Sustainability is about Green, not Greed
Updated: Feb 9, 2020
Like the ship that’s a degree off course, small changes will have a big impact at a later point in time. For sustainability, that time must be now.
With the advent of a new decade, it’s often time for a new start, new direction, new goals, new resolutions. We’re no different. Building upon over 10 years of financial services experience, our focus is now the introduction of sustainability into corporate culture and decision-making, to leave businesses facing a more sustainable future.
The Milestone aims in the first instance to introduce us and then provide a weekly rundown of our thoughts, musings and insight into our past week.
Elberry Sustainability Consulting (ESC) , so named for one our favourite beaches in our native Devon. Led by Charlie Brunyate, ESC is a new and innovative consultancy, looking to embed sustainability within the foundations of business to create positive change for the future.
Sustainability, conservation and doing good have long been aspects we have tried to convey through our actions across our businesses. With the growing awareness and reach of subjects such as climate change, we believe we have the capabilities to facilitate this positive change.
By advising and aiding businesses in becoming more sustainable through objectives such as compliance with regulation, improving gender equality, centralising sustainable values and principles within operating models and business plans, improving supply chain management or reducing their carbon footprint.
Sustainability is an opportunity to transform and evolve business for the better, in the long-term, be it for economic, ecological or social reasons and we want to help businesses make a difference to their environment.
Yes, but why will it make a difference?
We certainly aim to - customers and shareholders are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impacts. Though not a new phenomenon, adopting sustainability now is going to give businesses a head start in the coming decade and will be central to transformation, growth and investing (ESG for example), due to the ever-growing media influence and drivers for change such as the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, more here.
We aim to help businesses to decide, adapt and capitalise on their sustainable plans, thus hopefully making a small change for the better of our environment - as we grow, we’ll try and publish KPI’s to show the difference we have made together.
Given that Davos and the WEF has been central to the economic landscape this week, we’ve been following closely and the general view would seem everyone is now inescapably aware of climate change, but the rhetoric is not yet translating to action (as Ms Thurnberg will attest to). The dismissive and downright irresponsible views of global leaders such as Donald Trump show what an uphill battle we’re facing as a planet. His withdrawal of the US from the 2030 Paris Agreement (the world-wide agreement to keep global temperature rises below 1.5c), sends a hugely negative message from one of the world's largest polluters. Given the lag effect of carbon emission reduction (reducing emissions will take years to be reflected in the environment), we need to take positive action now. Less trumping if you like?
Coca-Cola threw themselves under the environmental bus as well this week, stating “people still want plastic bottles.” Yes, consumers can stop purchasing plastic bottles, but wouldn’t it be easier not to offer them to market in the first place?! Obviously there are cost implications, but when you already own your own bottling operations...
Someone needs to remind Coca-Cola it tastes better from a glass anyway.
It's been great to read Larry Fink, BlackRock CEO, has announced sustainability will become central to portfolio construction - hopefully where BlackRock lead, others will follow.
Having been sent and read through the latest Edelman Trust Barometer report, it seems there’s a genuine desire for change but lack of hope and confidence in leaders to deliver it. This would correspond with the news and media publications over the past years surrounding climate change, Brexit etc. Let’s hope with some decisions now made, we can make positive progress as we begin 2020.