ROB STOCKS, E-BUSINESS & PARTNER ACTIVATION
WHAT IS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE?
A Social Enterprise is defined by Wikipedia as:
“…an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. …Social enterprises have both business goals and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations.”
We chose the Social Enterprise model because the best way to create sustainable change is not through charity, but by harnessing the power of business and entrepreneurship as a force for good in the world.
At one point all enterprises were social enterprises. We traded with our neighbours and supported them through hard times knowing that they would support us if the roles were reversed. We bought from and hired our neighbours and the success of one business helped the entire community. As markets grew, the social went out of enterprise as business owners focused on profit as the single measure of their success. Social enterprise rights this wrong and puts the good of our planet and our global markets on the same level as those profits. We recognize that we need healthy and strong consumers with hope and opportunities and we need a healthy and strong planet to support those consumers.
We are not providing handouts. We are revealing the value in plastic waste and developing a sustainable Social Plastic ecosystem that helps the environment and the communities we operate in. The Social Plastic ecosystem we have created supports local entrepreneurs whether they are collectors, independent depots and co-operatives, or processors. It creates a market and provides the tools they need to run their business and thrive in areas traditionally affected by poverty and limited opportunities.
When you give handouts you create a power imbalance. It means that you assume you know what the beneficiaries need and their role becomes passive. A social enterprise creates empowered customers so we listen to our customers and clients and we co-create solutions with them like our partnership with an informal group of collectors in the Philippines. Doing that makes our interventions sustainable and the behaviour changes we are looking for become habit.
The Social Enterprise model allows us to move at the speed of business, pivot if necessary, engage plastic producers in meaningful conversations, and be a reliable supply chain partner. We are grateful for the support of our partners like Shell, Henkel, and SC Johnson who have made a commitment to use Social Plastic and have embraced our Social Enterprise model. By using a market model, we give respect to our customers (in this case our Collectors and partners) and design solutions that work for us all.
We are also grateful for the the growing Movement that has gathered together behind our mission. Contributors to programs like Plastic Neutrality for individuals and groups support our efforts to Stop Ocean Plastic and have helped us remove tons of plastic that would otherwise have been lost.
These concepts play an important role in the three Abrahamic traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They also underlie the principles of Plastic Bank’s model to help stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of collector communities.
New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Report 2020 In Partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation We empower the regenerative society. We build...
We are celebrating our 7th anniversary! 7 years ago our founders, David Katz and Shaun Frankson, recognized that rather than seeing plastic as just...
International Women’s Day 2020 We believe an equal world is an enabled world. This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating our women...
Faith and a Regenerative Economy: Doing Business for the benefit of People and Planet Never in human history have so many people enjoyed so much...
Our encouraging progress in 2019 sets us up for an even stronger 2020! Thanks to our over 75 brand partners and 400+ individual plastic neutral commitments, we are advancing into the new decade full of enthusiasm and purpose.