Only a few people are needed to affect change and one of them is Philippe Joubert. He is the founder of Earth on Board, a group of organizations that includes:
- B Team
- We Mean Business
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Their aim is to move boards away from focusing on short-term profits and to put sustainability first in order to build long-term value. “We have to explain that we cannot continue like this. Those who are not going to change are going to …. lose their leadership,” says Joubert.
Joubert has been the adviser of the CEOs since he left the board of rail and power group Alstom in 2014. He wanted an earth competent board, whose members understand the sustainability, exercising fiduciary rules, and the right questions of management. According to Ethical One corporation, one of Earth on Board’s central themes is honesty: “You cannot have an internal discussion of concern over sea level rise or extreme weather, and then externally say ‘it’s all fine’.”
It’s been two years since Joubert set up the Earth on Board and he is still making speeches and conducting seminars. His goal in 2018 is to establish all the interest that has been generated. He believes that it was the exchange of peers drive change, find liquor store.
“We take nature as unlimited and free of charge, but nature is sending signals,” Joubert adds. However, the signals are not always interpreted with alarm. While ice caps are melting, some businesses see opportunities for more business. “Do not ask the business to be altruistic, but they are basically realistic and they understand that they can’t operate profitably if the world is in chaos,” says Joubert.
Furthermore, Joubert found that December’s One Planet summit in Paris was “very much in line with what we’re saying.” Both the board and financial markets are now acknowledged as important actors: “Governments understand that without finance you cannot have changed at the right speed and the right scale.”