Candidates must satisfy a few criteria to be able to present their solution in The Explorer. They must confirm that they work in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines for good business practice, that the solution is green in accordance with the definition below, and that the solution helps to advance the achievement of at least one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the solution should be scalable, but this is not a requirement.
What is good business practice?
The candidates must confirm that they work in accordance with good business practice as defined by - The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises - The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights - The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
The aim is to ensure that the candidates and their solutions contribute to sustainable development, including greater corporate responsibility, and that they do not contribute to corruption, the violation of human rights, workers’ rights and poor working conditions or have a harmful impact on local communities and the environment.
These principles and guidelines apply to all organisations seeking to present a solution, whether they are multinational enterprises, start-ups, public sector companies or institutions.
The candidates must confirm that they take a responsible approach to the principles of good business practice by conducting a risk analysis (for instance a due diligence) to identify and mitigate negative impacts of both their own operations and their business relationships.
Systems to reduce risk may also consist of stakeholder engagement, implementation of codes of ethics, training of employees in good business practice or putting in place whistleblowing procedures.
The candidate must have the willingness and ability to make improvements in line with the above-mentioned principles and guidelines and best practice in its sector. If serious matters are uncovered that are in breach of these principles, this may constitute grounds for the solution to be deleted from The Explorer
What is a green solution?
Green solutions are defined as technologies, products and processes that reduce impact, directly or indirectly, on the environment compared to their current alternatives. These may include: cleaner technologies that reduce pollution; more environment-friendly solutions, products and production processes; renewable energy; more efficient resource management; new uses of biological resources; and technological systems that reduce environmental impact. A very similar definition is also employed by the environmental technology scheme at Innovation Norway.
What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The candidate must also identify one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that its solution may contribute to achieving. The candidate must briefly describe how its solution addresses that particular goal.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The editorial staff of The Explorer will assess the SDG(s) identified by the candidate and can also provide guidance if the candidate is unsure of the potential positive impact of its solution.
Candidates are asked whether their business model is scalable to ensure that they submit a solution that can have a more lasting impact and wider reach. A scalable business model offers the potential for international growth and increased production without being limited by the company’s structure or potentially available resources. A scalable business model is often backed by strong financial partners and is replicable in other contexts and locations.
Candidates are not required to have a scalable business model to be able to present a green solution in The Explorer. The editorial staff will, however, attach importance to this issue when assessing whether the solution is suitable for presentation in The Explorer. The editors will also look at the level of readiness of the solution – it must be more than just blueprints or a rough concept. If the candidate’s business model is backed by a strong commitment from financial partners which suggests that further development is possible, the solution may be included. If the solution is far from commercialisation and export it will most likely not be included in The Explorer.
The responsibility of verifying that the information provided is accurate and true lies with the individual candidate. The editorial staff of The Explorer do not check the validity of the candidate’s fulfilment of the criteria or the information provided about the solution itself.
An advisory board of experts in good business practice, sustainability and scalability is available for consultation should the candidate need additional guidance to determine whether it complies with the criteria or whether it must take action to comply with these. If a candidate answers “I don’t know” to any of the criteria, the advisory board will be consulted before determining whether the solution can be presented in The Explorer.