A Unique Online Sustainability Platform
What do Toyota—an automobile corporation—and Ecobs.ch—a Swiss online sustainability platform—have in common? They both champion Kaizen, an attitude of continuous improvement. Toyota encourages all of its employees to make suggestions for the advancement of the company, while Ecobs.ch guarantees a democratic platform for individuals, companies, and cities to thoughtfully and openly exchange opinions, comments, and ideas on various sustainability issues.
Having participated in the Prix Suisse de l’Ethique in the year it was launched, 2013, this new platform holds many promises. On Ecobs.ch, ‘Ecobservations’ ensure that individuals can voice their concerns, thoughts, and opinions about sustainability, and that those opinions reach the ears of the companies, cities, or townships that they are addressed to.
People are heard and taken seriously. Users’ ‘Ecobservations’ fall into one of twenty-one different categories, ranging from labels to luxury, food to finance, or transports to textile.
As the platform is entirely non-partisan and with the use of pseudonyms allowed, individuals can voice their opinions in an honest and open way.
All ‘Ecobservations’ are also posted in the ‘Ecobservatory’, which is organized by date, category, language, and canton. Here, users can read each other’s comments and show their support by clicking a ‘like’ button. This simple and effective collaboration makes issues that people find most important stand out.
Targeting a broad clientele
Ecobs.ch can help companies and groups to foster a green identity, exchange ideas with individuals on sustainable projects, and better recognize their customers’ and citizens’ needs. The platform also offers individualized reports that, thanks to the expertise of Ecobs.ch, help these larger entities develop the best business solutions.
‘Ecoquestions’ can be posted in order to collect opinions and suggestions on projects, ideas, and products relating to sustainability. By providing valuable feedback—which is only disclosed in Ecobs.ch reports—people help larger bodies understand their thoughts and expectations.
Another service Ecobs.ch offers is ‘Ecoaction’, where clients promote their sustainability projects by informing the public. It is possible to link an ‘Ecoquestion’ and an ‘Ecoaction’, for instance by presenting a project as an ‘Ecoaction’ and then asking for comments about it as an ‘Ecoquestion’. In this way, collaboration between individuals and larger bodies is rendered even more effective.
The Luxury Industry
Luxury is one of the more surprising categories on Ecobs.ch. However, there is no doubt that sustainability and luxury are intrinsically connected. The luxury industry is in a unique position to show leadership and innovation in the field of sustainability. The world is fast changing, and in order for industries to survive, they must adopt sustainable measures. This need is especially great for the luxury industry, whose dependence on nature’s beauty and priceless raw materials requires long-term preservation of those resources.
The luxury industry is thus very much a part of the sustainability conversation. ‘Ecobservations’ may discuss, for instance, to what extent fair working conditions, responsible sourcing, and recycling have a place in this industry – by doing so they provide insight into what society expects of the luxury industry.
Because of its pragmatic and unbiased concept, Ecobs.ch is an online platform unique in Switzerland that benefits individual clients and citizens as well as larger corporations and municipalities. By offering everyone an equal voice and adopting an attitude of continuous improvement in sustainable issues, Ecobs.ch is paving the way for meaningful innovation in this field.
For more information:
Article by Bronwen Gerber