In the magazine De Kleur van Geld- Triodos Bank you can read the interview ‘What does it really cost?’ (‘Wat kost het echt’, in Dutch). In this interesting interview Michel Scholte (Director External Affairs) talks about True Price’s effort to identify and monetize an organization’s social and environmental costs and benefits to society (externalities) and why it is valuable to express them in a financial value. For example, True Price looks at environmental issues such as biodiversity and social issues (fair wages, health and safety) and developed a method for making these hidden effects visible. The organization has teamed up with social organizations like UNEP, but also with large multinationals such as BAM, DSM and Akzo Nobel. “This involvement is crucial to the international acceptance of the method”, says Scholte.
True Price will not be limited to the calculation of unpaid costs, but will also help companies bring long lasting benefits to society: “If you purify water, or if you pay more to employees, you provide a positive contribution. Also you can express that in a financial number”. Over time, true pricing will provide more insight for consumers as well. “A standardized method with quantitative prices is more transparent than quantitative product information that are now often used (for example labels). With our numbers you can compare sustainable performance much easier. And you can also compare various product types against each other” enabling comparisons that were not previously possible.
You can read the entire article here.