Innovative business leaders showcase their own transformative actions
- 17 June 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO: Today at Rio+20, The Climate Group, UN Global Compact and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) teamed up on a session called Rio Forward: Transformative Solutions for the Green Economy.
As part of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, this high-level event encouraged an array of business leaders who already see the opportunities in tackling climate change, to showcase examples of their own transformative actions.
Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP and Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group opened the event, when Paul Simpson announced the Carbon Disclosure Project's backing of our new Clean Revolution Campaign.
The panel then kicked off with Barbara Kux, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and Chief Sustainability Officer who focused on the company’s most transformative achievements: “The way forward is extremely obvious: we want to deploy more of clean technology around the world. And we are doing this. In 2011 we saw revenues from this technology of 30 billion euro, that’s 40% of our total revenue.”
Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT Group plc had similarly lucrative results to share with the audience on the benefits of lowering the impact of business. He mentioned how BT had looked at the assumptions that underpinned our SMART 2020 report and declared: “We think we have grossly underestimated the benefits that ICT can deliver.” He suggested that because the world is becoming “more networked than ever before”, we must create more collaborative, visible models of consumption and called for ‘radical transparency’ in supply chains through crowd sourcing and big data.
Niall Dunne also drew on the importance of working with NGOs such as Carbon Disclosure Project and The Climate Group, that promote platforms in an “open source fashion” to drive business transformation.
Bringing the spotlight back onto the benefits for consumers amid businesses’ transformative solutions, Colin Calder, CEO, PassivSystems said: “I believe consumers are completely lost in a sea of green at the moment” to which he commented: “It’s all nonsense.” He suggested reduced energy tariffs and that homeowners use PassivSystems’smart technology which uses algorithms to measure energy use, of which he says, have “already delivered 20-40% energy savings in UK homes”.
After listing IKEA’s impressive low carbon investments – such as spending 200 million euros on photo voltaic solar across 75 distribution warehouses around the world - Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability and Innovation, IKEA, continued the consumer focus when he iterated that customers should not have to “choose between design, sustainability and price”.
Mark Kenber rounded up the first panel by aptly quoting Henry Ford, who once said: "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses'" - before the next panel took to the stage, which was moderated by Paul Simpson.
Thomas Nagy, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Stakeholder Relations, Novozymes spoke first, stressing the importance of innovation, and the need to move to both renewable and energy efficiency.
Dr Lee Seung-Han, Chairman, Homeplus Group then shared the company's successes in reducing energy consumption through different technology in stores, such as with LED lighting.
Looking at the real opportunity to drive down emissions and costs, Bryan Jacob, Global Director of Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection, The Coca-Cola Company was adamant the solution lay in exploring the supply chain.
Then Caio Koch-Weser, Vice-Chairman, Deutsche Bank, mentioned how the Bank is looking at reducing low carbon investment risk with innovative finance mechanisms. He also underlined the role of national carbon markets: “We need a carbon price, but we also know we will not get one in the near future - although I am encouraged that there is now the will to reform the EU ETS.” He also welcomed the carbon market progress in both Australia and China.
Overall the event stood to showcase what is already being done by a group of leading innovators – in small to large companies – to make a cleaner, smarter, more prosperous future possible for us all.
Learn more about the Clean Revolution.