The coming year may be the biggest year ever for green investors and sustainable business. For those with a little vision, market opportunities in 2015 are even bigger than those that emerged in 2014. After years of slow and steady growth corporate sustainability will see a significant increase in momentum this year ahead of the global climate deal scheduled to be signed in Paris at the end of the year.
While their are huge opportunities in the green economy, there are also some significant headwinds. In the US sustainable business will face undeniable political headwinds from Republicans who are beholden to an outmoded economic model that is mired in fossil fuels. Nonetheless, savvy business leaders will see beyond the politics of the day and position their firms for the world of tomorrow.
Systems thinking may be one of the most transformative approaches to emerge out of the shadows in 2015. Systems thinking is all about the interrelationships between things and as businesses are increasingly discovering there is a powerful interrelationship between things like energy, water, efficiency, waste and recycling. The relationship between systems thinking and sustainability is about as organic as it gets and the coming together of these two forces is a natural marriage that may become a core part of mainstream thought this year.
Unless you are in the fossil fuel business, the logic of clean energy will be impossible to ignore in 2015. Those that choose to continue to ignore the clarion call in 2015, may miss the boat altogether. Once the world turns the corner, the lines will be drawn. A choice will have to be made between fossil fuels and clean energy. Being on the wrong side of this line could spell disaster.
Fossil fuels are known to cause climate change and as such they are a clear and present danger. Investors know that vast quantities of unburnable carbon are destined to stranded. They see the writing on the wall and the day is coming when divesting from fossil fuels will be a fiduciary duty.
Those who opt to align themselves with the old energy economy will share the fate of fossil fuels. Despite the manipulative doublespeak, the fossil fuel industry knows that its days are numbered. There is no future to fossil fuels and this will become painfully clear by the end of 2015.
Once dismissed as impossible, it is now becoming clear that clean energy can (and must) replace fossil fuels.
Very soon Big Oil will be greeted with the same mistrust as the finance firms that unloaded worthless collateral debt obligations (CDO’s) that led to the market collapse of 2007.