Goldman Sachs regularly convenes and goes over topics of impact for the markets, and sustainability has certainly become one of these topics. The multinational finance company states that sustainability is imperative for long term economic growth and is increasingly shaping business strategies.
In fact, Goldman Sachs hosted the 2017 Sustainable Finance Innovation Forum where companies, investors and policy makers discussed key themes shaping environmental markets and sustainability. According to the forum, it is clear that the growing economic thesis around low carbon solutions and sustainable business models is changing industries and markets rapidly with increased focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) integration to rapid ongoing technology innovation.
I would say this is good news, but this should also not be very surprising, considering the importance of the topic. It is interesting to put this in perspective with a recent McKinsey report "How companies can adapt to climate change".
In the report, a survey was presented that showed that of S&P 100 global companies, only 28% said they had done climate assessments, and 18% said they use climate-specific tools or models to assess their risks.
The report provides recent examples of climate change impact on businesses; in 2012, Cargill, posted its worst quarterly earnings in two decades, in large part because of the US drought. They further state that of course no single event can be attributed to climate change, but this is an example of how climate can and does affect business prospects.
Another example is Western Digital Technologies, a major supplier of hard disk drives, posted a sharp decline in revenues in 2011 after flooding in Thailand which meant global supply slumped, with severe consequences for computer manufacturers.
The discussion at the Sustainable Finance Innovation Forum shows that the market is rapidly changing towards low carbon solutions and sustainable business models. The McKinsey report shows why this is necessary and how companies that identify the most pertinent risks will better manage the challenges ahead.
Circular Solutions was founded with this in mind. We identified a growing need for consultation and tools to assist businesses to reach their environmental and sustainability goals; to increase their competitiveness and to make the world a much better place. We at Circular use our broad experience to create tailored solutions for all our customers.