Business Disruption and a Just Transition

May 4, 2020 2:30 PM ET
Campaign: Ceres Conference

Over the past decade, major economic and social trends have been shifting the nature of work both in the U.S. and globally. The climate crisis, automation, the gig economy and eroding labor rights are just some of the disruptive forces that have upended business as usual for companies and workers. And, now the coronavirus pandemic has put these associated systemic, financial and reputational risks into even sharper focus. Disruptions like these don’t just bring risk—they also offer us chances to learn, to innovate, and to envision a better and more sustainable way forward.

As part of Ceres 2020 Digital, we brought together top experts to discuss how investors and companies can continue to support a just transition to a net-zero emissions economy during these disruptive times. In the session, Business Disruption and a Just TransitionDamon Silvers, director of policy and special counsel at the AFL-CIO, and a member of the Ceres board of Directors, said in his opening remarks, "we can't afford a model in which we pretend that large parts of our workforce... don't actually need the protection of the social insurance safety net. That model is over."

Phil Bloomer, executive director of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, added to Damon’s argument, noting that the pandemic “has exposed and exacerbated the fundamental scale of inequality between most companies and their workers.”

Building on these observations, Corey Klemmer, director of engagement at Domini Impact Investments, said, "the financial system is totally tied up with the social system….Stable returns require a stable foundation." 

Hear more from other influential investors, companies and sustainability thought leaders as part of Ceres 2020 in the coming weeks. Join us as we call for an equitable, sustainable economic recovery, and discuss the necessary steps we need to take to address the devastating social and environmental impacts of the climate crisis that still lie before us.

Register for future Ceres 2020 digital sessions here. 
Purchase and view this Ceres 2020 digital session in its entirety here.
See all the archived sessions for purchase here.