Why Sustainability is the Business Opportunity with Richard Blundell

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Tom’s guest on this week’s episode of Innovation in Compliance, Richard Blundell, discusses the risks and opportunities associated with growth in the insurance industry. They talk about how to finance a company's growth by understanding its risks. Business financing is trending towards sustainability, and Tom and Richard explore how companies can access capital by implementing sustainable practices and strategies.

A global environmental services and technology consultant with over 35 years of experience, Richard Blundell has extensive experience in senior executive management and consulting. Mergers and acquisitions, corporate and market development, and operations management are among his areas of expertise. His experience includes launching new businesses and managing growth-stage businesses around the world. He is also an advisor to the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability charity.

Here are some key points Tom and Richard talk about:

  • Richard talks about his professional background and current role as an advisor on sustainability.
  • Richard believes that sustainability in business leads to lower costs, less waste, more resource efficiency, better quality jobs, better employee engagement, and more access to capital.
  • In addition to improving access to capital, sustainability can also improve performance in public markets, lower capital costs, and lower debt costs.
  • Richard highlights that materiality is a way for companies to determine priorities and goals for sustainability, decarbonization, and ESG by considering what is important for both the corporation and its stakeholders
  • Quoting Paul Wellman, Richard tells Tom that working toward social, environmental, and economic outcomes can invigorate and energize an organization.
  • Sustainability can be a life insurance policy for the planet.
  • Companies without decarbonization plans may not have access to financing from banks and other financial institutions as they do not understand the risks associated with growth and may not be seen as providing a benefit to society, Richard tells Tom.
  • Richard believes that the circular economy aims to eliminate waste by keeping inputs and outputs at their highest utility throughout their life cycle.
  • Companies like Interface and Nike are committed to sustainability and continue to innovate and stretch their targets as they learn more about driving efficiency and process in the decarbonization journey.

KEY QUOTE:

"If I am going to finance a company's growth, I want to finance a company that's in the insurance industry as well. I want to finance the company's growth by understanding the risks associated with that growth.” - Richard Blundell

Resources

Richard Blundell | LinkedIn

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