The JUST label: Adding social justice to the transparency movement

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Design Topic

True sustainability must include the trifecta of environmental stewardship, economic prosperity and social responsibility. The latter has largely been left out of the conversation as green building certification programs and industry professionals have been dancing around how to quantify the value of social equity in doing business. Finally, a measurable set of criteria have been introduced to address this often neglected third leg of the sustainability stool.

Enter the “JUST” Label.

Like the DECLARE label that it introduced in 2012, the International Living Future Institute’s JUST label acts as a nutrition label for organizations, creating a platform for companies to provide a holistic and transparent picture of their corporate policies and practices regarding social justice and equity. The label indicators include gender and ethnic diversity, worker happiness, pay equity and occupational safety, among others, presented in an elegant and simple way. As a voluntary program, JUST offers social transparency among companies providing services, materials and products to the building industry.

The

goals of JUST are profoundly simple:

  • To elevate the discussion around social justice in all organizations.
  • To create common language for social justice issues.
  • To elevate the causes of those individuals who lead these issues.
  • To change the policies and practices of thousands of organizations worldwide.
  • To make life better for people from all walks of life.

The JUST label is a potential game changer in the industry. It asks companies to take a close look at their policies and may very well instigate change simply by acknowledging best practices; it asks companies to be transparent and post labels publicly; it provides a very different environment for competitive behavior among suppliers and service providers; and it guides the way design professionals specify products and engage with other professional organizations.

Social justice has taken a seat at the table. JUST is, quite simply, a call to action. The ILFI challenges all types and sizes of organizations to affirm that it’s time to make social justice our business.

Specialists

Kim Swanson
Sustainable Design

Kim Swanson

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