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Cashing in on responsible trade

Sam Eaton Jul 6, 2007
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Cashing in on responsible trade

Sam Eaton Jul 6, 2007
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Doug Krizner: More than a thousand business leaders are gathering in Geneva this week. They’re attending a UN-sponsored conference on corporate social responsibility. One of the things getting attention is a report today linking ethical business practices to higher profits. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.


Sam Eaton: The report takes the pulse of what it calls “responsible globalization.”

It ranks more than a hundred countries based on everything from climate policy to labor rights and corporate governance. Those with the highest standards are also the most competitive on the global marketplace.

Not surprisingly the U.S. and several European nations top the list, but the report’s co-author, Simon Zadek of the nonprofit firm AccountAbility, says the U.S.’s spot as a global powerhouse is under threat. The reason? Its inability to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

Simon Zadek: That means that America’s own restructuring process, its basis for international competitiveness will move more slowly than if carbon pricing was pushed up domestically more quickly.

The economic stakes couldn’t be higher. Zadek says by 2050 the market for so-called “responsible trade” could be worth around $750 billion.

I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

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