Interview: Sustainability Is the Wrong Goal for Businesses That Care About Climate Change
It seems that every large company has a head of sustainability these days—even oil majors.
The word is used so often, and means so many different things, that it can be hard to know whether it’s part of a genuine move toward doing less planetary or social harm, or another smokescreen allowing companies to not change in any meaningful way.
Perhaps it’s time to leave the descriptor behind in any case.
Adrian Rodrigues, the founder of a new investment bank in San Fransisco, says claims to sustainability already put companies behind the curve. To “sustain” suggests we benchmark where we are and keep things at that level, says Rodrigues. But solving the planet’s real and pressing issues won’t be achieved by sustaining anything, he says. Rather, it requires a whole new approach.
Rodrigues co-founded Provenance Capital Group (PCG) in January 2020, with a mission to drive investment into what it calls “regenerative,” rather than sustainable, businesses. Most of its work to date has been in the agriculture industry, with companies like World Tree, a renewable timber and agroforestry company, and White Leaf Provisions, a family-run organic food brand.
Photo courtesy of geralt.