Davos 2024: The future of sustainable business is 'regeneration'

That means consumer goods companies “are moving for good business reasons as well as because it's the right thing to do,” he says.

Of course, it is also a challenge to bring companies to a level of resilience – regardless of regeneration.

“When we conducted the survey, we found that only 16% of global leaders believe their organizations are prepared in terms of resilience,” Bob Sternfels, global managing partner at McKinsey & Company US, said in Davos. Despite this, McKinsey researchers found that if countries, companies and individuals are not resilient, it could cost up to 8% of GDP – “a huge, huge number”. On the other hand, if they embrace resilience, “we can add up to 15% to global GDP”.

Still, the desire for change is there – and it seems to be growing. Not least, say some leaders, because there is no good alternative.

As Jesper Brodin, co-chairman of the World Economic Forum's CEO Climate Leaders Alliance and CEO of the Ingka Group (Ikea), said on January 17 at a panel in Davos. “I start with the rationale: 'How could a future business model be built on attrition.' [natural] resources?' This is simply the worst idea.

“That doesn't mean the transition and transformation is easy,” he added. “But I believe we all have to go through a big transformation.”

Elvira Parkinson

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