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  • Titill er á ensku "Change everything"? : the economy for the common good’s impacts on companies and communities and the potentials for regional development
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The growing discourse on sustainability has once again put forward the question how to balance economic, environmental and social concerns. The UN’s Agenda 2030 emphasizes the shared responsibility of private actors, public institutions and individuals for sustainable development. While many actors claim to act sustainably, there are significant differences in the degree, effectiveness and motives behind their implementation.
    In response to on-going environmental depletion, economic exploitation and social justice issues, a variety of alternative economic approaches have emerged, challenging the prevailing neoliberal narratives and advocating for an ethical approach to economy. One such grassroots movements is the Economy of the Common Good (ECG), which has gained worldwide attention. Interested companies, communities and institutions can file a Common Good Report, which evaluates their sustainability performance in all stakeholder areas based on the following values: human dignity, solidarity and social justice, environmental sustainability as well as transparency and co-determination.
    To date, there are few empirical studies on the impacts of the ECG on companies and communities. Previous research on the role of businesses in regional development has primarily focused on their economic contributions rather than other types of value creation. This thesis aims to evaluate whether the ECG approach in companies and communities can provide a feasible contribution to a sustainable development and well-being in the region of Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. To this end, a qualitative research approach has been chosen and semi-structured interviews have been conducted with ECG certified companies and communities. These interviews focus on impacts of the ECG on the company/community, including work satisfaction, their sustainability approach and regional engagement. The results were then evaluated with regards to regional development goals, the SDG report of the region as well as research on regional value creation and business sustainability. The results reveal that the adoption of ECG in Schleswig-Holstein can contribute to sustainable development and aligns with regional development goals. ECG companies and communities actively contribute to business sustainability and regional value creation. Concrete measures derived from ECG principles have been implemented by all actors, affecting all stakeholder groups. The ECG adoption has positive effects on work satisfaction, employees and citizens’ participation and mutual exchange and multiplication in newly formed networks. These impacts ultimately contribute to overall well-being. An in-depth (self-) reflection, higher awareness for in- and outputs and new impulses are among the long-term effects. However, the approach is mostly embraced by actors already sharing similar values. Hence, ECG is often serving as a confirmation or driver for existing engagement. Moreover, it is crucial to address the lack of resources, capacities and –in case of communities – influence in order for the approach to make lasting contributions and gain momentum in the region of Schleswig-Holstein.

  • Verkefnið er lokað til 19.09.2024
  • 10.10.2023

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