This week Business leaders, politicians and leading academics will meet with environmental activists to discuss business and sustainability at the World Economic Forum’s 50th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Over the years it has changed from an elite gathering of Western entrepreneurs and industrialists to discuss business deals to a much broader platform for the global community to draw attention to issues like poverty and the environment, and to lobby their leaders for real change. It seems the global business community is gradually beginning to understand that there has been a serious problem in our shared perspective on climate change – namely, the notion that environmental and business interests are intrinsically at odds with one another.
A new report published by WEF has revealed that more than half of the global economy – some $44 trillion – is at risk because of climate change. Industries such as construction, agriculture and the food and beverages sector all depend on the sustainability of natural resources to remain profitable. In short, global warming is bad for the planet, but it is also bad for business. World leaders must understand that the gross domestic product of their nations is inextricably linked to nature, and businesses must acknowledge that they have a vested interest in promoting sustainability.
The World Economic Forum must become the stage for conversations that concern all people, their livelihoods and their well-being. Such conversations, when had in earnest, can give rise to genuine and rapid shifts in mind-set. Climate change, the tremendous loss of natural land, the poisoning of the sea, and the dramatic exploitation of the planet’s natural resources are no longer an abstract problem waiting to affect us in a distant future.
Ignoring this accelerating destruction of the planet is no longer a profitable option – neither for the world economy, nor for private businesses and certainly not for the health of the planet and for the people, animals and plants that live on earth. At Davos, businesses must think beyond the extent to which their balance sheets are red or black. They must be green.
Systems thinking ensures safeguard of the future. We create awareness for Circular Economy and Circular Engineering in society, the economy and politics.
Autor: Dr. Hans Meves