Which Motivates Business to Be More Sustainable: The Carrot or the Stick?
Author: Riya Anne Polcastro
Cohen contends that the greatest approach to get businesses to act properly is to foster an environment where doing so will increase their bottom line. He told TriplePundit that in some situations, all that is required is to inform people and let them know that the product in question will be profitable.
Cohen favors using a carrot rather than a stick strategy. He believes that making good behavior profitable will promote more significant changes at the corporate level than penalizing or taxing businesses for their detrimental effects. And he is not alone in holding that view.
Cohen provided examples of significant international corporations that adopted sustainable practices because they recognized a potential financial gain. For instance, "Walmart discovered they have a lot of flat roofs," he claimed. There is a tremendous amount of solar energy potential in all that space, and Walmart and its big-box rival, Target, are working to harness it.
They are the top two commercial solar installers when combined. "In their situation, there is nothing you need to do. They only had to realize on an internal level that doing this would enable them to profit, according to Cohen. According to the non-profit Environment America, if completely utilized, Walmart's accessible roof space at stores across the nation could generate enough solar energy to power more than 842,000 households.