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Economy

Exclusive interview: Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD

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Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), today launched a report showing that it was possible to deliver 65% of the required carbon emission reductions to meet the UN target of keeping global warming under 2°C. He tells Blue & Green more about the report and the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative.

Bakker is a distinguished business leader who until June 2011, was the CEO of TNT NV, the Netherlands-based holding company of TNT Express and Royal TNT Post. Under his leadership TNT rose to the forefront of Corporate Responsibility via a ground-breaking partnership with the UN World Food Program and ambitious CO2 reduction targets from its Planet Me initiative, holding multiple-year top-ranking positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

He is the recipient of Clinton Global Citizen Award (2009); SAM Sustainability Leadership Award (2010); and has been an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme since 2011. In addition, he is the Chairman of War Child Netherlands.

In a nutshell, what is the LCTPi and the announcement today?

Today is a very important day. The Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative was launched in Lima at COP20, when WBCSD proposed to put together concrete action plans for COP21 for the large-scale development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. LCTPi is led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Over 140 businesses and 50 partners have come together around nine business solutions to collaborate on what they can do to achieve ambitious emissions reduction targets, including identifying the barriers to scaling up these solutions, as well as creating action plans for implementing the solutions. The nine working groups cover renewables, carbon capture and storage, chemicals, cement, energy efficiency in buildings, advanced biofuels, low carbon freight transport, climate smart agriculture and forests and forest products as carbon sinks.

Today we are releasing an impact analysis of the combined ambitions and draft action plans of the nine solutions, which will be presented at COP21 in Paris this December. PwC has conducted the analysis independently, and it shows that the ambitions of LCTPi have the potential to deliver up to two-thirds of the carbon reductions necessary to limit the rise in global temperatures to under two degrees Celsius. Furthermore the analysis shows that the ambitions of LCTPi have the potential to create 25-45 million jobs in the process and stimulate trillions of dollars in investment.

How is LCTPi different from many of the other business initiatives we have seen over the last few months?

LCTPi is unique in coverage, scale and impact. Global companies have been working together to identify what is needed to achieve its ambitions, what action business can take and what policies will be needed to scale those implementations. Today’s report launch shows that if these ambitions and business solutions are implemented at scale, massive emission reductions can be achieved across the globe, equally in developed and developing countries. 2016 is about implementation. We have seen the potential impact, and now we need to make that impact into a reality. What we need for acceleration and scale up action is an ambitious climate agreement at COP21, carbon pricing signals and appropriate policy framework that will facilitate the delivery on our commitments.

The PwC report launched today shows business can bring about nearly two-thirds of the climate emissions necessary to keep to the UN global warming target. How will you go about delivering that?

Forward-thinking businesses have always understood that low-carbon ambitions need to be matched by actions. That is why action has always been an essential part of LCTPi. Nine working groups are finalising their action plans now and these will be presented at COP21. The plans contain concrete first steps to achieving the ambitious goals the working groups have set as part of their collaborative process.

The PwC report outlines some of those and WBCSD will be publishing more reports with details of all business solutions and their impact as we head towards Paris at the end of the month. What is key here is that the initiative isn’t about one company doing something here and another company doing something there. LCTPi is unique because it is a true partnership across sectors and value chains: we can only do what we need to do by working together. Neither business nor government can solve the climate challenge alone.

Is there any stumbling block you are particularly worried about that might hamper delivery of the promised emissions savings?

I’m an optimist and I believe that business can lead the way on the climate challenge. We have seen massive cost reductions in low carbon technologies in the last few years, from solar PV to efficient lighting. We know that technology will continue to improve its performance if there is a strong demand for them.  It is one of the reasons that we have been driving LCTPi forward so strongly this year with other like-minded business leaders. But there is one element of our success that is out of business’ control: a universal, ambitious and balanced climate agreement at COP21. The agreement should contain a review process that will strengthen national commitments over time and ensure accountability to meet climate goals. Robust and stable carbon pricing coupled with the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies are also clear enablers for success.

LCTPi can only reach its full potential if business and government work together, within a global policy framework that provides the conditions for success. For example, a number of LCTPi actions relate to finding funding solutions: from green bonds to unlocking institutional investment. That requires a regulatory framework that provides investor confidence, and a structure within which the funding solutions can operate. Government action is needed, and the more that countries are committed to taking action the better. That can only help the negotiations for an ambitious climate agreement at COP21.

What are your hopes and expectations for the Paris climate talks, do you expect they will reach the deal necessary?

I believe we are in a stronger position for this kind of agreement than we have ever been before. The science of climate change is indisputable. Business is calling on policymakers to put a strong agreement in place. And no one wants another Copenhagen. Climate change is no longer just a concept in scientists’ models; it is happening, causing increased risks and disasters: people demand answers and actions from their politicians, businesses recognise the risks for their business models as well as the business and investment opportunities involved in leading the transition to a low carbon economy. It means the debate has changed: rather than governments telling reluctant businesses and consumers they need to do things differently, business is coming together and saying: “we must lead by tackling this head-on”.

It is perhaps a little early to ask, but what is next for WBCSD and LCTPi after COP21?

Our task is only just beginning. COP21 is important, and we will be there and we will be active – but LCTPi goes far beyond COP. In 2016 we need to start the implementation of the LCTPi solutions towards scale.

And finally, from your perspective is current corporate action commensurate with the ecological and social challenges we face globally?

I think we are on the road to get there. It is clear from today’s report by PwC that the business community in LCTPi believes the world can make huge steps to deliver the action that is necessary to meet global challenges. It’s also clear that more needs to be done. The SDG framework that was recently adopted by all countries in the UN, can serve as a very useful organizing principle. The fact we have demonstrated the significant potential of LCTPi means that the next steps to closing the reductions gap are now more achievable. With an ambitious agreement in Paris, we are ready to take those steps.

You can download the report here.

 

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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