Orit Gadiesh, Chairman of Bain & Company, explains how sustainability efforts are not only good for the planet, they also can open up new opportunities in innovation and ways of doing business.
Read the transcript below.
ORIT GADIESH: This is a year that sustainability really moves not just here in the forum, but everywhere in the world—in boardrooms and in meetings that are not at all on the agenda, meetings with groups of CEOs, groups of chairmen, combined groups.
There is a figure that probably is worthwhile knowing. Annually, all the philanthropy in the world is about $800 billion. Foundations, about a trillion dollars. The US budget is $4 trillion. What we need to actually accomplish—the things we need in the sustainability agenda—is $8 trillion.
So nobody can do this on its own. Corporations need to be part of it. An agreement is being circulated and signed by at least 150 CEOs. That, indeed, is going to be part of what's important.
And it's important not to talk just about things that people will have to stop doing. On the contrary, if you really start thinking about sustainability and the innovation that comes with it—because you have to have innovation—new markets are opening. Your brand gets a tremendous increase in the way it is perceived. Costs are being eliminated because you find a new way to do it. The supply chain could be completely different.
So there are huge upsides to think about as long as everything you do with sustainability is completely related to your strategy and to the core of your business.