According to Google Trends, the global search interest rate of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has risen from 36 in March 2020 to 100 in March 2021. The COVID pandemic accelerates this surge and offers a window for individuals and companies to reflect on the traditional ways to live and do business. ESG issues, such as the global climate crisis, nature loss and inequality, are urgent. The transformation is needed now (WBCSD, 2021).
Like many, I have reflected a lot since last year. I have been in the business world for about 10 years and completed the MBA at the height of the pandemic. One question that is always in my head is how a business could maximise its profit while benefiting the planet and people. I decided to explore this topic by creating a start-up called InZeroSight. The motivation is to explore an approach to unlock the intersections of ESG using insights from data technologies.
Much like my start-up combines ESG and data, its name combines insight with the number zero, which is significant to this vision for the following reasons:
First, it highlights the net-zero goal for carbon emissions by 2050.
Second, it represents data from the binary code.
Last, it is inspired by Buddhist and Tao philosophies about non-existence and the correlations between nothing and everything.
Let me share some thoughts with you about that first Zero: climate change, from a non-climate expert’s perspective. This February, one friend sent me a video when she travelled to an idyllic village in Sichuan Province, China. I was jealous that she could travel around while I was in the lockdown in this rainy Emerald Isle. I was also curious that it was warm and green in the video just like summer. She told me she experienced a hot winter as the highest temperature was around 20℃ between 19 and 20 February while the same dates in previous years were around 13 -15 ℃.
This is not an isolated case. After over 10,000 years of relative stability, the climate is changing. Many extreme weather cases have been observed since around 1950 (IPCC, 2013). According to McKinsey research (2020), global average temperatures are expected to increase between 1.5 ℃ and 5 ℃ in many locations by 2050.