Why sustainability is the new digital

-COVID-19 has created a sense of urgency for businesses to improve their sustainability credentials.

-Some companies aren’t adapting quickly enough to this “disrupt or be disrupted” mindset.

-Lessons must be learned from the digital revolution to enable businesses to adapt, innovate and ultimately prosper in the future.

Even in a year dominated by a global pandemic, the sustainability revolution has accelerated faster than expected, while also expanding to include a wider range of environmental and social issues.

With consumers and investors demanding significant change, profit pools shifting away from incumbents to insurgents, and even the most carbon-heavy companies making net-zero pledges, executives ignore this revolution at their peril. And make no mistake: this is a real revolution. With every industry—nearly every product and most of our habits under scrutiny—it would be downplaying it to call it anything else.

Like the digital revolution before it, the sustainability revolution promises to change everything. Yet, just as with digital, many companies are moving too slowly, taking an incremental approach to a challenge that demands a radical rethink.

Remember in the early 2000s, when companies realized they needed to go digital, they would hire a web developer? They soon learned that was a woefully inadequate response to the enormous task at hand: the need to reshape their organizations, their products, their entire industries to meet the demands and opportunities of a digital economy.

Something similar is happening today when the executive suite hires a sustainability expert to shepherd this transformation. It’s a start, but it barely begins the work needed to navigate the impending revolution.

The task is daunting and there’s no time to lose. We need to transform a global economy founded on the principles of unlimited access to resources and the primacy of shareholders to one that recognizes the limits and consequences of everything we extract, manufacture, consume and waste, and the impacts on the people involved in doing so.

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Πηγή: weforum.org

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