We are at the crossroads, particularly in Australia when it comes to sustainability and climate change. The 2019 bushfires may have been our line in the sand.
In the investing community we have heard Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock speak about the central importance of the environment and sustainability, (CNBC 2020).
Ray Dalio of Bridgewater has been saying for some time now, we need to return to first principles, we need to address inequality, and we need to better balance people and profits (Rushe 2020).
Marc Benioff, the founder and CEO of Salesforce, has spoken about the importance of both shareholder and stakeholder values. I would encourage you to watch this inspiring interview (Rubenstein 2020- see References below). Marc challenged all of us to adopt the motto of the World Economic Forum (WEF): ‘Committed to Improving the State of the World’. In this regard, you might like to have a look at its Fourth Industrial Revolution page (see References below).
This month, February 2020 Jennifer Westcott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia (BCA) inspired us by supporting a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 (ABC Australia, 2020).
Also this month, Zali Steggall, an independent Federal MP in Australia proposed a private members bill to create a climate change framework, again with a net zero target by 2050 (Clench 2020).
This quick catalogue of evidence proves there is now a powerful convergence occurring, particularly in the business and investing communities.
This convergence shows business, not government, is now taking the lead. Through continued strong leadership we can take concrete climate action, create systemic change, and begin to move towards the emerging Sustainable Economy.
“Their new premise is simple: Corporations, because they are the dominant institution on the planet, must squarely address social justice and environmental issues that afflict humankind.” – Paul Hawken.
By Lee Spano, Creatness International www.creatness.com
ABC Australia, 2020, ‘Q+A: Climate Solutions’, 10 February 2020, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://iview.abc.net.au/show/qanda >.
Clench, Sam, 2020, ‘Zali Steggall Proposes New Climate Change Bill As Argument Over Coal-Fired Power Divides Government Again’, 10 February 2020, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/zali-steggall-proposes-new-climate-change-bill-as-argument-over-coalfired-power-divides-government-again/news-story/6d1f2a5d54ced8f0a5551c0f887e16ff >.
CNBC, 2020, ‘BlackRock CEO Larry Fink on Shifting Investment Strategy Towards Environmental Sustainability’, 14 January 2020, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulU_tw81dAk >.
Hawken, Paul, 2010, The Ecology of Commerce, Revised Edition, Harper Collins Publishers Inc., New York.
Rubenstein David, 2020, ‘Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff on The David Rubenstein Show’, 23 January 2020, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPV0idcPJ0s&feature=youtu.be >.
Rushe, Dominic, 2020, ‘The System Is Broken’: The Billionaire Investor Who Fears A Return To The 1930s’, 9 February 2020, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/09/ray-dalio-billionaire-hedge-fund-capitalism >.
World Economic Forum (WEF), 2020, ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, viewed 12 February 2020, < https://www.weforum.org/agenda/archive/fourth-industrial-revolution >.