Smart technologies and innovation can provide the right kind of growth that will enable transitioning to a sustainable future to become a reality, according to Accenture’s Peter Lacy, who is attending the Globe Forum event in Dublin today.
Lacy, the managing director of sustainability practice in Europe for Accenture – a global management consulting, technology consulting and technology outsourcing company – believes sustainability is now being recognised as a means of revenue growth and a cost-effective mainstay in modern business practice – despite doubt still existing among certain businesses.
“Though many CEOs have doubts, they do recognise that this (sustainability) has become a mainstream concern.”
Lacy said he believes that sustainability has become a governmental and societal desire – therefore putting pressure on businesses to follow suit, and believes that, despite the dramatic economic downturn, sustainability is one of the few areas that has emerged unscathed.
“We are approaching a tipping point where it is becoming a consumer issue. Looking at the next five years, CEOs told us they expect the consumer to be the top stakeholder that drives their sustainable activity.
“It has become a concern for policy makers, regulators and consumers and citizens – placing pressures on business from a regularity environment. We are starting to see customer demand kick in, which has been absent to some extent in the past. It has strongly forced CEOs to align their sustainability activities with core business strategy and operations.”
Marketplace for innovators
Lacy was speaking in advance of his appearance at the Globe Forum, taking place in Dublin today, which is a marketplace event where innovators, entrepreneurs and researchers can connect with international business leaders, investors and global companies.
Lacy said he believes those attending the Globe Forum, as well as other businesses around the world keen on adapting sustainable practices into their business model, have a unique opportunity to endure a decade of transition that will build towards a better tomorrow.
“It requires incredible innovation and is an unbelievable business opportunity for the entrepreneurs and innovators at the heart of the transition. The Globe Forum is trying to bring together the innovation that is needed to make that kind of transition.”
“We are talking about a decade of transition. Eighty per cent of CEOs said they envision a 2020 world where sustainability had been integrated into the way in which markets work and into the majority global company strategy and operations. Sustainability will reshape the business environment and what it takes to be a high performance business in the next decade.”
The overall aim of the Globe Forum is to generate discussion and debate and essentially drive Dublin in the direction of becoming a smart city, something which Lacy believes is crucial in order to remain thriving and aggressively competitive.
“Intelligent cities and smart technologies are key things that can provide the kind of stimulus of growth and innovation. Intelligent cities will enable us to make progress. That’s the big transition we must make in Europe, in America, and some of the more advance industrial economies.”
The Globe Forum takes place today in Dublin’s Convention Centre.