One of the key themes at the NILF this year is the green agenda. Yes, the green agenda – the environment and what we can do to prevent human-assisted climate change. It’s one of those issues that were huge last year, but the question now is really whether it’s going to remain on the radar for most c-level execs, or whether their own corporate survival will take precedence over all those good intentions.
I’m not a cynic. I enjoyed Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ as much as anyone else who cares about what happens to the planet we live on. I think that I make a bigger effort than most of my peers by using a bicycle to get around, rather than a car. Imagine the impact if everyone who doesn’t really need a car actually stopped using one and started comparing carbon fibre forks instead of 0-100km acceleration times?
But, and it’s a big but, what is going to happen within the global services industry when the recession starts biting margins and revenue? Off the top of my head I can think of major green programmes recently started by IBM and India’s ITC – I’m sure others are out there. Will the billions that these green programmes cost to initiate be recouped in an environment where companies are talking only of survival? Will clients demand green credentials in the way we expected they would a year ago?
I hope the debate on this blog and at the NILF allows us to explore further how priorities may be changing – or maybe the green issue transcends short-term economic issues? See you in the green sessions!