Will the private sector be the driver of green transition?

Torsdag, 12 oktober, 2023 - 13:30 to 14:15

Jeffrey Sachs

Green transition used to be contested but is now a mainstream concern and economic incentives, public policies, technologies, and societal norms and values are shifting. With its production capabilities, technologies and investment capital, the private sector is indispensable in any large-scale economic transformation, and multinational companies especially so.

Historically, the industrial market economy and private corporations have not been net positive contributors to planetary sustainability. In their global pursuit of efficiencies and arbitrage advantages, multinational companies have traditionally been widely perceived as culprits in the sustainability agenda, effecting inequalities, environmental degradation, and supply and specialization vulnerabilities, while progressive momentum has been ascribed to governments, NGOs, youth, and social movements.

However, MNC activities, mandates and strategies have progressively widened over recent decades, where CSR, codes of conduct, public-private partnerships and corporate political activity have woven MNC activities and concerns deeper into the broader societal fabric. Are we observing a turning point in the institutional drivers of sustainability transition where economic markets and private enterprises shift from mainly manifesting constraints and negative externalities to potentially becoming a self-reinforcing driver of reformation of the global economic architecture? Are private companies and economic markets becoming major progressive drivers of green transition, and if so how and with which consequences? Is the harnessing of the private sector and economic markets a precondition for successful sustainability transition?

The lecture is hosted by the Copenhagen Business School. 

When: 12th October 2023 at 13:30 CET / 11:30 GMT 

Where:  Copenhagen Business School

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