Mike Barry, a renowned environmental specialist who spent 19 years heading up Marks & Spencer’s sustainability work was this week’s speaker at the Rotary Club of Henley-on-Thames’ online talk.
The talk started with stats on how the world is getting warmer and the impact this has had on the weather. Mike then went on to talk about Carbon Dioxide emissions, plastic waste in oceans and the destruction of eco-systems and the affect this is having on millions of species.
The population explosion and economic expansion has had the biggest affect on the environment. Mike said, “We over-consumer and create incredible waste.” In the UK alone we own 3 billion pieces of clothing/footwear!
The talk then centred around how businesses are starting to help the environmental crisis and how as citizens we are starting to expect more from businesses we buy from. Businesses are starting to be more transparent and taking action on reducing their carbon footprint. Some are introducing information on this on their packaging. Mike gave examples of businesses that are being innovative and sustainable and because of this are being more successful. A knock-on of this is that investors are now to starting to take sustainability seriously too. Policy, regulation and taxation also mean that businesses now have to respond.
Mike concluded by saying, “For the first time in 20 years, I can see a pathway from a bad place to a good place if we keep the right incentives and drive going in business.”
To watch the full talk click here