International green economist describes his corporations of the future

3 December 2012

Business as usual is not a viable option for long and the business world urgently "needs a new DNA", says Pavan Sukhdev.
Business as usual is not a viable option for long and the business world urgently "needs a new DNA", says Pavan Sukhdev.

Pavan Sukhdev, the man who has been described as 'nature's banker', will present a special Sydney Ideas lecture today (3 December) to share his vision of a global green economy.

Drawing on his latest book Corporation 2020: Transforming Business for Tomorrow's World, he will discuss some of the most troubling environmental and social impacts of modern corporations, and propose we rethink corporations and how they interact with society. According to Sukhdev, business as usual is not a viable option for long, and the business world urgently "needs a new DNA".

Corporation 2020 presents a vision of the corporation of the future, illustrating how companies and other social actors can work together to achieve common goals, promote the development of skills, build new forms of community, be transparent and accountable, and build a permanent 'green economy'.

He presents new research on how to deliver "tough" solutions. These include disclosing corporate externalities, setting limits to corporate leverage, replacing taxes on profits with resource taxes and pollution taxes, and setting ethical standards in advertising.

Pavan Sukhdev, an Indian banker, a long-standing environmental economist and TED speaker, was appointed goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2012. Previously he was Special Advisor and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, a major project suite to demonstrate that the greening of economies is not a burden, but rather a new engine for growth, employment and the reduction of persistent poverty.

Pavan is also Study Leader for the G8+5-commissioned report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a project he was appointed to lead in March 2008 by the EU Commission and Germany whilst still working fulltime at Deutsche Bank. TEEB's Interim Report was welcomed globally for its fresh economic outlook, showing the economic significance of the loss of nature's services, and connecting biodiversity and ecosystems with ethics, equity and the alleviation of poverty.

Pavan spent over 20 years working at ANZ Bank and Deutsche Bank and now pursues long-standing interests in environmental economics and nature conservation through his work with the Green Indian States Trust (GIST) and other NGOs. GIST has researched, developed and published methodology and empirical work on preparing comprehensive "Green Accounts" for India and its States, a first among developing countries. Pavan is Chairperson of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity, and was a speaker at Davos 2010.

Gleebooks will have copies of Corporation 2020 for sale at the event (RRP $40).

Event details

What: Corporation 2020: Transforming Business for Tomorrow's World, a Sydney Ideas lecture co-presented with the Centre for Policy Development

When: 6pm, Monday 3 December

Where: Foyer, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus. See map

Cost: This event is free, with registration essential.

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