What kind of capital do we need to transform our energy system? How do we communicate climate change effectively given the political rhetoric the public is exposed to? Is there such a thing as “good” growth? How can we transition our cities so that they accommodate the new mobility realities and take equity and inclusion into consideration?
These are some of the questions we explored during GLOBE Forum on a range of program themes spanning sustainability as strategy, energy transformation, circular economy, the climate crisis and mobilizing capital.
Read on for highlights from a few select sessions.
SUSTAINABILITY AS STRATEGY
The Business Challenge and Opportunity of Unchecked Consumption
- Across many different products that are part of our daily lives, there are opportunities to eliminate packaging, design for durability, and turn what was previously waste into new, useful and more affordable products.
- Companies need to work together within and across sectors to encourage consumers to re-imagine their habits and how they use products in their daily lives. These habits include transitioning to a waste-free grooming routine, to switching from unhealthy soda to refillable carbonated water, and designing clothing so it can be re-sold and re-sewn into new products.
“At LUSH we allow customers to try the naked product alongside the packaged product and let them decide for themselves. By taking the time to consult with our customers and listen, we can avoid selling them products they don’t need.”—Katrina Shum, LUSH Cosmetics
Leadership Armchair Dialogue: Lucas Joppa, Microsoft and Lightning Talk: Pete Muller, National Geographic
- Watch the full session livestream here.
Faceoff: The Energy Panacea?
- Watch the full session livestream here
“It’s part of human nature to want one, clear technological solution – a silver bullet. But I think in this day and age we know there isn’t a silver bullet. We need everyone, everywhere, doing everything they can, now.” —Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada
The Future of Mobility: Big Opportunities, Big Challenges
- Urban transportation mode decisions come down to reliability, convenience and money.
- Formula E is a great opportunity for original equipment manufacturers to develop and test cutting-edge electric vehicle technologies.
- With the many new forms of transportation on the market, coalitions and partnerships are key, including new approaches to public/private partnerships.
“Our mobility patterns are very sticky. We need to think about how we shift behaviour.”—Sandra Phillips, Movmi
The Rise of the Ecocity: Exploring the Role of Business in Transforming Cities
- Governments, training institutions, and businesses all have a role to play in promoting a greater understanding of the impacts of our activities in the places we live.
- Many small and rural communities want to take action on climate but need research support, innovations in communication technology, and mobile training modes.
- By making training accessible to professionals working in all types of communities, more people will have access to services like EV charger installation and energy retrofits.
“What we really need to implement the circular economy in cities is collaboration between the actors.”—Ernesto Hartikainen, Sitra Fund
Leadership Armchair Dialogues with Sarah Chandler, Apple, and Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson
- Ms. Chandler advocated for turning to data to find the answers. Apple did a robust analysis of product materials, looked at environmental, social and global supply impact, then put together a framework around key product materials to find ways to close the loops. It is important not to sacrifice product performance (e.g., durability) with recycled materials. A barrier to scaling the circular economy is an unequal playing field between newly mined materials and recycled ones.
- Dr. Johnson discussed the impact of plastics and marine debris on ocean health, and the importance of public-private partnerships to accelerate positive change. He touched on the power of everyday people to make informed choices, the importance of awareness around the urgency of the plastic waste issue, and the need to share scientific knowledge with political decision-makers. Dr. Johnson observed that we’ve seen a real wave of consumers wanting to buy products that help eliminate plastic waste in their households.
Communicating Climate: Why Facts are Not Enough, with Katharine Hayhoe
- When we talk about climate change we have to make sure we keep an eye out for the smokescreens, i.e., the things people say to derail your discussion. They could be disguised as scientific, religious, or economic in nature. Example: Someone says, “It’s freezing outside!” to argue against the overall trend of rising global temperatures.
- Climate change is a threat multiplier. We care about climate change because it exacerbates so many of the risks we face today.
Is Growth a Dirty Word? Defining Global Growth in the Roaring 20s
- For decades, GDP has been the go-to indicator for economic health and success, but it does not do a good job of measuring well-being or economic prosperity. New Zealand, Scotland and Iceland are doing interesting work on other types of goals.
- We should be asking “What do we want to grow, what do we want to shrink?”
- The circular economy can enable growth without negative impact.
- We need to think “seven generations” out in terms of sustainability planning, not just the next generation.
- We need indicators that move beyond GDP.
- We need to use policy/regulatory incentives (e.g., carbon tax) to drive more sustainable growth.
- It’s important to maintain significant natural assets and work within the boundaries of what’s sustainable.
“We need an economy that is more democratic and distributes the wealth and well-being benefits more broadly.”—Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Resilient Infrastructure in a Changing Climate: The $90 Trillion Global Imperative
Infrastructure is a key enabler of economic growth. However, the following barriers to investment in resilient infrastructure remain:
- The need to make climate risks visible and integrated into investment decisions
- The need to strengthen policy frameworks and the institutional capacity of governments
- The need to transform financial systems to mobilize public and private capital at scale
Nevertheless, momentum is building, as evidenced by:
- The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
- The Global Commission on Adaptation World Bank infrastructure finance
- Municipalities increasingly applying a climate lens to their infrastructure investment decisions
- Key programs supported by different levels of government: the Green Municipal Fund, the Municipal Asset Management Program, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank
The Next Big Wave: How Ocean Project Financing is Scaling the Blue Economy
- The blue economy includes all of the environmental services that preserve and protect the value in our oceans, e.g., blue bonds, better tech for fishing, restoration of salt marshes, coastal resiliency projects.
- Sharing information with investors on the value of the blue economy will help combat the perception of risk associated with it. This perception is preventing the flow of investment in blue economy cleantech.
- In the Caribbean, the World Bank has created the world’s first parametric insurance system that is designed to deploy payments to clients as soon as rainfall exceeds a certain limit or severe weather hits. It has been hugely instrumental in supporting the sustainability of the fisheries sector, as it helps support fishermen and small businesses whose operations are impacted by severe weather.
“For the blue economy, it’s about accessing and communicating data and information that engages key stakeholders to ensure long-term economic benefit.”—Miguel Jorge, World Bank