It's just not enough…

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A richly decorated tomb in Southern Madagascar – a promise of resurrection?

The Corona crisis has shown us that not even a global lockdown will slow down climate change. It is not enough just to talk about the climate; it is time to act more courageously and tackle the many global challenges we face together.

There are people who dismiss global warming as a normal phenomenon. Perhaps one can actually argue about which climate effects are man-made and which are not. However, it is undisputed that the climate is changing and potentially endangering large parts of the world’s population.

But what about the waste problem? Clearly mankind is the cause here, and anyone who was at the beach in the past years could clearly see the consequences in the large mountains of waste on some coasts.

A long-term study in Germany found that in the last 10 years about 60% of the insects have died. Biodiversity is in danger. Another fact that cannot be ignored.

Furthermore, coffee farmers in Central America, for example, can no longer finance themselves and see emigration to the USA as the last option. This despite Fairtrade and organic labels. In Côte d’Ivoire too, cocoa is largely grown under questionable conditions in nature reserves and then sold to Western companies. In the West the chocolate is then called “sustainable”.

Western-style neo-colonialism made the 500 million small farmers of the world our food suppliers, but on terms that are no longer sustainable for the farmers. Under these circumstances, it is questionable how the increasing demand, due to population growth and increasing prosperity, is to be met.

The Earth’s population is ever increasing. By 2050, we will have to supply around 10 billion people on earth. In addition, an ever larger proportion of humans enjoy middle class standing and therefore have higher demands on comfort, space, nutrition and freedom.

It is not enough just to talk about these challenges! It is not enough just to compensate for harmful activities! It is also not enough to rely only on labels and certificates!
How can we tackle these challenges?
Politicians carry responsibility. We experienced the effect of a large alliance of states working towards the same goals in crisis mode during the Corona crisis. We must succeed in overcoming the individual interests of states and politicians and the trend towards self-centred behaviour and focus on efficient measures across borders. The welfare of all must be placed above the welfare of the few.
Financial sector
More money is needed! – Wrong, there’s plenty of money. There’s so much money that we even face negative interest rates. Basically a good basis to become bolder about investing in riskier, less profitable but perhaps more sustainable projects. Relatively high returns just to satisfy the expensive salaries of financial specialists and the high expectations of investors are not entrepreneurial. What the world needs are longer-term perspectives, new investment vehicles, more operational support and a stronger focus on the non-monetary effects of investments. This is the way to create economic, social and ecological added value and interesting future returns!
They’re already doing quite a bit. Often the focus on financial sustainability is still missing, activities depend on donations and they are not secured permanently. The flow of donations is decreasing as donors expect measurable results. A rethinking of the system is needed. The time for this is now! There are many well-developed projects with economic potential that can be led into independence with a portion of entrepreneurship. This creates consistency and gives NGOs the chance to deliver the required results and to enable lasting and sustainable impacts with their projects.
The economy, then. The economy is struggling. Often under pressure from financial investors, the economy too is yield-oriented and trapped in existing business models. Sustainable entrepreneurship is only slowly becoming established. Yet “sustainable” is basically nothing other than “entrepreneurial”! It is about the long-term securing of resources, the development of long-term market advantages and ultimately the existence of the company. Long-term orientation has to be the key and at the heart of the strategy, and this requires appropriate measures today.
It is high time that we as a society focus on concrete and forward-looking solutions to the challenges. The many lucrative years of the last decades have led to a collective egoism and short-term thinking. Various problems need to be tackled. It is unrealistic to expect that our consumer society will do without amenities. We must therefore try to tackle the problems with fair, profitable and effective solutions.
The UN has set the path with the definition of the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030. And interesting solutions and ideas already exist:

Climeworks removes CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it long-term. Danone is placing sustainability at the heart of its growth strategy and is consistently aligning itself accordingly. From now on Volvo will only build cars with hybrid or electric technology. Lombard & Odier is changing its investment strategy to sustainability because nothing else makes sense. Philips is deliberately focusing its healthcare business on customers in the lowest income segment, in order to gain market share. Various telecom providers have already been doing successful business in structurally weak regions for some time. Also WECONNEX develops sustainable concepts with scaling potential and supports partners on the way to strategic sustainability. The NEXUS concept developed by us is one of Betrand Piccard’s “1,000 profitable solutions to protect the environment“.

Everyone can participate and contribute to a future worth living. Are you using your skills and possibilities in the right way?

On our own behalf: Unfortunately, the circumstances are not yet ready for the solutions WECONNEX’ develops. In Madagascar, for example, the holistic NEXUS concept shows that it can work to implement landscape projects in structurally weak countries in an ecologically as well as socially responsible and economical way. However, the time does not seem ripe for the scaling of such projects. Not only because of the Corona crisis, but also because of the reluctance of investors and service customers, WECONNEX has therefore decided to stop its activities for the time being. We are reducing our costs, but we will remain active in the background to be able to resume operations at the right time.
In this sense we would like to thank our partners who have supported us in the last years. We are looking forward to keeping up interesting discussions, sharing ideas, pursuing possible partnerships and, of course, above all to concrete inquiries for projects and mandates, so that we too can make our contribution to the system change soon again!
The WECONNEX team will of course remain closely connected to the topic of sustainability and is looking forward to staying in touch with you!

Source: nexus ch

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