OconEco was founded by John C. O’Connor after thirty years creating and managing decision support systems at the IMF and World Bank, including senior staff positions in each. His financial background led him to conclude, while Senior Advisor in the World Bank’s Environment Department, that the Bank’s performance should be judged by its role in promoting the wealth of nations, broadly defined to include environmental and social as well as economic assets. This led to the Bank’s 1995 publication, Monitoring Environmental Progress (MEP). (To view a full list of his publications click here)
As the Financial Times wrote about MEP, “The serious purpose of the research is to put flesh on the notoriously hazy concept of ‘sustainable development” while the New York Times wrote it, “is already being hailed as a model that could help to refocus development strategies.” (For these and other press quotes, click here.) While still available online and discussed elsewhere, this pioneering work is mainly of interest because it continues, as the Bank’s Millennium Capital Assessment and as the recently agreed framework for work in advanced countries on national sustainability indicators.
OconEco’s tools-based service “connects the dots” between financial and nonfinancial indicators of sustainability at the business level, much as MEP did at the national level. And much as it took more than a decade for his national wealth model to appear in the work of national accountants, John expects it will take until 2020 for his business wealth model to appear in Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). Until then OconEco’s business wealth model envisages “satellite” accounts revolving around a “core” of financial accounts, so business clients may take what is material to them and leave the rest (via the materiality filter we help clients build).