True cost accounting – how do we work “true prices” into our economic system?
Drought, torrential rain, soil erosion and loss of biodiversity – the agricultural sector is increasingly having to cope with extreme weather events and the negative ramifications of its own activities. Although transformation is necessary in farming and the food industry, we are still a long way away from getting there. For most businesses, sustainability doesn’t (yet) pay. This is because choices that help or harm sustainability are not factored into the equation. But the downstream environmental damage and social costs happen anyway and are shouldered by society as real costs. How can we extricate ourselves from this trap?
This workshop will kick off with a talk designed to lay the foundations of a shared understanding of what is meant by true cost accounting and downstream environmental and social costs, as well as various approaches to implementing true cost accounting. We’ll then do some backcasting, working together to build the sustainable economic system we need. We’ll take a trip to the future and ask ourselves: how are true costs reflected in price tags? What sustainability-minded behaviours would need to be incentivised? What concrete steps do we need to take in our economic system in order to achieve a sustainable change in tack when it comes to food and farming? Together, we will discuss the true cost accounting approach and think about how to achieve a level playing field for sustainable business models.
Workshop presentation (in German only)