JUST GOOD BUSINESS BUZZ : Waking up to opportunity

“The business world’s response to climate change so far has been bit sleepy. The world is about to completely change the way it produces and consumes energy. This is going to make lot of people lot of money.”
So says Paul Dickinson, founder and CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project, which is doing its best to focus corporate attention on energy usage and emissions. For the past six years it has requested information from major companies for steadily growing group of concerned shareholders. In 2009 it represented 475 institutional shareholders representing combined assets under management of US$55 trillion across all asset classes.
With that level of clout, in 2009 it got responses to its carbon disclosure questions from 2500 companies including 82 percent of the world’s 500 largest by market capitalisation.
In the run-up to Copenhagen, Dickinson stressed that politicians needed to do more to explain the severity of climate change impact, but was optimistic that the corporate world will rise to the climate change challenge – because there is profit to be had there.
“I don’t believe people will put their money into companies that are damaging their children’s futures – they want to give it to people who are part of the solution… The real economy can turn on sixpence if people spend their money differently.
“I am optimistic because the opportunities for ‘dematerialising’ energy are enormous.”
(See Getting It: Expert Perspectives on the Corporate Response to Climate Change.)

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