I had high expectations for the 4th SLOW LIFE Symposium and it certainly didn't disappoint. With three days of conversing and debating with thirty of the great leaders and visionary thinkers from diverse areas of expertise, I knew from Day One that we would leave here with a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm to change the world.
The idea of sustainability has been around for a while and whilst many businesses are starting to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of operating much more sustainably, we now need to go beyond incremental change. Only by influencing the nature of the systems in which they operate can businesses create a context in which they can innovate for long-term success.
It's time to tackle the real problems. The wholesale cost of energy is the main component of our energy bills, it has gone up significantly and will continue to do so, and we can't change that. What we can do is stop wasting energy by improving our energy efficiency, and supply more from secure renewable sources. And with serious investment in these areas now, we can achieve lower energy bills in future.
On Wednesday, Unilever chose Universal Children's Day to launch the latest phase of their work to integrate the creation of a better world into their marketing. At a time when the world's politicians are winding up in Warsaw after another round of failing to do anything significant about climate change, it is wonderful to see one of our largest corporations taking unilateral action in such committed fashion.
I believe the answer is simple to identify, but deeply difficult to resolve. It lies in the fact that the dominant metaphor for the role of the individual in society today is that of the Consumer; and that while we talk to ourselves as Consumers, we simply will never solve climate change. Here are the four reasons why not.
Many businesses talk a good game on sustainability, while others admit they are still behind the curve and need to do more. But it continues to be equally important for organisations to pay great heed to how sustainable practice will translate to - and be supported by - their consumers and the public at large.
Climate change is still happening. There is more certainty than ever that human greenhouse emissions are the main driver of this change. Climate change is a huge threat to people, species, habitats and the places we care about. In a nutshell, that the risks posed by a changing climate are deeply concerning.
Each year in the UK we discard over a million tonnes of so-called e-waste: all those old scanners, PCs, mobiles and an estimated two million TVs that either stopped working or have become "obsolete". Around half of these six million items could be repaired but it's usually easier and cheaper just to buy a new one.