We joined global leaders, policy makers and industry stalwarts at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this month. Here’s a roundup of our top takeaways from the conversations that took place:
Growing Demand for Accountability & Reporting Standards
This year’s World Economic Forum Executive Chairman discussed stakeholder capitalism and encouraging businesses to seek results beyond making profits.
For example, companies should broaden their focus on sustainability to include sustainable procurement, production, and supply chains.
· Companies are being pressured by the public to play a more active role against income inequalities, unethical corporate practices and brand reputational damage
· Businesses are responding to concerns about the lack of transparency and trust in corporate governance systems, and
· Industry leaders are demanding higher levels of due diligence and accountability in reporting standards.
There were also more conversations from manufacturers and retailers looking for solutions to harmonize the inconsistencies in the reporting standards of Environmental Social and Governmental (ESG) factors. Think of it this way – ‘”What are the best practices in sustainable risk management, procurement, and production?” and “What are the best ways for sustainability reporting?”
Shifting Paradigm for Real Transformation
There was an overwhelming number of announcements by organizations highlighting their willingness to face up to challenges and seek solutions that deliver on their promise of sustainability.
These investment plans included:
· The SDG500, a coalition of private and public sector organizations, committed to mobilizing a $500million investment platform to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
· Microsoft’s announcement on a zero net carbon footprint, and
· Sustainable Data Alliance’s commitment to facilitate sustainable investment businesses that operate in developing countries.
It was striking to see an ever-stronger presence of technology companies looking to support the paradigm shift from an enterprise’s promise to implementation.
The success of these endeavours will depend on organizations leveraging innovative technology to drive their transformation.
With technology playing an even more crucial role in defining the success of organizations, interest in sustainability is a demonstration that we are headed in the right direction. This should start with sustainable procurement, be it for raw materials, services, or labor.
Enabling Change with Technology
With speeches from industry titans on regulation, activists against cybercrime and scrutiny on privacy, Davos presented an ideal platform for organizations to take stock of achievements to date, debate on challenges where progress is slowing and shed light on areas lacking multi-stakeholder support for these solutions to scale rapidly.
There were a lot of conversations around blockchain this year as supply chains are looking to technology for solutions.
At our Diginex panel on how technology helps to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking, we answered queries from NGOs, large manufacturers, policy makers and retail brands looking to satisfy regulatory and reporting standards and meet their corporate governance goals.
For example, every organization should make promoting sustainability, from sustainable procurement to supporting green initiatives, part of its objectives.
Optimizing Capital with Innovation
We saw a growing number of conversations on the inclusion of digital assets in investment portfolios. There is a growing trend of investment managers exploring new asset classes to optimize capital allocation in their funds.
At our Diginex panel on digital assets becoming mainstream, we took an active role helping finance and banking institutions, money managers and pioneers of capital markets, better understand the opportunities of this emerging class through a traditional lens.