51 (146) 2021

Green for Glasgow, Green for Good

The BPCC Sustainability Interest Group

By Jan J. Kluk OBE, KCPR, FRSA
Header foto

Because of the publicity around the COP26 conference hosted by the UK government, in Glasgow, the use of the word ‘sustainability’ has increased in frequency. But ‘Sustainability’ must surely be much more than a buzzword. More than just ‘greenwashing’.

We all know that the concept of sustainability itself is hardly new – Britain’s favourite naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, now turned 95, is recognised as a worldwide authority on sustainability.

Both Prince Charles, who for at least the last 20 years is well known for his views on ecology and sustainable farming, and Sir David were keynote speakers at the COP 26 conference. Throughout his long career, Sir David wrote and narrated a succession of award-winning television programmes on anthropology and natural history, most notably the Life series: Life on Earth (1979) and The Living Planet (1984). He has been warning the world of the consequences of not addressing the problems associated with of climate change.

In a world warmed by 1.5C, around 14% of the world’s 7.9 billion people would experience severe heatwaves at least once every five years. At 2C of warming, the number of people affected would be three times greater, exposing an additional 1.7 billion people to life-threatening extreme heat.

There are of course still people who are not convinced of the importance of sustainability. There are folk who don’t believe that Covid exists, and others who would have us believe that the Earth is flat. We believe in the freedom of speech, so let them think what they like.

However, because of the importance of taking appropriate action resulting from the sustainability debate, we have embraced the idea of starting a BPCC Sustainability Interest Group.

Our aim is to take a pragmatic, hands on approach to finding out what enterprises really think about the issues around sustainability, the costs involved, and its real effect on the health of business enterprises.  

Sustainability is important for a very simple, very straightforward reason: we cannot maintain our quality of life as human beings, the diversity of life on Earth, or Earth’s ecosystems unless we embrace sustainability. There are indications from most leading authorities worldwide, that sustainability is something we must address, now. To quote Boris Johnson, “it’s five minutes to midnight”.  If we don’t change our attitude and behaviour, thousands of animal species will become extinct. We will run out of timber. We already have severe droughts. We will damage the atmosphere beyond repair. We will pollute the air that we breathe.  The root of that change lies in first understanding and then striving for sustainability – this is a case for acting locally, in our own homes, in our communities, schools, universities, and in our ecosystems. The benefits will be felt globally.

The Sustainability Group will be chaired by Jan J. Kluk. OBE, supported by Barbara Stachowiak-Kowalska. MBE., a member of the BPCC board.

As an honorary member of the BPCC, Jan Kluk is known to many of our Polish and British community who remember Jan as one of the founding members of the BPCC, who served as BPCC chairman for three consecutive terms. After many years of corporate life in international businesses, Jan is now deeply involved in the non-profit Axelorum Group, members of which are creating the non-profit Axelorum Foundation. The group brings with its experts on pragmatic sustainability projects and is structured around the United Nations Agenda 2030, and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

More in Green for Glasgow, Green for Good:

Green taxes

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