Stable and Sustainable? I think Not
On April 17th the NBR commented on the just released OECD report and some of the harsh facts that it includes. We’re in trouble because we’ve been spending while simultaneously foregoing the saving that we should be doing. The OECD summary describes our unsustainable behavior: “Household indebtedness reached 160 percent of disposable income – […]
On April 17th the NBR commented on the just released OECD report and some of the harsh facts that it includes.
We’re in trouble because we’ve been spending while simultaneously foregoing the saving that we should be doing.
The OECD summary describes our unsustainable behavior: “Household indebtedness reached 160 percent of disposable income – and in aggregate they cut their saving, possibly in the mistaken expectation that ever appreciating house prices would fulfill their future savings needs.”
We know that our obsession for housing has been the main reason why
A growth in anti-consumption is now on the rise with a growing portion of the global community spending money wisely against a set of ethical purchasing parameters. In response to this Sustainable Business Network (SBN) has created Greenlist to help consumers with these purchasing choices – the interest in the site (launched last month) shows that our national interest in social and environmental issues remains high even in this time of recession.
There are a growing number of viral campaigns online about anti-consumerism. The 20-minute animation of the consumerist society, narrated by Anne Leonard, is a popular view online at www.storyofstuff.com. Interestingly even business is encouraging the concept of ‘buy less, spend more’ – visit www.nothingamsterdam.com/ to see one design companies approach to the issue. It’s a simple but brilliant way of communicating the benefit of achieving a price premium while reducing environmental and social consequences of poor product performance and design.
The global growth of awareness of sustainability related issues, particularly climate change means that these issues for business are here to stay.
A recent article from the business section of The Australian states that sustainable development will be one of the, if not the most, critical drivers of business over the next decade, as companies realize that their survival hinges on how well they respond to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Investment funders are looking for security now more than ever and looking beyond the financial to environmental, social and governance issues. The opportunities around clean technology and renewable energies, like bio-fuels and solar power, are enormous.
“No one yet knows for sure what the effect of the economic depression will be for business not as usual, but internationally large investment funds are moving into sustainability as a strong thematic driver for superior investment returns in a world where they will be precious few. Sustainability is maturing from an aspiration, which has long been seen as a costly drain on business performance, to a major business opportunity. Early adopters will reap the highest rewards,” says Glen Saunders, director of the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme.
Green new Deal
The Green new Deal which has sprung from the UN, UK/EU, and the
Although very little is currently being done to stimulate the Green new Deal into the New Zealand economy the features offer major opportunities for our innovative companies and certainly for investment from international investors looking for sustainable businesses.
Now is the time for demonstrating responsible, highly productive business practice, and resource efficiency. Equally it is the best time to develop our social and environmental entrepreneurship and develop new products and services that meet the local and global need articulated by the Green new Deal and investors globally.
As a small nation on the world’s periphery, we struggle with isolation, which helps keep our relatively clean and green environment (our national identity). But it means we can also benefit from ‘the new’ and share and encourage different ways of thinking to respond to this call for change.
On the 26th of May SBN hosted an exciting business forum: Reinventing Business for a Resilient Future. This forum for CEOs and sustainability professionals was undertaken with the belief that while the world is experiencing multiple, inter-related crises: a failure of credit markets; severe economic contraction; and intense food, energy, water and other natural resource constraints – these systemic failures are now triggering seismic shifts in the way economies behave, businesses are run, societies organise themselves, technologies are developed and resources are used.
The forum was guided by much admired financial journalist and business commentator, Rod Oram, and joined by pioneering
SBN believes it is time for our entrepreneurs from across all sectors to pick up on these unprecedented opportunities and work to find a way forward for
Rachel Brown is CEO of the Sustainable Business Network. Visit www.sustainable.org.nz for more information.