Certified Sustainability Zones:
Cities, states, and other political domains that strive to live within their ecological means, ensure the social and economic means to live, and whose inhabitants measure, manage and report their Triple Bottom Line performance accordingly
Introducing Certified Sustainability Zones (CSZs)
While sustainability has arguably made some significant headway at the level of individual companies – e.g., Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corps – the same cannot be said for whole communities, municipalities or larger political states. Into the breach come Certified Sustainability Zones (CSZs), a reference to municipalities or other political domains whose inhabitants strive to (1) live within their ecological means, (2) ensure the social and economic means to live, and (3) use state-of-the-art accounting tools to measure, manage and report their Triple Bottom Line performance.
Of particular importance to CSZs is the manner in which their inhabitants – organizations, in particular – assess their own social, economic and environmental impacts, both individually and collectively. Thus, in addition to whatever conventional accounting methods may already be in use, inhabitants of CSZs use cutting-edge context-based accounting tools to measure, manage and report the sustainability of their activities, including the free and open-source MultiCapital Scorecard (for organizational use) and Aggregate Capital Sufficiency (an alternative to GDP) at the local, regional or national level.
The CSZ program is entirely new, and bodies politic and their governments around the world are encouraged to look into it. Indeed, just as a growing number of organizations interested in committing themselves to public benefits of one kind or another have become purpose-driven Benefit Corporations or Certified B Corps, so too can whole municipalities and other political domains now be designated as Certified Sustainability Zones, and the organizations within them as Certified Triple Bottom Line Orgs!
The Certified Sustainability Zone (CSZ) program is a project developed and administered by the Center for Sustainable Organizations (CSO), a U.S.-based non-profit headquartered in Woodstock, Vermont. More information about CSZ certification can be obtained by contacting CSO’s Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, PhD.