Several organisations are helping us organise and underwrite Sustainable September, the month-long celebration of sustainability, for which you can buy your tickets here.
We are asking each of them to tell us why they are supporting the event. Next up is the Ecology Building Society.
Why is Ecology supporting Sustainable September?
Sustainability in all its forms is creeping up the public agenda, from low-impact living to the green economy. But the environmental and social challenges we face need us to do more and to do it sooner. And for that, we need to engage more people in the debate. Sustainable September is one way in which we can push sustainability issues towards the mainstream: bringing together experts to address key issues that affect the wellbeing of our communities and our planet. It’s important that financial issues are integrated into all aspects of the debate – without making money sustainable, we won’t bring about lasting change – and that’s something Blue & Green Tomorrow does really well.
What do you hope to get out of the event?
The sustainable investment event tackles a fundamental issue: what’s the purpose of investment? The financial crisis has opened our eyes to the fact that the financial system is geared towards its own ends, rather than supporting a sustainable economy. We all have a role to play in deciding the future of the system, through our own investment choices: should they be about financial return alone, or wider impacts? We hope the debate will unpick some of the assumptions behind both positions, about the nature and role of money, and about our own responsibilities as consumers and citizens. And we want to see the event reach out to a much wider audience than those already in-the-know about sustainable finance.
What does sustainability mean to you?
For us, a sustainable future is one in which the needs of individuals, communities, future generations and the wider ecosystem are balanced. That means an environment which supports biodiversity within a stable climate, an energy system based on renewables, local communities as the building blocks of democratic society, and an economy oriented to long-term wellbeing, not short-term profit. We don’t see financial gain or growth as an end in itself. Being Ecology, we see an important role for our homes in enabling this vision: we want everyone to have access to affordable homes that are super energy efficient, conserve resources and build resilient communities.
Why should individuals and businesses consider sustainability?
Sustainability isn’t about altruism. It’s about having the breadth and depth of perspective to see that current and future generations need a physical, natural and social environment that enables them to flourish. If we don’t act now, we won’t just lose that opportunity: we’ll destroy our standards of living through resource depletion and global climate change. That’s the risk, but the opportunities are huge. Who wouldn’t want to create a world in which people are happier, healthier and more prosperous?