How To Rebuild A More Sustainable Economy Post-Covid
The conversation around climate change has understandably taken a back seat in recent months, but as reports emerge that we have only six months to avert climate catastrophe, it is clear that the world’s pandemic recovery plan must also include drastically reduced energy consumption. Luckily, economic recovery and a healthier planet go hand in hand, despite what the prevailing narrative might suggest.
As we slowly get back to work, travel restrictions ease, and our daily lives settle into a new normal, business leaders must seize the opportunity to implement more streamlined and efficient practices and begin to see that it’s easy (and cost-effective) to be green.
Being energy efficient is an asset, not a cost
For those who own or manage assets such as office buildings, it has long been held that going green will cost you a pretty penny. Converting the energy supply chain from fossil fuels to renewable sources, renovating buildings with more thermally efficient cladding, even repainting facades with energy-generating paint are all expensive on the face of it. But any investment is going to hurt your pocket in the short term, and Brad Dockser, CEO and co-founder of GreenGen argues that the conversation around energy in real estate needs to be reframed to focus on the long-term benefits of being more energy-efficient. “We just flip the narrative,” says Dockser, “instead of telling clients to spend more and be more sustainable, we talk about investing in your business and assets to increase cash flow and make it more valuable, and the byproduct of that is improved sustainability and resiliency.” Dockser also makes clear to clients the litany of secondary benefits to both businesses and public institutions such as “reducing the probability of flood damage” with more resilient buildings, or getting rid of city power plants to clean up the air and in doing so “reducing health care costs by trillions of dollars” by minimizing long-term asthmatic, coronary, and pulmonary issues.
As countries around the world tentatively come out of lockdown, broad and transformative changes will be key to getting businesses, and the economy, back on track whilst simultaneously promoting a more sustainable way of operating.