Every day I seem to come across the word ‘sustainability’. It’s a real buzz word right now.
Wikipedia defines sustainability in the following way:
‘It is the process of people maintaining change in a balanced environment. One in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential, to meet human needs and aspirations.’
A bit of a mouthful, but in order to work effectively, sustainability embraces so many elements of society. Overall, it identifies a culture of positive change towards the environment.
Last week, Blue Sky held a seminar for clients and professionals entitled ‘Let’s be positive’. My word, we need to be with all that is going on politically, but out of the abyss comes change. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Our call for positivity concerned the need to be more upbeat about what’s going on around us. Our focus was on the global economy and investment markets. Phoebe Stone from LGT Vestra spoke passionately about investing in sustainable companies which resonated strongly with our audience.
My mind wandered back to when I was studying Environmental Science for my A-Levels; we had an equally enthusiastic teacher who informed us that we were going to run out of fossil fuels and how we would need to seek alternative energy sources. He spoke of how we would negatively impact the climates across the world unless we changed our behaviours. I remember being horrified once, when on an Isle of Man steam ferry, I observed the crew systematically throwing plastics, cardboard boxes and oil drums overboard into the Irish Sea. A long time ago now but it sticks in my mind.
It’s taken some time, but real momentum is underway to protect our environment.
Part of last week’s seminar was focused on me reminding people and informing others, of the importance of planning ahead. It got me thinking that this is sustainability of a different kind. The noun of sustainability being ‘the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld or confirmed’. That’s exactly what we explore in financial planning. Finding out if you can live the life you want, with confidence, in the knowledge you will never run out of money.
Make sustainability at the centre of your world.
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA