With the current pandemic, the question and need to return back to ‘normality’ – whatever that may be – is of top priority among politicians, businesses and the people. However, will environmental and social initiatives survive Covid-19?
When times are good and everything is perfect – looking back, that was the world before the pandemic – it is a lot easier to put purpose above profit. However, with the rush to get things going again, companies are going to shed their true light on how much they value their sustainability goals. Will these goals survive when their business is trying to make ends meet?
Over the last few years, there was more interest in responsible capitalism than ever before. Over the last 3 years between 2017 and 2020, there was a jobs bananza in stewardship and sustainable investing teams. There was mass calls for carbon emission reduction plans, bigger than ever before.
However, in the post-pandemic era, how will these trends change? Will social responsibility overshadow environmental responsibility as companies emerge from the pandemic?
As talked about in previous articles, but in no form of eco-facsism, the lockdown has made us more sustainable in some ways. The air is cleaner than it has been in years and corporate leaders are forced to consider how to be a good employer amid record job cuts. The question is whether companies go back to old ways after this all blows over.
It is very easy to rush this re-building stage and look at the only profitable ways in carrying out business. I suppose this is fair enough, seeing as the world has never seen such unprecedented times in terms of the economy and society.
We must remember, not just the people, but the governing bodies and corporations to not slip back into old habits and fall back into the business as usual model. More so, if the science is correct, we could be facing a greater catastrophe in the next 30 years that makes this current pandemic look like a minor blip.
Do you run a business? If so, what are your thoughts on maintaining sustainable regulations during the re-building stage?
Credit: Andrew Hill, Gillian Tett and Billy Nauman – Financial Times