How should business leaders take on climate-related challenges? If problems are really opportunities in disguise, is it possible to view climate issues optimistically? And how should governments encourage corporations in the drive towards a greener future? A recent roundtable hosted by DNV GL and BusinessGreen, the sustainable business publication, addressed these topics. DNV GL is “the world’s leading ship and offshore classification society, the leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry, and a leading expert for the energy value chain”.

The agenda was set by the publication of a recent report from DNV GL, titled, “A Safe and Sustainable Future: Enabling the Transition”. The report considers how the global economy might look by the middle of the century and considers the impact of a wide variety of factors including an increased population, extreme weather, resource shortages and regulation on businesses. It identifies 36 “barriers to sustainability”, including economic, societal and behavioural ones. Despite this, DNV GL were determined to establish a tone of optimism for the meeting.

James Robey, VP, Capgemini Group Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability DirectorThe meeting brought together CSR executives from several companies and organisations, including Alliance Boots Group, ArcelorMittal, Marks & Spencer and WWF-UK. James Robey, Capgemini Group Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Director, was one of the participants.

For James “climate change and sustainability are the biggest business change problems we’ll see and are ever likely to see.” James explained how a focus on reducing the impact of the business on our environment has encouraged us to invest in new and innovative ways to address the challenge. It has also encouraged us to look into options that don’t necessarily payback in the conventional short term and look at the longer term benefits of sustainable investment. The discussion raised many issues and came the conclusion that collaboration, as evidenced by the roundtable discussion, would prove crucial to delivering this exciting vision of the future.

Take a look at the BusinessGreen report via the link.

Find out more about Sustainability at Capgemini and James Robey.