I spoke at the Green Business Conference in Wexford. Delighted to have done so.
Big business opportunity
I explained why I think climate change is the biggest business opportunity since the internet. That is beside the moral imperative of our responsibility to leave a future for our children.
The total business opportunity is about 90 trillion dollars. That is $ 90,000,000,000,000. To be spent in the next 25 years. After that, it is too late. In Ireland alone, the number is 40 Billion Euro. That is outside of the changes in the value chains where the large companies are expecting their suppliers to be sustainable. The value is estimated at one-third of GDP.
Companies such as Unilever, Walmart, IBM, HP, Patagonia, Johnson and Johnson, GE, BT, Diageo, UPS, Toyota, Nestle, Carrefour, Pepsi, AkzoNobel, Dow, Puma, BASF, Colgate, Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer to name a few are all laying down the law with their suppliers. it is very simple. You are sustainable as a supplier or you are no longer a supplier. And if you are a supplier of a supplier…….
Then there is the regulatory pressure. COP21, UNDP, ES, non-financial reporting, EU directives and the national mitigation plan are all going to penalise businesses that are not sustainable. That is before we take into account that consumers are starting to demand green and clean business practices.
That is before we take into account that the capital stack has shifted and is putting a risk premium on non-sustainable projects. In the near future, that means that lending from your bank will become more expensive when you are not applying sustainable business practices.
It is a perfect storm of supplier and regulatory pressure and consumerism (which included your own staff).
I am also betting that natural capital cost will become an integral part of accounting. That means that waste, water, pollution, and carbon will be taken into account in your cost pricing. Going circular is going to make sense in order to secure your supply lines (we are running out of stuff).
Embrace the opportunity
A lot of companies are already embracing climate change as a business opportunity. Companies such as UrbanVolt, Mimergy, Hexafly, SizeU, Maggrow and Oxymem. You should too.