The problem Commonstake aims to solve is known as the Mainstream Green or Green Gap
. While 82 percent of Americans would prefer to "go green" in their shopping habits only 16 percent are actually able to be live up to their environmentally-friendly consumer goals, putting
into an all-important gap that will make or break humanity (Ogilvy & Mather)
Scalechange believes that we consumers aren't able to shop in accordance with their values due to two main factors:
1. A scarcity in accurate information regarding the social and environmental impact of the products available to us combined with an overabundance of misleading marketing (i.e., greenwashing).
2. A lack of disposable income available to most consumers combined with the relatively expensive cost of sustainable products.
After years of research and development, Scalechange launched the following two-fold solution to close both the information and pricing gap.Commonstake is a social media platform that aims to close the information gap, allowing users to discuss and rate the performance of companies in regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Unlike its predecessors — platforms that provide a limited amount of information on a limited number of companies to a limited number of people — Commonstake engages mainstream users through user-generated ratings about companies based on crowdsourced information (user-submitted news and op-ed articles) on their social, environmental and governing practices.To help close the pricing gap, Scalechange offers equity in exchange for user activity: sharing news articles, rating companies, writing op-eds, etc.
Also, companies with a sufficiently high rating on Commonstake are able to offer $calechange to drive sales and other promotions.
$calechange is a special type of equity (preferred stock) through which shareholders are empowered as impact investors, selecting which social venture startups receive investments generated from their dividends.