international@ecogood.org. If you are a member of the press please contact press@ecogood.org.

What is the common good?2020-04-29T23:54:11+02:00

There are many definitions of the common good. Within the ECG movement it is felt that society still needs to democratically determine what exactly this means. The Common Good Matrix is our current proposal for a definition of the common good, but it is not set in stone and should be adopted over time.

What is the Economy for the Common Good?2020-04-29T23:54:38+02:00

The Economy for the Common Good (ECG) is an economic model which prioritizes a good life for all, in harmony with the wellbeing of the planet. What constitutes the common good in concrete terms is determined democratically with reference to four groups of ethical values: human dignity, solidarity and social justice, environmental sustainability, transparency and democratic co-determination.

Is ECG part of the scientific community?2020-05-16T22:18:00+02:00

The Economy for the Common Good is also increasingly active in the field of science and research. The German-speaking ECG research association takes part in research projects and develops tools to improve the Common Good Balance Sheet. For this purpose, the association operates a networking platform with more than 150 scientists. In June 2018, a scientific advisory board coordinated by Dr. Günter Koch was established, which organized the first three-day conference on the ECG at the University of Applied Science in Bremen, Germany.

Since June 2017, the University of Valencia, Spain holds the world’s first ECG Chair. In autumn 2018, the master’s program Applied Common Good Economics launched at the Saalfelden Study Centre in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences of Burgenland in Austria.

Currently (early 2020), three scientific studies on the ECG have been conducted by the University of Valencia, Universities of Flensburg and Kiel and the University of Bremen. They distinguish the ECG as a “social innovation”, attribute the impact of higher ethical and financial performance to the Common Good Balance Sheet and regard ECG as a suitable instrument for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals within businesses.

Where does ECG enjoy official political support?2020-05-16T21:51:02+02:00

The first common good communities with a Common Sheet Balance Sheet are Mäder and Nenzing in Vorarlberg, Austria. In Germany, Kirchanschöring in Upper Bavaria and the Schleswig-Holstein municipalities of Breklum, Bordelum and Klixbüll are leading the way. Baden-Württemberg, Hessen and Bremen, Germany, Salzburg, Austria and Valencia, Spain specifically support ECG in their government programs.

The European Economic and Social Committee approved the ECG in an “own-initiative opinion” in 2015 by 86% and considers it suitable for the integration into the legal framework of the European Union and its member states. In 2017 the committee announced the ECG as one of the “new sustainable economic models”. The ECG was also invited by the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva to present the ECG Balance Sheet as a case study and was included in a report by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

How does the ECG work?2020-04-29T23:59:19+02:00

Companies, universities, municipalities and other organizations have the opportunity to draw up a Common Good Balance Sheet. This balance sheet is based on the Common Good Matrix, which describes 20 themes that make a company’s contribution to the common good visible. Each company can achieve a maximum of 1,000 points. Thus, for the first time, the result of a CSR standard can be compared across all sectors, legal forms and company sizes. The ECG Balance Sheet fulfils and goes beyond the European Union’s requirement for non-financial reporting.

One goal of the Economy for the Common Good is to make this kind of impact assessment visible on products. Beyond that, the audited results of the Common Good Balance Sheet should determine legal advantages or disadvantages of a company, e.g. taxes, customs duties or public procurement. With the help of these incentives, the current cost and competitive disadvantage of ethical companies is reversed into a price and competitive advantage.

How is the Economy for the Common Good organized?2020-04-29T23:59:49+02:00

The Economy for the Common Good is open to all — everybody, every company, every organization and every community can get involved and participate actively. Individuals can get involved in local chapters or hubs, such as the Consultants Hub, the Communication Hub, the Auditors or the Speakers Hub. Joint decisions are made by all groups at the annual Delegates Assembly. Together with the board of the International Federation, the Delegates Assembly constitutes the highest operative organ of the movement.