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Why the future of a sustainable world lies with businesses



Most people accept the truth of climate change and the world’s dwindling natural resources, yet experts still warn not enough action is being taken to combat the effects on the environment. The world needs to become more sustainable, especially when it comes to fossil fuels. While individuals may be committed to making changes, governments around the globe have been slow on the uptake. For many, the key to real change lies with businesses.

Businesses have capacity for real change

It’s not politicians, but corporations and entrepreneurs who have the power to make a difference with environmental sustainability, believes the founder of think tank Forum for the Future Sir Jonathon Porritt. He identified the business world as the place where a real impact can be made on implementing more sustainable practices. The key reason for this is that it is in business that leadership means being innovative and looking towards the long term future of a company. According to Porritt, politicians tend to be too short sighted to make the necessary changes that the world needs and many environmentally conscious citizens want.

Action may just be necessary for a business’ survival

The current reliance on fossil fuels is an unsustainable practice and the imminent resource shortage will have a massive impact on business globally, explained Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay. For a company to survive long term they need to be ready to adapt. Porritt advised businesses to prepare now so they can maintain operations in the radically decarbonised world he expects the future to hold. Delay echoed this sentiment, saying that true innovative leaders in the corporate world will be evaluating their environmental impact and making changes towards a more sustainable business model. While not just insuring a business against the economic fall out of an over-reliance on fossil fuels, an active approach to sustainability appeals to eco conscious consumers, he added.

Transparency on sustainability makes a statement

In the lead up to this year’s G20 summit in Russia GRI chief executive Ernst Ligteringen encouraged companies to be more transparent about their carbon footprint. Ligteringen is an advocate for sustainability reporting. He said that already 95% of the largest 250 corporations now produce a sustainability report. According to him, customers are attracted towards businesses seeking to make real environmental change and such a reporting system allows consumers to make more informed buying decisions. A number of countries, like Denmark, are already making the move towards such public reporting systems becoming compulsory.

The message from the experts is that taking the initiative with sustainability is a positive move. Not only do entrepreneurs and business executives have the power to bring real action to society, such innovation could just be securing their company’s survival. An organisation that chooses to be a leader in sustainable business also opens themselves up to the growing number of eco conscious consumers out there.


By: ClimateFriendly on 21/11/2013 8:31:28 PM Comments (0)