Although this year has been a peculiar one – one of growing concerns – we believe that it is time to start focusing on the good news and join forces in what we communicate in order to convey another kind of message; an optimistic message that reminds us that there is still time to make things happen and make things better.
One issue that concerns us is the increasing popularisation of the narrative that makes a tragic and urgent call to join the 2030 Agenda. While it is true that there have been some drawbacks – like in all fields and areas as a consequence to the effects of the global pandemic – we cannot invite those who are still unfamiliar with the bounties of sustainability to join us by means of worry and fear.
It has been five years since the Sustainable Development Goals were ruled. In this time, many have joined the project, and progress has been made in the consolidation towards a more sustainable world. In these five years, some companies have confirmed that integrating the 2030 Agenda in their strategy and management system allows them to advance towards new ways of growing and generating value in our society.
Fear will never be a good ally and it should not be the one redefining the strategies of our companies. Businesspeople and entrepreneurs do not become successful by thinking about scarcity and limitations; they reach success by being convinced of their potential and properly aligning their purpose and vision to create value. Therefore, sustainability should not appear as an answer to fear, but as an exceptional opportunity to broaden companies’ visions and purposes. Sustainability means going further, preserving what is important and ensuring the company’s consolidation in the future – considering not only the economy, but also our society and environment.
We are living in a time where messages of concern prevail. They invite us to worry about climate change consequences, the incidence of the virus, the lack of ICUs, hospital bed capacity, deaths, the elderly, the economy of our countries, high rates of unemployment, political polarization (regardless of where you stand reading this), our health, our income, worldwide increasing poverty and widening inequality. We are worried about our companies’ uncertain futures and about their impact on employment. Not knowing when we are going to see and hug our family is disturbing, as is not knowing whether we will keep our jobs or not, among many other things. However, it is better to focus on the endless list of reasons that will keep up our optimism and continue our work towards building a better world.
Although focusing on the silver linings does not mean ignoring what is not working so well, it is preferable to use optimistic arguments to advance in sustainability. It is better to think on the progress we have made to this day and not on what we still must accomplish as a society. It is time we recognise that it is possible to do things better; a narrative like this motivates, inspires and calls one to join our initiative.
So, if there are still doubts concerning the importance of keeping optimism alive, now is the time to recall some of the tendencies that prove that we are living an exceptional moment, and that this is a time full of opportunities to make sustainability a reality.
More and more companies are joining voluntary initiatives and are making their goals to reduce their carbon footprint, advance in energetic transition and incorporate practices of circular economy.
Never before have we had so many people connected to each other, which facilitates collaboration and cooperation when it comes to solving global problems. Democratising access to technology not only contributes to a major development of regions, but also facilitates progress in the fields of education, health, and productivity, among others.
There is a call from science to go back to philosophy and ethics. We are living in a time without precedents where changes accelerate exponentially, and we are unaware of the consequences and impact of technological advances in our daily lives. However, some voices demand answers regarding the big questions posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution from a point of view that considers what is ethical and humane.
Thanks to technology and to a great number of informed citizens, it is harder for our actions and their impacts to go unnoticed by our society. Transparency is necessary and reporting exercises contribute – voluntarily or not – to consolidate and reinforce our institutions.
To conclude, it is good news to know and recognise that many, thousands, millions of people working from companies, universities, NGOs, and governments are making decisions thinking of a better future. All around, people wake up from their nooks determined to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable world.
And what is more inspiring than realising that those of us willing to do things right are growing in number?
Anthesis are the sustainability activators, and we can guide you in the process of integrating sustainability as part of your business strategy and help you communicate, in the best light, the contributions that sustainability offers. If you still do not know us, now is the time to reach us.
Tatiana Garcia, Corporate Sustainability technical consultant at Anthesis Lavola
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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.