This panel discussion, in particular, showed how different stages of development require a different approach and how the sustainability discussion can be influenced by standards of life we are used to. Panelists coming from northern and western Europe presented a rather visionary approach of „everything is possible if you put your mind to it‘‘, expressing far-reaching expectations for upcoming years in the battle to bring more sustainable solutions to the corporate world.
Energy in Emerging Countries
Fiza Farhan, Clean Tech Entrepreneur, Member of UN SG‘s HLP on Women Empowerment from Pakistan helped us paint a picture of somewhat distinct to many reality of an emerging country and how the challenges differ in comparison to Europe. From her point of view, the turnkey point was to establish how profitable going green is by making it a commercial case. She declared that in Pakistan, we cannot be talking of, for instance, using electric buses when there is five to six hours blackout every day.
“Bring the will of a completely sustainable world out of stakeholders.”
Collaboration is Key
Alejandro Castro Perez, representing IKEA Group, presented a broader perspective, explaining the need for businesses to reinvent themselves and pay particular attention to the diversification of their portfolio. He also pointed out that collaboration is the key, agreeing with the rest of the panelists that establishing partnerships is driving innovation and is crucial to success.
„It is not only the right thing to do socially and environmentally, it is the smart thing to do financially.“
Getting to a Fully Sustainable World
These days, the retail industry where IKEA operates is being considerably disrupted. In Alex opinion, companies should realise that diversifying their portfolio towards clean energy is an opportunity rather than a constraint. He emphasized the importance of diversity, saying that it plays an important role that transcends business portfolio resilience.
„Diversity is the key of driving innovation.“
Alex recommends 3 steps to help to build that transition:
Offer more attractive products and services that help people from different parts of the world to adapt clean energy.
Ensure that operations, products and services are powered (throughout their life-cycle) by clean energy.
Work in partnership across the value chain with other companies and stakeholders to make sure that these products and services are supported by fair inclusive and sustainable practice.
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