‘What does sustainability have to do with inclusion?’, the operational director asked. I recently had the pleasure of introducing myself to an international executive team. As I like to keep everything I do interactive, the first question came right after my brief introduction. If that connection is unclear to him, it is probably unclear to many others. So I am grateful that he inspired me to write this blog.
Back in 2004, there was “a joint initiative of financial institutions which were invited by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to develop guidelines and recommendations on how to better integrate environmental, social and corporate governance issues in asset management, securities brokerage services and associated research functions”. That was the first time that the concept of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) was used mainstream as we know it today.
Attention to sustainability, diversity and respect increased.
Legislation followed, for example on environmental issues and anti-discrimination.
In 2015 “the 2030 agenda for sustainable development adopted by all United Nations Member States, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”
To be sustainable for the planet, we need to build sustainable relationships.
Not just with our inner circle, but with all the stakeholders we deal with: customers, suppliers, investors, colleagues, etc… Sustainability is more than a mindset, we need to live it to be successful. Only by thinking long term can we “reduce inequality, tackle climate change and work to preserve our oceans and forests”.
To build a sustainable future, we need to embrace the diversity the planet has to offer – not just biodiversity, but also human diversity.
For example, in more and more cities, think of Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, London, etc., there are no longer clear majorities, for example in terms of ethnicity or language. Take Brussels, it used to be a clear French-speaking city where most people spoke French at home. This is no longer the case, there is a minority of Dutch speakers and many other languages spoken at home. This growing diversity is a reality that decision-makers need to consider in order to manage the city in a sustainable way.
What does sustainability have to do with inclusion according to you?
Thank you for reading to the end and I look forward to reading your reactions 🙏.
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I look forward to hearing from you soon, and please get in touch if you want to build an inclusive and sustainable culture. From now on you can book an intake meeting directly in my agenda via the button below.
Cheers to your inclusive and sustainable culture, cheers to you,