Dutch author Marga Hoek believes that one of the reasons for the global financial crisis has been a failing economic system resulting in a chasm between the economic and real value of money.

In her book New Economy Business, Hoek argues that leading companies recognize this failure and in the new economy, money and real value are reunited. She says financial worth is not the only measuring stick in the new economy; ecological and social assets are also given their true value. The sum of all costs and revenue is being calculated, therefore providing a more accurate reflection of the overall health of our economy and the real worth of a company.

She offers the example of sportswear group Puma which produced an environmental profit and loss statement (EP&L) to give an honest impression of the financial consequences of its ecological footprint. The footprint of the group’s entire supply chain was calculated to be $170 million.

The leather used in the production process was recognised as an especially high environmental cost, causing Puma to look for an adequate leather replacement The move inspired Puma’s owner Kering to do the same across the group’s other brands– revealing the kind of accounting that also leads to profitable innovations.