Whether in Davos or Düsseldorf, the landscape of every industry is being transformed by a quest for sustainability. Recognizing the need to come to terms with climate change, Larry Fink, CEO of Black Rock, a global investment management corporation, took a definitive stance earlier this month in his annual letter to CEOs when he declared, “sustainable investing is the strongest foundation for client portfolios going forward.”
Fink’s announcement helped put the issue front and center at last week’s World Economic Forum with CNN Business reporting that, “sustainability was the topic of scores of panels, meetings and cocktail conversations in Davos.” And while key speakers included Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg and former Vice-President of the United State, Al Gore, a consensus on how to move forward was never reached by those present.
In our corner of the globe, we are taking up the mantle and seeking ways to be part of the solution. Our vision starts with OASys, a model for on-water living. It’s an answer to housing needs in environments with eroding landscapes or congested urban areas, and offers a portable building solution for businesses as well as homeowners. More importantly, it’s a model of sustainable living and green building. We are adding to our portfolio of partners with innovative companies like Swiss-based Bcomp and we welcome inquiries from those of you who share this vision and would like to explore a collaboration.
Others moving forward were on hand at boot Düsseldorf 2020, the world’s largest boat show. At the event’s annual International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) organized with the European Boating Industry, the key topic was “sustainable boating with a focus on alternative fuels and engine systems.” A “love your ocean” themed interactive exhibit presented by the German Ocean Foundation, showcased upcycled old sails and renewable raw materials that can be used in boat building. The foundation’s director, Frank Schweikert, remarked, “the aim of our stand is to encourage water sports enthusiasts to be pioneers and ambassadors for healthy oceans and waterways and, as a result, to strengthen support for sustainable ideas in the water sports communities as well.”
The organizers of the Future Fabric Expo that is currently running in London notes that “as much as the fashion industry is part of the problem it needs to be part of the solution and turn into a powerful force for positive change by following regenerative principles, a circular systems approach and sustainable design.” Billed as the “largest dedicated showcase of globally sourced, commercially available sustainably and responsibly produced fabrics and materials” the show is in its 9th year.
In early March, America’s largest construction trade show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG arrives in Las Vegas with “Sustainability” sharing equal billing with “Modern Mobility” and “Smart Cities” as a key focus topic for the Tech Experience event. Clearly, like Black Rock’s Larry Fink, the call to embrace sustainability as a business practice is being heard. Why does it matter? According to the organizers, “housing, workspace, infrastructure and utilities all have serious social and environmental consequences. Companies embracing sustainability will earn more contracts.”
So with an eyes-wide-open approach to a year that demands it, join us as we learn more and actually do more to change our respective businesses. It’s also important to look outside of ourselves to see where others are making strides. The consensus that wasn’t reached at Davos has long been decided across industries. It is evidenced by this year’s line up of trade shows. Time to get busy.
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