There’s been a huge push amongst some of the big corporates in Singapore towards sustainability. Keppel announced their decision to exit the rigs business while DBS claims they have overshot their sustainability financing business and will more than double their target for 2024. One thing clear here is that we are gradually seeing that business forces are playing a big role in forcing the hands of big corporates rather than just concern for climate change.
Climate change might be the main flag that sustainability activists fly but it is not the only driver of sustainability trends. Besides, the climate is merely a global version of the kind of damage that humans have wrought on the planet for centuries. There had destruction of natural habitats for commercial agriculture, which in turn can reduce biodiversity, and set of further chain reaction.
And of course, there’s use of plastics, resulting in excess waste in the environment that is damaging wildlife and their habitats as well (think ocean plastics). It is interesting that we found this amazing material that can last so long without degradation but then only choose to use it for such a short time over its entire potential lifespan – allowing it to stay in the environment as waste instead for most of its life.
So yes when we embrace the fact that we are all an open system rather than necessarily just trying to optimise our own imaginary closed system, we learn to see how we can make things better by making better things. Not things that pollute, encourage bad behaviours or generate more waste, but things that really can change many lives. Here is the chance for responsible corporate leaders to try and channel all of these market, social and political forces together to create a future that we want to have. Not the future we would passively receive by continuing the mistakes of those who came before us.