We were thrilled to host a full house for Mark Pezarro’s Sustainability Series presentation last night, Sustainability makes dollars and sense: The business case for sustainability
Mark was the sixth speaker in our year long Sustainability Series talks, presented by the Bachelor of Arts (BAM) degree program, with a specialization in ethics and sustainability. If you happen to have missed this event, Mark has graciously shared his slide deck as a PDF. You can download it HERE.
Mark started off the evening building the case for why sustainable practices are so important for this time in our planet’s history. He had some pretty compelling data to share, including visuals of artic sea ice recession over the last 30 years and data indicating that humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and retiles since 1970. He noted that the destruction of nature is as dangerous as climate change. While this set a rather dire stage, he did offer hope through the eyes of millennials who are much more aligned with conscious consumerism.
While it is widely perceived that sustainable practices that will save our planet are more expensive for business, Mark made a compelling argument that the opposite is actually true. He explained in depth and through examples how the “circular economy” involved in sustainable practices can offer cost savings through easier recruiting, productivity advantages, reduced manufacturing costs, new product opportunities, and the license to operate.
Flush with examples from Tesla, Vancity, MEC, Pantagonia, Walmart, Google, Nike, and Earls, he demonstrated cost savings and broke down perception of elevated business costs on numerous levels. Mark also illustrated that the work towards sustainability can be realized through a five-stage process. But it takes motivation to get started, and realize the financial gains by stage five.
Finally noting “There is no business on a dead planet,” Mark left us with these encouraging words, “Sustainability is a journey, not a destination.” As business leaders, we just need to take action.
Thank you Mark for generously sharing your insights with us!