‘Companization’ – a brand a new organizational model– is ideal to promote sustainable agricultural practices, says Plantagon CEO Hans Hassle, who has just released an e-book on the subject.
The book explains how a profit-driven corporation and a not-for-profit organisation can be merged into one, benefiting both shareholder and the environment.
“It’s important that the enterprise has two sets of articles. The corporation has one set and the not-for-profit has another identical set with some additions such as an ethical framework, economic and social objectives.
“We all know that we have to make our agricultural practices environmentally and economically sustainable,” says Mr Hassle. “However, there are always conflicts of interest as a commercial enterprise is formed with the objective of earning money. Following this structure will help other objectives to be fulfilled –such as ethical issues.”
His idea – endorsed some years ago by Body Shop founder Anita Roddick – is that rather than have shareholders, the enterprise has members who pay a membership fee.
These members must agree to certain principles, such as being willing to share but the company must still make money, he insists.
In the book, he goes on to describe how to set up such an enterprise, challenges and how to overcome them.
“The model is suitable for entrepreneurs who are driven equally by profit and social commitment and who do not want to let money dictate the terms but who also do not want to be constrained by market competition,” continues Mr Hassle.
The alternative organizational model has taken him 20 years to develop, and he has applied it to Plantagon, founded in January 2008, a company dedicated to commercial urban farming in specialist structures.
“It’s important to find a balance between economic pursuit and social responsibility and apply that to your business model,
“Membership of Plantagon is now open and I cordially invite you to become a part of the future, the world’s first Companization in action.”