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From an uncaring to a caring economy #111

Tax Justice Network - 22. April 2021 - 17:25

Caring for others is the highest thing anyone can do in this world. Yet our governments don’t value care either in the policies they create, and they don’t value it monetarily. We look at how we move from an un-caring economy to a caring economy, how women's unpaid work is the greatest subsidy to our so-called productive economy, and how we need to rethink 'the economic.'

Plus - we analyse President Biden's global minimum tax plans - who wins and who loses? Is it game over for tax havens?

The transcript is available here https://www.taxjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/The-Taxcast-Transcript-Edition-111.pdf 

Further reading:

There is a flaw in the Biden tax plpan that has to be addressed if it's going to work, and that's in the accounting, Professor Richard Murphy https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2021/04/16/there-is-a-flaw-in-the-biden-tax-plan-that-has-to-be-addressed-if-its-going-to-work-and-thats-in-the-accounting/ 

The Care Manifesto: the politics of interdependence is available here https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-care-manifesto-the-politics-of-compassion/9781839760969 

For a longer list of fantastic resources on the Care Economy, please see https://www.thetaxcast.com/from-an-un-caring-economy-to-a-caring-economy-111/ 

 

Kategorien: english

Women and conflict in West Africa and beyond

OECD - 22. April 2021 - 16:11
By Dr Diene Keita, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Women are deliberately targeted in conflict When conflict happens, the rule of law breaks down, freedom of movement is restricted, institutions and services are weakened, creating a lack of access to social services and information, and to food and … Continue reading Women and conflict in West Africa and beyond
Kategorien: english

Women and conflict in West Africa and beyond

OECD - 22. April 2021 - 16:11
By Dr Diene Keita, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Women are deliberately targeted in conflict When conflict happens, the rule of law breaks down, freedom of movement is restricted, institutions and services are weakened, creating a lack of access to social services and information, and to food and … Continue reading Women and conflict in West Africa and beyond
Kategorien: english

The Ladies Who Tame the Snakes

SNRD Africa - 22. April 2021 - 14:55
Great yields and the use of earthworms impress the men's world 
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Gender Empowerment Through Rural Development

SNRD Africa - 22. April 2021 - 9:36
Opportunities and limitations in Ethiopia's Afar region
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ILO kicks off Green Week to ‘jump-start’ a sustainable future 

UN ECOSOC - 21. April 2021 - 21:19
As the world grapples with the devastating economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, the UN’s labour agency launched ILO Green Week to explore what a green future of work could look like, and how we can get there. 
Kategorien: english

Urbanization and human health in urban India: institutional analysis of water-borne diseases in urban India’

GDI Briefing - 21. April 2021 - 21:03

Diseases are rapidly urbanizing. Ageing infrastructures, high levels of inequality, poor urban governance, rapidly growing economies and highly dense and mobile populations all create environments rife for water-borne diseases. This article analyzes the role of institutions as crosscutting entities among a myriad of factors that breed water-borne diseases in the city of Ahmedabad, India. It applies ‘path dependency’ and a ‘rational choice’ perspective to understand the factors facilitating the breeding of diseases. This study is based on household surveys of approximately 327 households in two case study wards and intermittent interviews with key informants over a period of 2 years. Principle component analysis is applied to reduce the data and convert a set of observations, which potentially correlate with each other, into components. Institutional analyses behind these components reveal the role of social actors in exploiting the deeply rooted inefficiencies affecting urban health. This has led to a vicious cycle; breaking this cycle requires understanding the political dynamics that underlie the exposure and prevalence of diseases to improve urban health.

Kategorien: english

Enter the "Green Twenties"

GDI Briefing - 21. April 2021 - 18:22

“Restore Our Earth!” was the theme and rallying cry for this year’s Earth Day on 22 April. This is not something that could be achieved on a single day. Yet, Earth Day 2021 might signal a greater turning of the tide. Events like US President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate or milestone legislation like the European Climate Law can be stepping stones that lead the way into the "Green Twenties".

Kategorien: english

Auf in die "Grünen Zwanzgier"?!

GDI Briefing - 21. April 2021 - 18:16

Es spricht vieles dafür, dass wir am Beginn des „grünsten“ Jahrzehnts stehen, das die Welt seit Beginn der Industrialisierung gesehen hat. Die Chancen dafür stehen besser als noch vor wenigen Jahren gedacht. Entscheidend ist, dass die aktuellen Konjunkturpakete infolge der COVID-19-Pandemie als Hebel sozial-ökologischer Kurskorrekturen angesetzt werden und nicht auf die Wiederherstellung des Status quo ante zielen.

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Comment remettre l’Humain au cœur des préoccupations agricoles et alimentaires ?

OECD - 21. April 2021 - 16:37
Par Pierrick De Ronne, Président de Biocoop Selon l’OXFAM, 80% de l’alimentation mondiale dépend de la production de paysannes et paysans. Pourtant, loin d’être récompensés pour leur contribution à la survie de la planète, de plus en plus d’agriculteurs perçoivent des revenus insuffisants pour leur assurer un revenu de vie décent. Dans l’ensemble des pays … Continue reading Comment remettre l’Humain au cœur des préoccupations agricoles et alimentaires ?
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A milestone for African trade

D+C - 21. April 2021 - 15:39
The African Continental Free Trade Area raises hopes that many trade barriers will gradually come down

The agreement comes into force at a time when much of the world is turning its back on cooperation and free trade. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a lurch between stagnation and recession. For Africa, the creation of the massive regional AfCFTA market is a great opportunity: it should help countries diversify their exports, accelerate growth and attract foreign direct investment.

Many African countries still rely on revenues from commodity exports. Industrialisation is progressing only slowly. Africa predominantly imports capital goods and even food products from outside the continent. Accounting for less than three percent of global trade, Africa has yet to diversify its exports. Moreover, only 17 % of African exports are intracontinental. In the EU, the comparative share is 68 %.

The untapped potential for intra-African trade thus remains great. Major scope for improvement lies in the removal of non-tariff barriers, which include uncoordinated bureaucratic procedures, long waiting times at borders and obstructive, time-consuming export regulations. Obstacles of this kind push up trading costs across the continent. The situation is made worse by inadequate transport and logistics infrastructure. As a result, Africa has been connecting faster with the rest of the world than within itself.

That is now set to change due to AfCFTA. It will be the largest free trade area in the world in terms of the number of member states. The agreement creates a market of 1.3 billion people in 54 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion.

AfCFTA aims to lower trading costs and make it possible for African partners to more successfully become involved in global supply chains. More than 90 % of intra-African customs tariffs will be eliminated, non-tariff trade barriers will be dismantled and the result will be a single internal market with free movement of goods and services. At the same time, bureaucracy will be reduced and customs procedures simplified. These measures will make for significant gains in revenue. But AfCFTA covers more than just trade. It will also will have helpful impacts on the movement of people and workers, competition, investment and intellectual property.

Transcontinental trade

In the long term, this free trade area will benefit not only intra-African trade but also trade with other continents. It will facilitate investment and trade with partners in the EU for example. It will also promote sustainable economic growth and regional integration across what is today a highly fragmented continent. Properly implemented, it has the capacity to boost Africa’s economic growth and create sustainable employment for millions of people. By addressing the structural economic causes of underdevelopment, AfCFTA should thus help drive down poverty.

The World Bank takes the same view. It reckons that AfCFTA will raise regional income by 7 % or $450 billion by 2035 and that the anticipated wage growth could lift more than 30 million people out of extreme poverty. At the same time, it expects wages for skilled and unskilled workers to be boosted by around 10 percent.

Creating jobs

Successfully implemented, the agreement would increase African exports by $560 billion, mainly in the important manufacturing sector (see World Economic Forum, 2021). This would create much-needed jobs for Africa’s young populations. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation estimates that if AfCFTA works as intended, it could generate combined consumer and business spending of $ 6.7 trillion dollars by 2030. It will also transform markets and economies across the region, leading to the creation of much-needed downstream processing industries and the expansion of key sectors. Ultimately, African countries will become more competitive globally.

But a successful AfCFTA could do even more than that. The concept of “trade integrity” gives an opportunity to promote good governance in many African countries in an entirely new manner. Trade within the free trade area will be on a uniform legal basis built on the principles of lawfulness and transparency, so the marketing of illicitly procured or produced goods will become more difficult. This applies to the sale of illegally mined commodities as well as goods produced by child labour, for example. AfCFTA member states, in turn, will themselves have to monitor compliance with the agreed standards more strictly, which will improve the quality of their governance.

Challenges ahead

At the same time, the historic AfCFTA accord still faces challenges. Good intentions are not enough. What counts is implementation. So, first and foremost, steady progress needs to be made on implementing the agreement. A recent article by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) shows how the agreement will speed up economic development, helping Africa to “escape the colonial legacy”. However, ACET stresses that “the devil is in the implementation” and recommends a bottom-up approach focusing on national problems that require transborder solutions such as sharing water resources as well as other regional infrastructure projects.

Adequate infrastructure will be essential for AfCFTA success. According to the African Development Bank, Africa’s infrastructure requirements are substantial, ranging from $130 billion to $170 billion a year. The funding gap is between $68 and $108 billion dollars. Europe should seize the opportunity to help close that gap and contribute to the realisation of the necessary infrastructure projects. The EU could set up a joint infrastructure fund for the purpose.

Such a fund could not only provide effective support for the further development of the African Free Trade Area; German and European companies could also play an active part in infrastructure projects in Africa. At present, they are still too often deterred by uncertainty over funding conditions for potential projects, which results in investments not being made.

Germany and the EU should step up their efforts to help AfCFTA strengthen intra-African trade. For example, the African Union Commission – as the responsible body for the implementation of the AfCFTA – should be strengthened in further negotiations so national governments will implement AU decisions faster. The implementation of the agreement, the progressive integration of the free trade area and the negotiations to reduce trade barriers will remain crucial for some time to come.

In order to achieve tangible results, however, it is also important to ensure that the private sector can take advantage of the new market opportunities presented. To attract investment – whether it be local, regional or from third countries – African states need to further improve the environment for business and take steps to facilitate trade. Here, too, the EU can assist the AU. A fully implemented AfCFTA will be more than an inner-African milestone. It will be the way for an entirely new chapter in African-European relations.

Link
World Economic Forum (WEF), 2021: 6 reasons why Africa’s new free trade area is a global game changer
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/afcfta-africa-free-trade-global-game-changer

Christoph Kannengießer is chief executive officer of the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft).
post@afrikaverein.de
www.afrikaverein.de

Kategorien: english

China is offering alternatives to IMF programmes

D+C - 21. April 2021 - 15:15
Why it may be good thing that Chinese lending is reducing the clout of the IMF

When developing countries ran into economic trouble 20 years ago, they had only one place to turn to: the consortium of western-led institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Things have changed because China has emerged as a key player. It sometimes works in cooperation with the western-led institutions and sometimes independently. Scholars have been pondering for years what this means for developing countries. The focus is typically on China’s long-term loans for infrastructure projects and whether they are worth the financial and political risk for borrowers.

However, other impacts deserve scrutiny as well. A case in point is China’s potential role as a rival to the IMF in providing emergency lending. Financial journalists have reported on real or rumored Chinese financial lifelines in dozens of countries. Anecdotes prevail as serious research has lagged behind. Important questions include:

  • Is there evidence of Chinese lending replacing IMF programmes?
  • How prevalent is this phenomenon?
  • Has it strengthened developing countries’ bargaining position in talks with the IMF?

Some western policymakers like to warn that China is pursuing a “dept-trap” policy, trying to ensnare low and middle income countries in dependency. An equally interesting question, however, is whether Chinese lending is reducing those countries’ dependency on the IMF. My research shows that Chinese loans have indeed enabled some countries to avoid turning to the IMF and enabled others to negotiate deals with fewer attached conditions. My findings are based on data for 104 countries from 2001 to 2017.

This trend is healthy given that IMF programmes have often not delivered the expected results. Critics argue that the poor track record results from excessive free-market orthodoxy. Some even speak of an assault on sovereignty. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate, has compared IMF conditionality to bloodletting, arguing that loan conditions may be well-intended, but ultimately only harm the patient.

 

No traps

By empowering borrowers to negotiate for fewer or even zero conditions from the IMF, Chinese loans may be doing more to free developing countries than even the loudest and most prominent IMF critics have achieved so far. It is important to note, moreover, that these loans appear to be less risky than some fear. China has typically denied bailouts to countries without reliable sources of foreign exchange, such as Zimbabwe. The implication is that China is paying attention to debt sustainability rather than trying to ensnare them in debt traps. My data show that countries that export large volumes of natural resources are the most likely to benefit from Chinese loans. Quite clearly, these borrowers see China as an alternative to the IMF.

China is not the first country to undercut the IMF when it suits its strategic interests. In the wake of the Gulf War in 1990, for example, the USA provided emergency assistance to Egypt over the protests of the IMF. France similarly propped up its former colonies in West Africa during the 1980s.

Today, China is providing such options to a new and wider range of countries. Defenders of the IMF will counter that its policy conditionality has softened in the past two decades. They will add that the IMF does more to set nations on a path to long-term prosperity than China does. Among other things they will accuse China of many things, including:

  • prioritising borrowing governments’ short-term domestic needs over long-term sustainability and efficiency,
  • non-transparent lending with little regard for issues such as corruption and illicit financial flows and
  • promoting infrastructure that benefits China’s economic interests (including commodity imports and exports of manufactured goods).

These points may be true in many cases. Borrowing governments will have to weigh the respective benefits of IMF and Chinese loans diligently. They will, however, be happy to have the choice.

Link
Sundquist, J., 2021: Bailouts from Beijing – How China functions as an alternative to the IMF.
https://www.bu.edu/gdp/2021/03/08/bailouts-from-beijing-how-china-functions-as-an-alternative-to-the-imf/

James Sundquist is a fellow at Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center and a doctoral candidate at Yale University.
james.sundquist@yale.edu

Kategorien: english

Afghans feel left alone in view of US withdrawal

D+C - 21. April 2021 - 14:08
President Biden’s exit from Afghanistan is likely to be followed by escalating civil war

US troops have been in the country for 20 years. In 2001, the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington had drawn the USA into war. Now President Biden says: “We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result.”

Troops from other NATO member countries have been supporting the US-led intervention. The governments concerned have announced that they will also bring their soldiers home.

For Afghans, this is terrible news. They feel abandoned by the powers that promised to bring about a better future marked by prosperity, democracy and the rule of law. It does not comfort people that Biden considers these goals somewhat unrealistic. The concerns Afghans are now sharing on various media show that they expect the influence of the Taliban extremists to grow. Their Islamist government was toppled by the US invasion in 2001 and they evidently hope to return to power.

It is true, of course, that the international troops have not achieved what they were supposed to. Critics have a point when they argue that, given that Afghanistan does not have the strength to stand on its own feet after 20 years of heavy military, political and financial support, it hardly makes sense to simply extend that support. On the other hand, there has been civil, democratic and political progress in Afghanistan. Much – if not all – of it is now likely to be undone.

According to Biden, the main goal has been achieved since Afghanistan does not expose the international community to terrorist threats anymore. The president who launched the invasion had greater ambitions. “Our war on terror begins with Al-Qaeda, but it does not end there,” George W. Bush said in 2001. “It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” None of the 9/11 terrorists were of Afghan origin, of course, but the Taliban had granted a safe haven to Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organisation led by Osama bin Laden.

The depressing truth is that Bush focused on fighting terrorists and criminals. That made the NATO presence ambiguous to Afghans. On the upside, it gave some scope for peaceful reconstruction and constructive development, but on the downside, special forces killed a great number of people in attempts to hunt down bin Laden. Innocent civilians died, and that did not help US troops to win “hearts and minds”.

Adding to the problem, western governments never came to grips with opium being Afghanistan’s main export commodity. It is, of course, an illegal drug, but merely “fighting crime” was not a promising approach in a context where the black economy offers many people the most promising livelihoods. It was, moreover, naïve to believe that corruption would somehow be contained in a country aflush with black money.

Under President Obama, the approach changed somewhat, especially after bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. Obama’s generals preferred counter-insurgency tactics to chasing terrorists, but their approach failed. Eventually, President Donald Trump started negotiations with the Taliban – and now Biden has decided to withdraw.

War has been tearing Afghanistan apart for 40 years. NATO was involved for only half of that time span. Nonetheless, this has become the longest war the USA has ever fought. Biden wants to end it. But will war end in Afghanistan?

History does not inspire optimism. When the Soviets left the country in the late 80s the result was civil war and an emergence of insurgent groups. Now that the US and its allies want to leave the country for good, one cannot expect a miracle to happen. Biden wants to focus on other global issues such as China’s growing military clout, Russian assertiveness and Iran’s nuclear programme. Things may go terribly wrong, however, and he may end up sending troops back to the country rather soon. That happened in Iraq when ISIS terrorism escalated there after the US military had pulled out.

Nawid Paigham is a political analyst and a PhD student at Berlin’s Humboldt University.
npeigham@gmail.com

Kategorien: english

Come to the Digital Side — We Delete Cookies!

SNRD Africa - 21. April 2021 - 13:50
Introducing the new working group Digitalisation and ICT4Ag
Kategorien: english

Les avantages du carrelage dans une maison de campagne

UN Food and Hunger - 21. April 2021 - 11:13

En pierre naturelle, en grés, en terre cuite ou encore en ardoise ou en terrazzo, le carrelage se décline à l’infini pour offrir un maximum de possibilités dans vos intérieurs. S’il a grandement évolué au fil des années pour se moderniser, il n’en demeure pas moins qu’il reste incontestablement le revêtement par excellence à privilégier. Pourquoi en faire usage dans une maison de campagne et quels effets en attendre ? Nous vous disons tout.

Le carrelage pour un style brut, mais authentique

La maison de campagne représente pour beaucoup d’amateurs d’architecture le summum du bon goût en toute discrétion. Dans un style qui se veut naturel, épuré et qui s’illustre dans les matériaux les plus nobles, le style maison de campagne est une véritable bouffée d’oxygène et de raffinement. S’il est de notoriété publique que le carrelage a tendance à refroidir une ambiance, il a cependant l’avantage dans une maison de campagne de trouver un parfait équilibre. Avec son esprit à l’ancienne, la maison de campagne inspire la convivialité et le confort. Pour rehausser le style des pièces, faire poser du carrelage chez soi vous assurera plus de caractère et d’authenticité. En alliant à la perfection la robustesse des dalles de carrelage et la finesse d’un mobilier sans ostentation, vous instaurerez une atmosphère actuelle avec des notes d’antan bien dosées.

De la couleur et des motifs pour plus de caractère

Pas question de sombrer dans la monotonie avec un carrelage dans votre maison de campagne. L’avantage de ce revêtement est qu’il peut se glisser dans toutes les pièces et parfaitement y trouver sa place. Dans la cuisine, d’abord pour le côté esthétique, mais surtout pour le côté résistant et solide. Dans la chambre, pour apporter un charme d’inspiration ancienne, ou encore dans la salle de bain pour recréer une ambiance à l’italienne : le carrelage est absolument partout. Pour être dans la tendance d’une déco qui se veut originale, on peut jouer sur les tons et les motifs. Le soin dans le choix des détails est l’assurance de mettre en valeur vos dalles et de donner une âme à votre maison.

The post Les avantages du carrelage dans une maison de campagne appeared first on burudi.net.

Kategorien: english

The PathoCERT Project Publishes Its Baseline Report on the Emergency Systems

SCP-Centre - 21. April 2021 - 10:02

Managing emergency situations requires the collaboration and coordination of various actors from different organisations and institutions. Protecting communities and strengthening their resilience is a complex and intricate task. The baseline report of the PathoCERT project describes the emergency management frameworks of five European countries and South Korea. The report highlights the challenges they face and identifies aspects within the existing frameworks that could be further improved.

The six countries analysed in the report – Spain, Bulgaria, South Korea, the Netherlands, Cyprus and Greece – all have unique and complex systems for managing emergency situations. Through exchanges with the respective local project partners, the PathoCERT project has been able to identify how exactly the emergency management processes are structured, which actors are involved and what challenges they face. In the report, we highlight best practices and processes that countries are already implementing as well as leverage points for each pilot region to improve their emergency management frameworks.

South Korea, for example, has created guidelines for first responders on how to react during specific emergency events such as tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, nuclear disasters or chemical leakages. A comprehensive communication system enables direct communication between all types of first responders before, during and after an emergency situation. Citizens are also able to provide real-time information on developing disaster situations to first responders over a website. Practices like these are showcased in the report so that they can be be taken up by other countries and regions.

Other existing processes can always be optimised to ensure maximum effectiveness. For example, in Granada, Spain an improvement of the emergency management system could entail increasing the number of simulation trainings for large-scale hazardous events or exploit new funding opportunities for innovative technological solutions. Additionally, it became clear that the emergency management system would profit from incorporating external stakeholders that are not part of the direct emergency management. This enables more holistic emergency management services and the creation of novel solutions.

The report’s insights lay the foundation for further, country-tailored and multi-stakeholder engagement processes that will be implemented throughout the PathoCERT project.

To read the complete findings, please check out the report in our library.

For further information, please contact Francesca Grossi.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

 

Der Beitrag The PathoCERT Project Publishes Its Baseline Report on the Emergency Systems erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

When Banks Become Local Enablers for Sustainability

SCP-Centre - 21. April 2021 - 9:48

Good for [your city], was the motto of the German savings banks (Sparkassen) some time ago, referring to the traditionally strong ties to their respective locations and their broad range of tasks between financial services, services of general interest, and orientation toward the common good. While cities and businesses are facing major transformation challenges, regional banks are also increasingly asking themselves how they can support this process or perhaps even become a driving force.

The list of challenges is long. It ranges from the transition to renewable energy, combating climate change, creating a genuine circular economy, strengthening of social cohesion and the need of a fundamental transformation of our food and mobility systems. What is new, however, is the quality of implementation, which has reached an unprecedented legislative priority, especially with the European Commissions’ Green Deal. These developments do not come by chance either and are an expression of social changes negotiated at a global level (e.g., through the Sustainability Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 and Fridays for Future), but in many cases also with a strong focus on the local level: city quarters, municipalities and local companies.

Local financial institutions, such as the German savings banks, have always seen themselves as a formative part of the respective city or region. While donations and sponsoring are the main means of support, such banks are increasingly asking themselves what additional design and support options can be used to actively promote the required sustainability transformation in their area. At the same time, external pressure is also increasing: on the one hand, banks such as German GLS Bank have long enjoyed a lively influx of sustainability-savvy customers; on the other hand, the Corporate Social Responsibility Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) requires many banks to report on their corporate responsibility from the 2017 financial year onwards.

A helpful view from the outside

A good starting point is listening to what employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders think. The focus does not always have to be on narrowed-down and pre-defined concepts of sustainability. The “Good for …” principle is suitable for addressing a community’s needs in a more comprehensive way. When is a savings bank good for its city? What is a bank already good at and where does it need improvements? These and other questions can help make sustainability-related fields of activity concrete and tangible – also for wider target groups. In addition, the ability to respond to growing customer demands and expectations can be directly reflected in critical ways. In a first step, this can lead to the identification of important – and potentially new – fields of action.

The institutionalised view from the outside: The Sustainability Committee of Sparkasse Wuppertal

For companies, it is always important to learn about “blind spots” (“Betriebsblindheit”). They need to exchange with people and organisations operating in other networks in order to gain a better view on risks, challenges, opportunities or new approaches and ideas of other sectors that might be of relevance for them, too. In the words of its CEO Gunther Wölfges, Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal wants to “live and promote all three dimensions of sustainability so that prosperity is possible in the long term”. In order to benefit from different perspectives and a wide expertise, a Sustainability Committee was established in November 2020. It is composed of five members with strong scientific and practical expertise in the field of sustainability, among which the CSCP’s Executive Director, Michael Kuhndt. The committee, which meets twice a year, focuses in advancing the sustainability performance of Sparkasse Wuppertal at all levels.

Engage motivated employees and support them in shaping the future

Sustainability is a goal that stretches beyond professional targets. In addition to job satisfaction and good pay, young professionals are increasingly expressing their commitment to contribute to the ‘bigger picture’. Parents, whose children go to demonstrations against climate change, are beginning to question their own professional role, and for many grandparents the desire for a ‘grandchild-friendly’ life and work has already become an important personal guideline. These people exist in all organisations, including financial ones. Taking their concerns seriously and involving them actively has many advantages. In a workshop that we held with bank employees from different hierarchical levels and functional areas, it simply required a brief introduction and presentation of potential fields of action for the participants to become active themselves: What could sustainability and the identified fields of action mean for individual working environments? Which aspects can be meaningfully integrated into existing processes? How can we do so in effective and seamless ways?

Invest, request, inspire

The results of such group work and discussions are often practical suggestions enriched with an operational implementation perspective. In addition, such approaches are much better accepted than top-down ones. Surveys conducted at the end of such workshops regularly revealed that dealing with sustainability issues and their concrete implementation was experienced as very motivating and meaningful by the participants. Their insights have also proven to be key for integrating sustainability in a cross-sectional way, as the ultimate goal is that in everything we do, we ask ourselves: Is it possible to do it more sustainably?

A holistic approach like this enables strategic results that go far beyond what can be achieved through donations and sponsoring. Local sustainability transformations need trendsetters and role models. Firmly-rooted banks with regular contacts to citizens and communities, crafts enterprises and other companies have a special role to play. The following chart summarises the various starting points. Not everything can be implemented quickly and comprehensively. The key, though, is to engage in transformative learning and experimentation processes together with customers, city administrations, and other businesses and to better understand and use the available levers and opportunities.

For further information and to engage with us in accelerating the sustainability transformation, please contact Stephan Schaller.

Photo by Julius Döllefeld on Unsplash

 

Der Beitrag When Banks Become Local Enablers for Sustainability erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

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