Introducing Certified Sustainability Zones
First came Benefit Corporations and Certified B Corps, now come Certified Sustainability Zones. A Certified Sustainability Zone (CSZ) is a municipality or political state (e.g., a village, town, city, county, state, province, nation, etc.), whose inhabitants have agreed to (a) live within their environmental means, and (b) ensure the social and economic means to live; and whose policies and practices have been certified as such by a qualified CSZ authority.
Of particular importance in CSZs is the manner in which their inhabitants measure and report their performance. In addition to whatever conventional tools may already be in use, inhabitants of CSZs use context-based measurement and reporting tools designed to assess the sustainability of their activities in rigorous ways, including the free and open-source MultiCapital Scorecard (for organizational use) and Aggregate Capital Sufficiency (an alternative to GDP at the macroeconomic level).
The CSZ program is very new and bodies politic and their governments around the world are encouraged to look into it for possible adoption. Indeed, just as a growing number of organizations interested in committing themselves to public benefits of one kind or another have become Benefit Corporations or Certified B Corps, so now can whole municipalities and other political states be designated as Certified Sustainability Zones.
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 the CSZ initiative can be obtained by contacting CSO’s founder, Executive Director, and sustainability accountant, Mark W. McElroy, Ph.D.