How can we measure and communicate sustainability?

Russell Reichelt
Australian Climate Change Authority
Sven Wiechert

At the opening of the conference of the Parties in Egypt COP27, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterras said  “Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish.” Education, effective climate change communication and making sure we match science and policy, research and company strategy are some of the key initial steps for successful climate action. So in our first gridXdays session we deal with how we can best measure and communicate sustainability. 

Russell Reichelt, Board Member on the Australian Climate Change Authority and Australian Sherpa for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy says: 

“The messaging must be authentic, well science founded and inclusive. The urgency comes with the understanding of everybody about the changes that are happening very rapidly. So it’s about credibility, integrity of delivery, transparency of where you got your information and painting a picture of a better future, a prosperous future. We all have to change but there is a better way and we should all be equitably prospering from the change.”

Sven Wiechert, Chief Marketing Officer at ClimatePartner, adds that the only choice is to “decarbonize or die.” He emphasizes the need to decarbonize everything - the whole society, the whole economy. This means all companies must eliminate their emissions. “The question is not if, but when.” He also highlights that if we build up sustainable supply chains and invest in new technologies, sustainable solutions do not need to be more expensive. Transparent and credible information for end users is key so that they understand what they are buying. 

The speakers add that effective climate change communication requires support for early leaders – policy-makers, for example, should implement market-based incentives, and climate action leaders should inspire the rest of their industry to move forward. 

“We want a race to the top, not the bottom,” says Russell.  

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