It feels appropriate to discuss sustainability in spring; when else would you? As nature awakens from the winter sleep, its beauty flourishing again before our eyes, I cannot help but think of the perpetual cycle it creates. From spring to winter, to spring again; an endless circle of renewal, a process which looks so stable, immutable, unbreakable, and yet, feels increasingly fragile. But what was once just a feeling in our bones, is now becoming undeniably evident to our eyes, and to our minds. It might be hard to see the change when you sit at the heart of it, as spring thrives by the lakeside in Montreux. Yet something has been changing, the cycle has been chipped and it must be repaired.
That’s why it feels just about right to discuss sustainability in spring. As the renewal of nature manifests itself, we are reminded of, and invited to reflect on, the essential role we play within it; and, increasingly, on how and how much we are contributing to it or detracting from it.
That’s one of the conversations the WBCSD business community kick-started today, beginning a dialogue on how our lives and work can be shaped to fit and encourage this renewal cycle; creatively, valuably, sustainably. A much needed discussion which questions and challenges the lifestyles we lead, and the considerable role of businesses underlying them, as agents, promoters and enablers. More importantly, it’s a discussion that focuses on defining action, implementing and assessing progress, rather than on the high-level, remote-future concepts that to me, an eternal sceptic, often mask incrementalism and procrastination.
Like winter, today started slow and sleepy for me, as the conference just kicked-off. But over the next couple of days, I will have the chance to witness an abundance of ideas, perspectives, arguments and commitments being exchanged for the stated purpose of placing sustainability at the heart of what business are and do. When, how much, how fast and for whose benefit: that, we shall see; but perhaps these days will bring renewal to perspective too, just like spring would.
Written by: Rachele Lanza