💬 “The IPCC has said that it’s too late to avert climate change through the supply side alone, therefore as individuals, we need to shift our consumption behaviour. But the producer is also responsible for our consumption, so they’re going to need to help us shift our consumption choices to more sustainable options.” @Janet Salem
This is a conversation with Janet Salem
🎙️ Janet has worked for the United Nations for over 13 years in Paris, Vienna and now in Bangkok where she leads the Asia and the Pacific work on sustainable lifestyles and innovation. Her current role with the UN is as Economic Affairs Officer for Circular Economy.
🎧 In this episode, Janet talks about how the ecosystem of startup companies working on environmental sustainability has changed and developed over the last few years. In her role at the UN they track not only the successful companies but those that do not succeed in scaling up. The reason is that often the failure of a company can be down to legislation or regulation, so this data can help to promote the relevant changes in policy that will create a better platform of success for the next company. Janet talks about the global surge in startups including in Asia.
With over 50% of India now having access to the internet, more and more business ideas are being created, getting noticed and getting funded in that region. She explains that the transition to sustainable business and a circular economy is driving these business leaders, but unfortunately, capital is still mostly going to safe projects and proven technologies.
One way to change the way the capital is invested is to look to the leadership of Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand. The NZ Treasury has been instructed that, when planning policies or modelling future economic scenarios for New Zealand, it can no longer only consider the impact on GDP growth. Instead, it must include social, human, and natural considerations into its thinking.
Janet talks about responsibility. Who is accountable for what, and remarks on the disposable coffee cup as an example of failure in sustainable practice, failure in policymaking and failure in economics. But she says, whilst consumers need to change, there also must be viable alternatives.
Finally, Janet talks about the power of visualisation. A theme throughout this series and she explains what she’s been working on recently with Sony and new immersive technologies.
This is the Infinite Leaders series on the Boundless Podcast, we are exploring how Digital Transformation, Data and Artificial Intelligence can promote, provide engagement and deliver environmental sustainability.