These interviews are part of Big Think’s ongoing series “Balancing People, Planet and Profit: The Future of Business Sustainability,” sponsored by Logica. So far, the series has featured interviews with Peter Brabeck, the Chairman of Nestle; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Special Envoy on Climate Change, U.N.; Ernst Weizsäcker, Co-chair, U.N. International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group; Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at IEA; and Bjørn Lomborg, Environmental Economics Professor at Copenhagen Business School. The series examines ways that business interests can be better aligned with the greater social good.
When it comes to business sustainability, do we need top-down or bottom-up approaches? Erik Rasmussen, CEO of the think tank Monday Morning and founder of the Copenhagen Climate Council, believes that both are necessary. Sometimes it will be the small enterprises that are making strides, but another part must come from a strong focus on R&D.
Whether or not it’s the responsibility of business to promote healthy lifestyles has always been a debate. Rasmussen believes such actions should come naturally. “The companies who really see that this is an important part of their brand, an important part of the business strategy, an important part of their whole data, they will have natural interest in telling the good stories and spread the good stories, spread the good news, so application brings possibility or not,” he says.
What are the incentives for becoming a sustainable company? The real question is, who wants to work for an un-sustainable company these days? Rasmussen says the adoption of sustainable practices have become a very important factor in attracting top talent. Any business that doesn’t see the merit of sustainability needs to look beyond the short-term, he says.
Who — or what — really controls your mind?