"Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy" by Melissa K Scanlan

Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses Melissa K Scanlan

Publication date:
23 Nov 2021
Yale University Press
400 pages: 235 x 156mm
6 b-w illus.
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A blueprint for creating sustainable businesses, emphasizing the power and potential of cooperative models

Investor-owned corporations dominate today’s political economy, and they are designed primarily to optimize profit. This solely financial focus sidelines the equally important goals of mitigating climate change, paying living wages, and being responsible community members. In this urgently needed book, Melissa K. Scanlan explores alternative paths to create businesses for the fossil-free economy. Drawing on her extensive experience founding and directing social enterprises and field research with sustainability leaders, Scanlan provides a legal blueprint for creating alternate corporate business models, including Certified B Corps and benefit corporations, with an emphasis on cooperatives. This book reveals the power and potential of cooperating as a unifying concept around which to design social enterprise for triple bottom-line results: for society, the environment, and finance.

Melissa K. Scanlan is the Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair and Professor in Water Policy and Director of the Center for Water Policy at the School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“If we are going to transform our energy systems at the pace physics requires, nothing could be more important than replacing turbo-charged hyper-individualistic capitalism with some of the cooperative schemes explored in this revealing book."—Bill McKibben, author Deep Economy

“Melissa Scanlan's pioneering book begins with a powerful vision and then shows us how to achieve it, highlighting the cooperative and other alternative business forms as we navigate big transitions ahead.”—Gus Speth, author of The New Systems Reader and Red Sky at Morning

“Combining a critique of current business law with her deep understanding of environmental law, Melissa Scanlan successfully argues that cooperative business structures can and should be looked to as a route for social entrepreneurs.”—Dana Brakman Reiser, Brooklyn Law School

“Melissa Scanlan powerfully demonstrates that new principles are needed—and are eminently practical and possible—to move beyond the ecologically destructive and inequality generating economic structures of our challenged era.”—Gar Alperovitz, author What Then Must We Do? and CoFounder, The Democracy Collaborative 

“At a time when calls for a democratic, sustainable, and equitable economy grow ever louder, this book challenges corporations to shift away from maximizing profits for shareholders, and provides best practices and proposals to promote this change.”—Alexandre Peñalver i Cabré, University of Barcelona