How To Make Money From Sustainability

There are a lot of political posturing and acronyms around sustainability. This makes it confusing and unattractive. The simplest way to understand and profit from sustainability is to think of it as a way to conserve resources, save money and become aware of where to invest your savings and time to ensure you can profit from it.

At the core of capitalism is money making, and as companies try maximizing their revenues and profits, they are quickly jumping into the decarbonization, sustainability and Net-zero business future as this is emerging as one of the biggest business opportunities of our generation.  In the next 10 years, sustainability considerations will have a much greater impact on how companies do business than even the Internet has had. 

The green transition will affect companies’ competitiveness, relevance, and market positioning. Reducing the carbon intensity of our economies and building resiliency saves money and prevents damage and losses caused by disaster events. Those that invest in sustainability and clean tech now are going to be able to join the “first mover coalition” that is building the new industrial, digitally based economy of the future. Those that stay behind and lobby for the status quo are missing the point and missing the boat.

A few trend that you can learn and benefit form:

– In 2021 alone green tech companies attracted investment of over $1 trillion 

– There are currently 43 private, $1b+ climate tech companies in the unicorn club. Of the 1,000 Unicorns today, the 43 in climate tech make up 4.3% of the overall group. Green unicorns are creating value for shareholders over 4 years (instead of 7 years in other sectors), reaching the billion-dollar valuation significantly faster.

– Decarbonizing our economies will be costly, but as in all investment, and disruptive changes capital and risk taking must be at the core of this transformation. Under the 1,5 C Net-Zero plans almost $30 trillion dollars will have to be invested by 2050. This corresponds to roughly 4 percent of annual GDP (in 2021 money). The cost of unmanaged and unpredictable climate change (based on business as usual) would be that the money invested to decarbonize our economies as climate events are projected to affect about 20 percent of global GDP by 2040.

– The growing demand for net-zero services and technologies is accelerating and could generate more than $12 trillion of annual sales by 2030 with key leading sectors including transport ($2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion per year), power ($1.0 trillion to $1.5 trillion), and hydrogen ($650 billion to $850 billion). 

-In early August 2022, the United States approved the largest ever green growth focused investment program toward fulfilling his goal to modernize the American economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The $ 500 billon program is a powerful move towards creating the new American industrial revolution. 

Opportunity ahead:

More than 80% of climate new business fall into the three major categories of energy (35%), agribusiness (33%), and mobility (16%). In addition to these sectors, we believe that climate risk data and ESG focused companies are going to experience massive growth as investors and financial institutions try to gain access to climate risk data. Going forward most companies will also be required to disclose their sustainability and social footprint (which will become compulsory in 2022-2023 in the EU and in the US). 

Final points: This is a good time for business and individuals to assess their internal sustainability score, and impacts, as this forces you to better allocate resources and efforts. In a post covid marketplace, and in a post-recession society, consumers will expect more from corporation in terms of social contract and sustainability promotion. Time for corporation to jump on the zero-waste economy and for individuals to jump on this rapidly expanding business opportunity. 

How To Survive A Crisis And Use It To Your Advantage

Personal, financial, reputational, and business crises can be devastating for people, families, and communities. As we look through the multiple crises that have affected us over the last five few years including Covid, the War in Ukraine, the Recession and Inflation, we should take stock of these markets, health and geopolitical crises and absorb the emerging lessons. These can be used for more personal daily decision making. 

Whether your business fails, or you get attacked by fake news or you experience financial losses, you will immediately feel a sense of defeat and loneliness. Our ego is shattered, and our motivation destroyed. The more we get entangled into the crisis, the less we see viable recovery options. As the sense of loss becomes more pronounced, our nervous system will mess with us, putting us down further as we are ashamed of the events that took us down. Friends and colleagues don’t pick up our phone, and we are suddenly all alone. There will also be artificial noise. The noise generated by your brain because of the stress.

Tips to build yourself back better and smarter
Each crisis is different, but here are some general actions that will help you become more resilient and impactful as you deal with your crisis.

Forget and forgive: Move on immediately and learn to forget and forgive those that have wronged you. If you are the sole responsible for the crisis you are living, forgive yourself and start taking steps to build yourself back up. Effective ways to recoup energy and focus include mediation and yoga as these practices enhance self-awareness and self-empowerment. Seek gratitude for the amazing opportunities you have and for the many small accomplishments in your life.  

Focus on what you can control: Don’t waste a second on those events you can’t control. Be it a friend that feels betrayed or a follower on Instagram that no longer wants to be associated with you. Rather focus on the improvement opportunities and the problem solving that you have absolutely control over. Manage your financial resources proactively and build a safety-net to fund your personal and/or business recovery. Personal finance is one of the most critical as you may find yourself stuck professionally, and you will need financial breathing room.  

Kill all the noise: Use your smartphone selectively and eliminate social media distraction. Start writing blogs and seek news channels that are willing to publish your articles. This will help you build your digital reputation back up and become visible again. Don’t forget however, that most of the negativity that comes through your brain is only happening in your mind and very rarely translates into concrete actions. Don’t look back on what happened, only look forward and build your new project and vision. As you silence the noise, you will become better at decision making and you will slow down. Avoid reactive actions at all costs and use silence and pause to better decide on the next step. 

Assume you are alone: While this may sound sad, once a personal, business, or financial crisis hits you, you will be alone, and you will lose people you think were friends. You will also get approached by many new people, be it lawyers, pr specialists and mental health advisors trying to make a dollar out of your personal crisis. Be wary that your crisis means money to some of these folks, and they may even be interested in keeping you in that crisis to monetize and extend your crisis. 

Final Words:
You should use every inch of the crisis. Crises are opportunities in disguise, and they can serve as accelerators of your personal growth. Control every aspect of it through patient planning forward. Become comfortable with the unconventional and don’t forget that most of the negative thoughts only happen in your mind.  Sometimes we make the wrong choices to get to the right place. 

Stress Is Fuel For Growth, Greater Happiness, And Accelerated Success

The youngest heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody Has a Plan Until You Get Punched in The Face”. The way I interpret this statement is that we have all gone through periods of success, and high confidence forgetting where we came from. And we all experienced levels of failures, setbacks, or injustices. What I am going to argue in this short piece, is that some of life’s setbacks can be turned to our advantage, converting the stress into mental fitness and abundance. I will also argue that most of the pain we experience is self-inflicted as we focus on the negatives and generate a lot of unnecessary noise and unrealistic deadlines. 

How to deal with losses? As many of you out there I have experienced serious personal and financial losses throughout my life. I have reacted and learned from those losses, and I continue to apply these lessons to my daily decision making. I have also had the life learning opportunity of getting exposed to other losses and crisis and have been able to provide support at these critical times. One of the general takeaways from all these losses, is that over-reacting to the crisis is never a good approach. In time of crisis while it is key to keep high alert, it is more important to slow down and recoup the strength and focus. Over-reaction tends to cause more damage aggravating the situation. 

Here is my manual for effective recovery from stressful situations:
You need to be the strongest you have ever beenEat well, exercise and practice meditation as this will give you a high level of awareness, gratitude, and self-love that are essential to convert stress into growth. Repeating “I love myself” in front of the mirror every day is a simple practice that will allow you to capitalize on the learning life is offering you.

Become 1 percent better every day: Be it physical, intellectual, or spiritual, push yourself and take baby steps every day to perform ordinary tasks extraordinarily well. Build a routine around these tasks, monitor progress as you continue to build positive momentum, you will see your mental fitness and psychological strength improve. I do an incremental number of push up every day, and I remove unnecessary sugar from my diet. Removing sugar from your diet will give you higher energy level and greater brain functionality. 

Seek inspirations from your favorite leaders: Watch and read constantly about leaders that overcome tremendous stress be it in sports, in business, in military and in life and apply some of the metrics to your daily decision making. The great General Napoleon Bonaparte practiced the following to avoid distraction. In times of high stress, he ordered his top generals to bring urgent information to him only 2 weeks after the messages had reached them. The reason being was that most of these challenges would have fixed themselves within the two weeks’ time. 

Share your vulnerability with people you respect: Open-up with great people and share your vulnerability and challenge. This creates a safe space for partnership and growth. The recipient person will feel compelled to reciprocate and share similar lesson and experience. Being comfortable about your weakness makes you stronger than most. 

Provide positive guidance to your brain: Celebrate every small daily victory with a “yeah” reaction similar to sport’s champion when scoring a goal or an ace. What this does sends a positive message to your brain. Systematize this proactively and celebrate every step that brings positive output. If your mind takes you into darker thoughts provide immediate vocal feedback saying out loud “not useful”. This will help your nervous systems internalize where to go and where not to go. 

Persevere: Everyone underestimates perseverance. And my argument is…build a plan no matter how unclear it may be and work relentlessly to make it real. Quoiting Steve Jobs on persevering here “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Replace the noise with actions: Whenever you experience negative thoughts, go on the offensive, performing small fitness routine, helping others, and walking in nature. Work harder than anybody else and self-appreciation and impacts will grow. Keep in mind that time is a non-renewable source, and you should not waste a second on negative thoughts. These thoughts are for the most part artificial and seldom lead to the consequences they threaten to unleash. 

Final thoughts: Stressful situation can be managed to your advantage if you limit the information that reaches your brain. Once you have brought quiet to your life, execute on the plan you have built applying the actions and events that caused stress in the first place. 

Smart Wearables Rings Can Foster Better Relations With Doctors

Wellness and fitness trackers have been around for years and have reached promising levels of market penetration. The global fitness tracker market is projected to grow from $36.34 billion in 2020 to $114.36 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 15.4% in forecast period 2021-2028. These devices are used to track and monitor wellness and fitness level through the tracking of sleep quality, calories intakes, sleep quality, steps taken and breathing. These devices connect to a smart phone and through their sensors systematize data collection to provide wellness and lifestyle analytics and coaching. In the US, 2 in 5 American used a fitness smart device regularly in 2021.

One segment of the smart wearable that is receiving significant investors interest is the smart rings, and we are starting to see good momentum around their adoption. This is happening because the technology is becoming more mature, their analytics more reliable and rings are perceived as more fashionable options that their competitors. The segment of wearable we cover today is the merger of wearable meet jewelry, which in our view is going to become the leading segment of wellness wearables over the next five years. Having been an early adopter of the Oura Ring 3, I must say that this wearable is very good particularly if this is the first time you are exposed to a fitness and wellness tracker. The Oura Ring distinguishes itself from others as it focuses on tracking your sleep trends. What in our opinion it does best, is measuring both your body temperature and heart rate variability, while also providing qualitative analysis on your sleep through assessment of movement, breathing frequency, and depth of sleep.

The trend-setters
A few stylish smart ring are coming to market promising to change the fitness and the wellness market. Unsurprisingly, none of these early trend-setters come from the large corporations such as Apple, Google and Amazon, but rather they come from start up from the US and the EU who are re-imagining the way we collect data to improve our wellness awareness. Among these a few we are analyzing include the following: a) https://movano.com/ which focuses on women and which should launch in late 2022 with a fashionable inexpensive device marketed at $50; b) https://www.circular.xyz which aims to improve your life’s quality starting from your sleep with support from an AI imbedded coach; and c) https://arcx.fit which is dedicated to the fitness enthusiast that aim to improve their physical performance. What all of these devices have in common, is that they help give you better awareness of your general health and fitness status building a baseline reference that can help you improve your performance and wellness indicators. 

As we start moving away from screen dependent devices, due to the digital fatigue which increased since Covid 19 emergency in 2020, startup have taken the lead to bring to market new devices that can help people improve their wellness, fitness, and longevity. Expect these trackers to become the norm and to eventually help improve our relations with doctors and health insurance. 

This is wellness not healthcare
It is important to note none of these ring trackers are medical devices and they are meant to cure, treat, or prevent diseases. What they do instead is aim to raise your awareness as it relates to your life-style, and health which could improve your relation with your doctor. These devices should never be seen as the replacement of professional medical advice, but rather as coaching support that could enhance you understanding of your lifestyle. 

Originally posted on AndreaZanon.tech.

Don’t Attend A Meeting Unless You Are Adding Value, Or You Are Getting Paid

In the frenetic post covid marketplace, people are struggling to figure out a new way of doing business and interacting with people in a more risk mature market. More technology and less people interaction seem to be two of the driving forces. While the pandemic has forced us to interact selectively and via tech platforms like zooms, it also taught us how much time we waste attending useless conferences, traveling oversee to network and to do business development. The Covid crisis has acted as an accelerator awareness for all individuals helping us all to better manage our lives. In this blog, we will share tips to increase your impacts and performance. The two basic decisions at the base of a long-term personal success are the following: a) be super-selective on your engagements; and b) say no to meetings if you are not adding value or are not getting paid.

Meetings are for the most a waste
The biggest challenge with business meetings is that they lock up unnecessary resources that could be allocated more productively. Unless it’s a board meeting or a financial decision meeting most of the time too many people are forced to attend meeting without contributing in any way. Rather than spending time at meetings, conduct your communication via email as this is the best way to keep a paper trail of the business at hand. Avoid also chat voice message as these are often impossible to locate and use. Instead of vocal messaging use video-messaging such as Slack as these at least gives the perception that you are creating the in-person meeting conditions. If you are the leader and you are calling the shots, organize only quick meetings that address execution priorities and avoid unnecessary meetings formalities that require minutes taking and add bureaucracy to your business. 

Mark Cuban and Elon Musk Hate Meeting
The two self-made billionaires have been consistently defining meetings as the biggest time waster in business. Mark Cuban, back in 2016 during an interview said, “No meetings or phone calls unless I’m picking up a check” The Maverik basketball owner further elaborates that people goes to meetings because they nothing better to do. Elon Musk similarly discourages meetings, and when he is in one, he keeps it short, focuses on execution urgency and leaves as soon as he is not adding value. 

Final Thoughts
In the great book the Power of No we learn that a quick and polite no prevents us from time waters down the line. Similarly, we should not be afraid of leaving a meeting and or dropping off a Zoom call as soon as we realize we are not contributing or not learning anything. Get serious and understand the value of time. This is a nonrenewable resource and we have only 1440 minutes a day. Let’s make sure that before deciding on a meeting we are getting high return on the time invested, be it a check or invaluable information we acquire. As you go through this change in your life, ask yourself “how busy am I?” If the answer is very busy with meetings, you are most likely not prioritizing. 

Megadrought need to be managed or we all lose out

In a business context, sustainability is often defined more specifically as triple-bottom-line thinking (people-planet-profit). In other words, balancing economic value with environmental and social value. This means that in a sustainable business, environmental and social impact assessment are usually embedded in the business objectives and operations.

Green tech and climate companies are rapidly transforming our marketplace. With sustainability now a business imperative, entrepreneurs, decision makers and established corporation need to move quickly or risk missing out on the massive sustainability business opportunity.  

We’ve seen this pattern before notably in the realm of digital disruption and internet revolution with the dot.com. First movers are disproportionately benefiting and are normally being rewarded by markets.  Just to add some data to the transformation we are witnessing, in 2011, just 20 percent of companies in the S&P 500 published sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. By 2013, the number of S&P 500 companies publishing a sustainability report more than tripled to 72 percent. G&A’s research found that 99% of the S&P 500 companies declared themselves sustainability focused in 2022.

In the past five years, sustainability has emerged as a critical value driver. As it became clear that existing efforts may not be sufficient to cap temperature increases and accelerate decarbonization efforts, corporations and investors began to recognize the opportunity of addressing the accelerating climate challenge. Organizations began adopting and promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures, and from 2020 to 2021 alone, the number of companies committing to science-based sustainability targets tripled. Corporations started to play leading roles in global climate summit such as the Paris Climate Summit in 2015, and the COP26 in 2021 in the UK. Finally, start up and risk taker entrepreneurs fostering sustainability to create value are growing to unprecedented scale, resulting in the rapid rise of “climate unicorns.”

What are the key drivers?
First, the price of carbon is rising while the cost of renewable energy continues to fall, making sustainable energy solutions increasingly competitive (and, in some cases, cheaper than traditional energy). Second, public pressure to take decisive action to avert climate catastrophe demands real behavior change by companies. This is also supported by consumer demanding more transparency and more ethical posturing or else boycott products. And the third factor is driven by the first two: capital is pouring into the sustainability space and risk in the broader decarbonization space is raising at break-neck pace. 

Lessons from capital mobilization
Looking forward with a clear understanding of what went wrong with venture capital investments in the cleantech boom and bust in the late 2000s could help policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors better understand how to ensure that next wave of sustainable corporate efforts are more successful. However, the researchers expect VC investments in clean energy and clean tech in general to continue falling behind investments in other climate sectors because of continued difficulties in product differentiation. Several reports recommend policy makers aiming to accelerate the green growth agenda to shift their focus toward creating demand-side policies that make investments in clean-tech more attractive to VC in general. 

Final actions items
To succeed in sustainability and with a crisis prone market, these are the key actions that we recommend to entrepreneurs: 

  1. a) Think of nontraditional partnership. Your larger competitor, or established company can be your best partner as it provides the scale you don’t have. 
  2. b) Set up a bold sustainability vision that set you apart and aims to put your agile, nimble new group in prime market position. 
  3. c) Overinvest in the public good as the future consumers will choose those producers that are focused on societal returns.
  4. d) Seek smart money outside of the costly VC hubs such as Silicon Valley and prioritize networking with larger family offices that are under pressure to diversify their portfolio towards sustainable investments.

The green investment revolution: Become part of it or be left behind

New research from global investment firms shows that over 50% of the population and investors want green tech and sustainable programs going forward. As the markets and society deal with Russia, Rates, and the Recession (the 3 Rs), there are clear signs that people want more sustainability integrated into decisions and investments. Having said that, the overall climate movement will suffer in 2022 as countries are dealing with short term financial decision making that are not in line with the green transition. This includes reliance on coal for energy generation, postponing clean-tech and renewable energy projects, and delaying new legislation like the EU Green Deal

The trend

Regardless of the ongoing economic crunch, everybody in the public and private sector is embracing green sustainable growth and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG). While this may seem politically motivated and left-wing leaning, it is not, and everyone should pay attention as the cost of not acting now on the green transition, will affect companies’ competitiveness, relevance, and market positioning. This argument is based on the overall assessment that regardless of the climate change and climate variability merits, reducing the carbon intensity of our economies and building resiliency saves money and prevents damage and losses caused by disaster events. Those that invest in sustainability and clean tech now are going to be able to join the “first mover coalition” that is building the new industrial, digitally based economy of the future. Those that stay behind and lobby for the status quo to avoid more disclosure, accountability and ESG scoring are missing the point and missing the boat. 

A few facts on the climate challenge and actions been taken

  • Physical damage to assets and economic losses due to natural disasters tripled over the last 20 years globally. In the US disaster events (floods, cold fronts, megadroughts, and wildfires) are costing the economy 2 percent of national GDP (that is approximately US$ 250 billion per year). 
  • Unless decarbonization is dealt with, by 2050 Climate Change could cause $23 trillion in global GDP losses (in 2020 the global GDP was US$ 84,5 trillion), corresponding to 11 to 14 per cent off global economic output.
  • Investing in resilience pays off and you don’t have to pay more to shift your investment to prevention. The World Bank estimates that investing 1 dollar in resilience equals at least 20 dollars spent in emergency reactive response.
  • Policy makers and regulators are coordinating their efforts to address climate data gaps, risk of corporate greenwashing, multiple disclosure standards, and a lack of globally accepted taxonomies in implementing investment strategies that support the transition to a greener society and economy.
  •  More than 60% of these younger consumers expressed interest in investing in companies that take ESG and sustainability seriously.

Conclusion

The risk and vulnerability to disruptive events influenced by climate have convinced politicians and the markets that making our environment better creates massive value for companies and for society. In so doing, the market is rewarding those earlier movers’ companies and entrepreneurs that can shift gear rapidly, establishing unique partnership and testing new technologies with a lower carbon intensity. Funding and investment will continue to flow to sustainable investments and to entrepreneurs as our society get transformed away from obsolete business practices that are no longer acceptable for most consumers and investors.

What is Net-Zero and why is such a big business opportunity?

Net-Zero is a term that has become popular in both the public and private sector circle thanks to the massive advocacy performed by the environmental movement led by the United Nations. More recently, following the COP15 and COP26 Climate Summits that respectively took place in Paris, France in 2015 and in Glasgow, UK in 2021, the term has become synonymous with the ongoing green industrial transformation. Net-zero refers to the level in which the greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere are harmonized by their complete removal. When we reach Net-Zero, which for now is tentatively targeted by 2050 (according to the COP26 pledges by over 100 countries), global warming should stop. This should result in less intense and frequent disaster events. In order for these carbon removals to be effective, they must be permanent, and be linked to long term sustainability and green-growth policies that prevent new unavoidable carbon emissions.  

The business opportunity

According to McKinsey, growing demand for net-zero services and technologies are accelerating and could generate more than $12 trillion of annual sales by 2030 with key leading sectors including transport ($2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion per year), power ($1.0 trillion to $1.5 trillion), and hydrogen ($650 billion to $850 billion). Such a transformation of the global economy will create significant growth potential for climate technologies and solutions as already evidenced by the massive growth of green startups and green unicorns (companies valued over 1 billion dollars). To reach Net-Zero target we will need to invest at least US$ 10 trillion dollar per year between now and 2050. While this price tag is high, the cost of unmanaged and unpredictable climate change (based on business as usual) would be much higher as climate events are projected to affect about 20% of global GDP by 2040.

The market status and the opportunities ahead

While many decarbonizing technologies in the energy, mobility and manufacturing sectors require more investment to make the underpinning technologies scalable, there are positive market signals indicating that large corporations believe that green hydrogen, green steel, green aluminum, and green cement (just to name a few) will become economically viable very soon. Davos First Mover Coalition (FMC) is a great example where over 55 leading corporations have started buying these technologies to scale up green tech “early adoption”. All green focused or interested companies should also learn from digital-business leaders, and emulate their aggressive growth plans, embracing risk taking, and tapping into new market trends. Embracing the speed of these companies of the 1990s could create a market advantage and generate massive upside possibilities for those early movers. Finally, learning from the Davos private sector movement, this is a great time to secure investment as the perception of climate risk and market transformation is prioritized by all market participants. 

Invest in yourself and don’t let this crisis control you

I believe the worst of the last 5 years is behind us. We have absorbed an unprecedented amount of loss, stress, market reversal, health challenges and geopolitical shocks. To be more specific, since 2017, we have been affected by the following crisis and shocks:

  • President Trump trade war with China which caused prices raise for basic products across the globe
  • Global pandemic that killed over 6.5 million people and caused $9 trillion of GDP loss in 2020 (10 % of global output)
  • Russia war in Ukraine killing thousands of people and threatening peace stability in Europe for the first time since WW2 and energy security globally
  • Skyrocketing inflation at a 40 year high at 8% in the EU and the US eroding welfare of people particularly the most vulnerable 
  • Global recession which in 2022 alone has wiped out 30-50% valuation of stocks and companies inflicting grave pain to investors and households

While several of the above crises are not fully under control, we have managed to absorb the worst consequences of these shocks, and we have built resiliency and risk management both at societal, and at the enterprise level. What we have also built is a higher level of risk awareness and readiness that will allow us to be better prepared for future unexpected events, be it a climate disaster or an unpredictable economic shock. 

How to leverage a crisis?

First, no matter how exposed you are personally and financially, do everything to control the crisis as opposed to being controlled by it. Use this tough time to re-assess how you allocate your finances, who you partner with and become as selective as possible in your decision making. Here are my 10 rules to be become more successful and happier:

  1. Focus on what you have absolute control over and let go of other distractions and the noise that derail you from your core. 
  2. Learn to delegate, automate, and outsource. As entrepreneurs for instance, we are often on a firefighting mode and do everything that must be done to keep the business going. Instead, learn to delegate, empower, and help those around you shine and help your problem solve. 
  3. Invest in strategic partnership. If you don’t have sufficient capital to pay for your staff, offer the company equities to keep the essential staff 
  4. Share your problem/challenge with others, this person will reciprocate and help you find a solution. If what you need is capital, ask for money from 10 new people every day. This will make you stronger no matter what the outcome is.
  5. Become comfortable about being uncomfortable. Learn that being rejected is market feedback that will teach you how to be more effective on your next request.
  6. Most deadlines are artificial and in 99% of the cases they don’t lead to any of the consequences they threaten to cause.
  7. Continue to learn and invest in your knowledge particularly in the areas of your expertise and passion. Nobody can ever take this away.
  8. Take risk and think big. While you test new solutions and products. Fail fast and fail forward and surround yourself with people that compliment you and that bring happiness and positive outcomes for society. 
  9. Don’t waste a minute. This is the most philosophical action, but when you truly realize that we have only 1440 minutes a day, you should use them smartly to accomplish your objectives.
  10. Become 1% better every day. Learn to be more grateful, help others, stay healthy and improve the environment. These are simple actions that taken everyday will compound themselves and make you unbeatable and happy. 

Conclusion

Crises are times where change is possible if we stay focused. These are times when we should channel all time and energy towards what is most critical and what we can control. This is the time to act as we have built an unprecedented level of mental strength, and risk awareness. Eliminate all the noise and start building a plan. In doing so we can convert the accumulated stress into fuel for growth.

Building A Green Business: Lessons For Sustainability Start-Ups

In a business context, sustainability is often defined more specifically as triple-bottom-line thinking (people-planet-profit). In other words, balancing economic value with environmental and social value. This means that in a sustainable business, environmental and social impact assessment are usually embedded in the business objectives and operations.

Green tech and climate companies are rapidly transforming our marketplace. With sustainability now a business imperative, entrepreneurs, decision makers and established corporation need to move quickly or risk missing out on the massive sustainability business opportunity.  

We’ve seen this pattern before notably in the realm of digital disruption and internet revolution with the dot.com. First movers are disproportionately benefiting and are normally being rewarded by markets.  Just to add some data to the transformation we are witnessing, in 2011, just 20 percent of companies in the S&P 500 published sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. By 2013, the number of S&P 500 companies publishing a sustainability report more than tripled to 72 percent. G&A’s research found that 99% of the S&P 500 companies declared themselves sustainability focused in 2022.

In the past five years, sustainability has emerged as a critical value driver. As it became clear that existing efforts may not be sufficient to cap temperature increases and accelerate decarbonization efforts, corporations and investors began to recognize the opportunity of addressing the accelerating climate challenge. Organizations began adopting and promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures, and from 2020 to 2021 alone, the number of companies committing to science-based sustainability targets tripled. Corporations started to play leading roles in global climate summit such as the Paris Climate Summit in 2015, and the COP26 in 2021 in the UK. Finally, start up and risk taker entrepreneurs fostering sustainability to create value are growing to unprecedented scale, resulting in the rapid rise of “climate unicorns.”

What are the key drivers?

First, the price of carbon is rising while the cost of renewable energy continues to fall, making sustainable energy solutions increasingly competitive (and, in some cases, cheaper than traditional energy). Second, public pressure to take decisive action to avert climate catastrophe demands real behavior change by companies. This is also supported by consumer demanding more transparency and more ethical posturing or else boycott products. And the third factor is driven by the first two: capital is pouring into the sustainability space and risk in the broader decarbonization space is raising at break-neck pace. 

Lessons from capital mobilization

Looking forward with a clear understanding of what went wrong with venture capital investments in the cleantech boom and bust in the late 2000s could help policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors better understand how to ensure that next wave of sustainable corporate efforts are more successful. However, the researchers expect VC investments in clean energy and clean tech in general to continue falling behind investments in other climate sectors because of continued difficulties in product differentiation. Several reports recommend policy makers aiming to accelerate the green growth agenda to shift their focus toward creating demand-side policies that make investments in clean-tech more attractive to VC in general. 

Final actions items

To succeed in sustainability and with a crisis prone market, these are the key actions that we recommend to entrepreneurs: 

a) Think of nontraditional partnership. Your larger competitor, or established company can be your best partner as it provides the scale you don’t have. 

b) Set up a bold sustainability vision that set you apart and aims to put your agile, nimble new group in prime market position. 

c) Overinvest in the public good as the future consumers will choose those producers that are focused on societal returns. 

d) Seek smart money outside of the costly VC hubs such as Silicon Valley and prioritize networking with larger family offices that are under pressure to diversify their portfolio towards sustainable investments. 

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