Welcome

We're Economy for the Common Good UK
Our vision is a fairer society based on inclusive democratic participation.
We want to build an economy that increases the wellbeing
for all, not just the few, and which protects
our environment for future generations.

ABOUT ECG

The Economy for the Common Good aims to benefit all stakeholders in an organisation – employees, suppliers, customers, business partners, the local community and society at large not just its owners, principals and investors.

ECG promotes ethical management and corporate responsibility.

It does so with a Common Good Balance Sheet measuring the impact the organisation has on each of its stakeholders in relation to the following values:

  • Human dignity
  • Social justice and cooperation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Democratic self-determination and transparency

Read how companies have benefited from implementing ECG principles in our case studies.

 
 
 

HOW IT WORKS

Common Good Balance Sheet

The importance of businesses making a profit is not in dispute. What is most relevant to the ECG philosophy is how profit is made and how it is used.

What, for example, are working conditions like for employees? Does the organisation respect equality of opportunity regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation? How are key decisions taken – top down or in a more inclusive way? How are suppliers chosen – only on price or is the way they operate a consideration? Does the company consider the environment and the sustainability of resources? Is the marketing honest and customer-friendly or aggressive and misleading?

All these operational matters and many others determine whether a business solely exists to maximise its financial gain or whether it is making a broader contribution to the Common Good.

The same analysis can be done of other organisations – such as local government, public sector bodies, schools and universities, NGOs, charities etc.

The ECG’s principal innovation is the Common Good Balance sheet based on the Matrix. It is an evaluation tool that helps organisations assess their corporate responsibility in terms of the impact on people, society and the environment. It complements the organisation’s financial balance sheet.

ECG AROUND THE WORLD

Since its launch in 2010 in Austria,  ECG has already become a fast-growing international movement. By the end of 2016, the worldwide ECG movement consisted of:

  • 7,000 individual supporters
  • 22 countries
  • 2,000 company supporters
  • 350 companies and organisations with ECG Balance Sheets
  • Over 100 local chapters

For up-to-date information on the international movement, see ecogood.org.

Organisations that are working to the principles of ECG come from a wide cross-section of different sectors including manufacturing, services, banking, local government and education.

Case study examples of some of the organisations that have completed balance sheets and had them audited can be seen here.

While each country works to the principles of ECG, the development of the movement is down to the democratic self-determination of its members in that country or region. Christian Felber’s book ‘Change Everything’, was published in English in 2015.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

ECG IN THE UK

In April 2017, after nine months of preparation, a small team of committed volunteers created a Community Interest Company (CIC) (Economy for the Common Good UK CIC) to oversee the development of the ECG movement in this country.

The CIC is a not-for-profit trading company which will generate income through subscriptions and through the sale of various ECG related services. It is the intention of the Directors that within 3-5 years the organisation will become self-sustaining. In the meantime the company will require seed-funding through donations, grants and appropriate sponsorship.

The CIC Directors intend to develop a membership scheme and, once this is established, will become accountable for their actions to the members.

The role of the CIC is or will be as follows:

  • Actively build awareness of, and engagement with, the ECG movement
  • Encourage businesses and other organisations to adopt the ECG principles
  • Develop and operate a membership scheme for supporters of ECG in the UK
  • Support and advise those wishing to set up local ECG chapters in the UK
  • Provide a communications flow between the membership, the CIC and ECG internationally
  • Act as a central information resource (i.e. ‘everything you need to know about ECG’).
  • Seek out partnerships with like-minded organisations to achieve common goals
  • Evolve the principles of ECG to ensure they fit the specific requirements of the UK
  • Recruit and train ECG consultants and auditors
  • Other roles as appropriate as the organisation develops

We are looking for volunteers to help the team develop the CIC. If you are in tune with ECG’s aims and would like to help, please contact us.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

ECG IN YOUR AREA

ECG is a movement of like-minded people and organisations who share a common belief in a fairer society and a sustainable future.

This is a grass-roots movement, one of whose primary values is democratic self-determination. Over the course of the next few years, local ECG groups (or Chapters) will be set up throughout the UK to develop the movement in their area.

The role of the local chapters will be to:

  • Promote the principles of ECG to individuals and organisations in the area.
  • Provide a forum for discussion on shared experience and best practice.
  • Provide networking and development opportunities.
  • Represent the interests of the region to the ECG national body.

If you can organise a small group of like-minded people in your region (minimum 5) and would like to establish a local chapter, we would love to hear from you.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

 
 

GET INVOLVED

If you would like to help change lives and society for the better, join the movement:

INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS

The Economy for the Common Good is founded on the principles of democratic participation and we welcome the ideas, talents, energy and experience of everyone. If you would like to get involved there are many ways to do so including:

  1. Setting up an ECG local chapter in your area
  2. Recruiting businesses and other organisations that want to complete their own Common Good Balance Sheets
  3. Undertaking training as an ECG consultant or auditor
  4. Speaking about ECG at public meetings and events
  5. Volunteering to help with tasks such as our social media and website communications, graphic design, fund raising and more

We welcome support from those who share our values and wish to spread the word that there is an alternative to the current unfair economic system and to improve corporate responsibility in the workplace.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

BECOME AN ECG ORGANISATION

If you are a business, local authority, NGO, public sector body, charity, educational establishment or other organisation and wish to know how well you are currently contributing to the Common Good, ECG can help you.

We can also help you to identify sensible changes you can make to your operations to improve your performance.

There are three ways for an organisation to apply the ECG principles and engage with the movement. These are identified by three seed categories, which relate to the level of commitment you feel able to give.

  • “One seed” membership – the organisation becomes a paid-up member of the ECG and subscribes to its principles and values. It may also complete the Common Good Balance Sheet (CGBS) for its own use but can not externally publish the results. However it may use the ECG single seed designation to communicate its membership of and commitment to the movement.
  • “Two seeds” membership – the organisation does what is needed to become a one-seed member and in addition completes its CGBS in conjunction with a peer group of other businesses or organisations, which are also producing their balance sheets. This enables each to learn from the other, to receive constructive feedback on their analysis and the scores they arrive at for each   theme, and to review each other’s balance sheets. It agrees to publish its CGBS with the designation “peer-reviewed”. it can of course also use the two-seed designation in its internal and external communication.
  • “Three seeds” membership – as for “two seeds” but the organisation agrees to have its CGBS audited by an accredited ECG auditor. It can then publish its CGBS with the designation “audited”. The latter option provides the greatest degree of rigorous quality assurance, in much the same way that financial auditors provide an assurance of accuracy and rigour for financial statements. Three-seed organisations may publish their audited balance sheet and accompanying report as well as use the ECG logo on their literature and external communications.

PLEASE NOTE

During 2017, we will develop a fair and transparent membership scheme for both individuals and organisations. In the meantime, we encourage businesses and other organisations to engage with any of the above seed categories by joining our Founding Supporters Scheme.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

FOR BUSINESSES

The holistic approach to ethical management and corporate responsibility

In just 5 years, over 2,000 businesses have joined the ECG movement. Around 400 of these have completed Common Good Balance Sheets.

For a very good example of how ECG can work for your company, see the Common Good Balance Sheet and report by VAUDE, a German outdoor fashion manufacturer.

The ECG Matrix, Balance Sheet and Report

The Common Good Balance Sheet will provide an holistic view of how your organisation is contributing to a fairer, more environmentally sustainable and more open, democratic society.

At the heart of the Common Good Balance Sheet is a matrix which maps the four ECG value groups (human dignity, cooperation and social justice, environmental sustainability and transparency/democratic co-determination) onto five stakeholder groups (suppliers, owners/investors, employees, customers and society at large).

For each of these combinations, there is a set of indicators that enable you to measure how well your organisation matches up to best practice. The scores are added up to give a total score, with the theoretical maximum score being 1000 points.

More than just creating a numeric score, the process of completing the Common Good Balance Sheet, together with its accompanying report, provides an enormous amount of valuable information for your organisation about the areas in which you are already doing well and areas in which you can improve. Its purpose is to initiate a continuous process of further discussion, planning and action to increase your organisation’s performance and contribution to the wider society.

Getting started

From 2018, we will be running webinars and regional training courses to help you get started. When we have dates these will be published on this website. In the meantime we have ECG trained and accredited consultants who will be happy to support you. Please contact us and we will introduce you to an appropriate one.

One of your early decisions will be what level of engagement you wish to have with ECG. Please refer to the tab “Become an ECG organisation” above for an explanation of the Three Seed categories.

We would be very happy to discuss with you what might be most appropriate for your organisation.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Providing for the Common Good in your region 

Local authorities, cities and regions around Europe have become Common Good Authorities. Among them are the cities of Salzburg, Stuttgart and Seville.

What these organisations have in common is a vision for their area which puts people and the environment first. There are five ways in which local authorities can engage with the Economy for the Common Good:

  1. Common Good Balance Sheet

Create a Common Good Balance Sheet for the whole administration or for certain departments and publish it.

  1. Promote Common Good Companies

Invite all companies that are based and operating in the borough, city or region to create their own Common Good Balance Sheets. This will highlight the pioneers whose achievements could be promoted through annual awards for ECG companies.

  1. Introduce a Local Common Good Index

Promote the creation of a local Common Good Index, a quality of life index, which looks at both the Common Good Product (national economy) and the Common Good Balance Sheet (companies). The index is made up of the 20 most important quality of life indicators, which would be identified by local people. The aim is to improve the quality of life for residents. The performance of policy measures would then be assessed according to this quality of life.

  1. Establish a Local Economic Convention

A local economic convention is where local residents come together to determine the 20 most important factors to be applied to the economic process at local and national level. They could meet every two months in order to:

  • get to know and present the framework
  • identify the ten to twenty issues to focus on
  • carry out research
  • fine tune the results
  • vote (using the systemic consensus method)
  • follow-up and advise on the next steps (e.g. invitation to other local authorities, calling for a nationwide convention).
  1. Create a Common Good Region

Join together with neighbouring authorities to form a Common Good Region.


Getting started

We are here to help. And we can share information on what others have already done.

From 2018, we will be running webinars and regional training courses to help you get started. When we have dates these will be published on this website. In the meantime we have ECG trained and accredited consultants who will be happy to support you. Please contact us and we will introduce you.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG

FOR OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Educators, NGOs, public sector, health, arts, charities, not-for-profit

The principles of ECG do not just apply to businesses or local government. All organisations benefit from assessing their corporate responsibility and, where necessary, making strategic decisions and operational changes to benefit the Common Good.

Within Education, for example, there are already ECG pioneers who have created Common Good Balance Sheets and a report, which they have had independently audited.

Within other sectors, too, there is a growing interest in ensuring best practice and running the organisation in ways that benefit the community and society at large as well as those directly involved.

Getting started

We are here to help. From 2018, we will be running webinars and regional training courses to help you get started. When we have dates, these will be published on this website.

In the meantime we have ECG trained and accredited consultants who will be happy to support you. Please contact us and we will introduce you.

JOIN ECG CONTACT ECG