Sadly, the latest IPCC report comes as no surprise to me. I’ve been talking about this very scenario for over 15 years. There’s just no getting away from the findings in the report. The IPCC report isn’t scaremongering, it’s a brutally honest look at what humanity will be facing in just a few short years if we carry on as we are.
Putting sustainability at the core of businesses will help us to avoid many of the worst case scenarios outlined in the report, but we need to get on and do it. Currently, we’re messing about on the sidelines, we’re moving around deckchairs on the Titanic. It’s no good having companies lobbying for one thing to achieve a status quo whilst at the same time the world is looking down the barrel of disaster. Businesses need to step up and they need to do it now.
You only have to look at the erratic weather patterns around the world from California to Siberia to here in the UK. It is undeniable that things are changing for the worse. But it’s not just about the climate, it’s about society and its reaction to the climate. It’s also about what’s going on in the economy. None of it is sustainable. Real change comes from taking a long, hard look at addressing the four key pillars of sustainability - Human, Social, Economic and Environmental.
Back in 2018, I wrote a blog which addressed the latest IPCC report at the time. I explained that the report made it clear more than anything else was that climate change is not the next generation’s issue. It’s ours and it’s our businesses that need to change by putting sustainability at their core.
Fast forward to 2021 and nothing much has changed. The time to act was then, and the case for change is even more urgent now. In fact, a recent review of a report from the 1970s which predicted societal breakdown by 2050 has shown that we appear to be following its predicted trajectory. We’re bang on course for societal, economic and environmental disaster unless we take the reins and change track urgently.
I want to stress that it’s not all doom and gloom and there really is a way forward. Now is the time for amazing innovation to take centre stage. But we also need to stop thinking that technology is going to get us out of this mess. It won’t. It’s up to us.
Putting sustainability at the very core of all businesses is now more urgent than ever and doing so will enable us to create a future which benefits people, society and the planet. The tools are available to help businesses transition and it is much easier and quicker than many think.
But we’ve not got much longer to get started. In fact, we should have started years ago, so we’ve got some serious catching up to do.