This week I want to continue sharing ideas from the late British philosopher and rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, who wrote extensively on the Environment and our Collective Responsibility for the other and a better world.
I will start with a simple definition of Collective Responsibility.
This is a term I would like to see more in use as we continue discussions and ideas to upgrade ESG.
While Society has a role to play, it is up to our elected officials and the Government to set this tone for Collective responsibility. Covid19 can give critical insights here and was an excellent example of collective responsibility. Governments, even arch enemies, uniformly toed the same line as parrots and gave law enforcement excessive power.
If they could during Covid19, why can we not adopt a universal covenant to worldwide collective responsibility?
While the UN as Organisation has adopted the UN SDGs, execution, real-world action, and finance to support developing countries must be more effective and practical.
As per my practice, I asked our friend ChatGPT for help.
“By embracing collective responsibility, groups and societies can foster a sense of unity, cooperation, and mutual support. It encourages individuals and entities to actively contribute to the common good, work towards positive change, and recognise that their actions impact the collective outcomes and the well-being of others.”
I found this definition limiting and rephrased the question.
Yes, governments have a significant role and collective responsibility for society and the environment. As elected representatives and policymakers, governments are entrusted with promoting the common good and ensuring the well-being of their citizens.
Governments are responsible for establishing and enforcing laws and regulations that protect society from harm, promote social justice, and safeguard the environment. They are expected to create and maintain social safety nets, provide essential services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure, and address societal systemic issues.
Quoting Jonathan Sacks.
“I once had the opportunity to ask the Catholic writer Paul Johnson what had struck him most about Judaism during the long period he spent researching it for his masterly A History of the Jews. He replied in roughly these words:
“There have been societies that have emphasised the individual throughout history – like the secular West today. And there have been others that placed weight on the collective – communist Russia or China, for example.”
Judaism, he continued, was the most successful example he knew of that managed the delicate balance between both – giving equal weight to individual and collective responsibility. Judaism was a religion of strong individuals and strong communities. This, he said, was very rare and difficult and constituted one of our greatest achievements.
So, Paul Johnson’s insight turns out to be deep and genuine. After the two significant failures of the Flood and Babel, Abraham was called on to create a new social order that would give equal honour to the individual and the collective, personal responsibility and the common good. That remains the unique gift of Jews and Judaism to the world.”
Collective responsibility, according to Rabbi Sacks, refers to the idea that individuals are not solely responsible for their actions but also share responsibility for the well-being of their communities and society as a whole. It emphasises the interconnectedness of individuals and their obligation to contribute positively to the greater good.
Where ESG Meets Innovation
This week I want to highlight efforts to create collective responsibility. I attended a Global Networking Meetup (OLAM, SID-IL, Pears Program). What was unique about this was the use of an App called https://www.spatial.chat/. The headline of this app is “Bring people together in your virtual meetings”. Indeed, I was able to hold some interesting one on one chats with exciting people and impactors.
want to introduce you to these NGOs as they are examples of Collective Responsibility in action, and great that there are creating space for each other.
https://olamtogether.org/ Improving the world. Together. OLAM is a network of Jewish and Israeli organizations working in the fields of global service, international development, and humanitarian aid.
https://sid-israel.org/en/home-page/ Our vision is to create professional and vibrant international development/aid activity driven by an involved Israeli society of individuals, organisations and government institutions working with communities in the developing world and disaster struck areas based on mutual respect.
https://www.pearsprogram.com – The Pears Program connects you to a world of Israeli innovation, global development challenges, and international partnerships.
I also want to highlight a few competitions that different organisations are promoting:
- Startup Nation Central – Climate Change
- Planetech – Nature Tech
- GrowingiI – for innovative solutions to major agricultural issues, including Animal Welfare & Emissions, Climate Resilience, Fertilization & Crop Protection, Protection against Wild Animals & Biodiversity for intensively used lands
Here, I want to include a story. As part of my active efforts of collective responsibility and I am assisting an Israeli Company, Biofeed https://biofeed.co.il/enhome. In search of a message to highlight their applications to the above competitions, I came up with the following, which is an excellent example of possible change. This requires a combination of Innovation, the Agroecosystem Business model, and Finance.
Let’s start with Innovation.
The number one challenge to farming worldwide is fruit flies which can destroy 50% to 80% of the crop, making farming unprofitable, with an estimated global economic cost of $500 billion cost annually. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that losses caused by the Mexfly could cost an estimated $1.44 billion over five years. The cost of plant protection and quarantine by the US Dept of Agriculture is a staggering $600 billion a year.
, Biofeed, with its Freedome” flag” that is hung in orchards, meets these challenges head-on.
- Can this flag change the world and help fight Climate Change while improving the livelihood of farmers worldwide?
- Can this flag be an alternative to unhealthy chemicals and pesticides?
- Can this flag provide us with healthier and better-tasting produce?
- Can this flag make farming profitable, reverse the decline of Trees to be destroyed or abandoned, and encourage new fruit Farms – Agro Forestry?
- Can this flag increase food supply and food security and allow for better movement of fresh produce between countries?
- Can something that appears so simple be so effective?
The answer to all this – Yes
The journey to this flag was more complex.
The story starts with a young farmer Nimrod who dreamed of a pesticide-free/non-chemical way to eliminate pests in his orchards. This led him to university, where he became a scientist, and in 2004 founded Agro R&D Company Biofeed, and in 2015 winning the Israel Innovation Grand Challenges prize, and this led to pilots in India, Togo, and Ghana, where in field trials the Freedome solution was found very effective for eliminating fruit flies – the number one challenge to farming.
In 2021, the Freedome was proven successful in a large-scale pilot of 2,500 in Senegal in cooperation with small farm holders, doubling exports from $12m to $24m.
Despite this success, something was missing – This led to the creation of Dream Valley https://www.dreamvalleyglobal.com, bringing complete farming as a service solution, Agroecosystem and Business model to small farmer holders in developing Countries.
This brings us to the third leg – Finance.
While there is increasing awareness and efforts to Finance Agro in developing countries, this will require concentrated efforts by governments, NGOs, companies and individuals in the spirit of Collective Responsibility.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you want to learn more or have the ability to assist.
Call of action
The aim of Upgrading ESG – Sharing ideas and innovation to upgrade ESG – for a more sustainable world https://upgradingesg.com
This requires a comprehensive approach integrating sustainable practices, policy changes, technological innovation, and collective action. We can restore and protect the world by working together across sectors and taking action at various levels.
I have chosen to keep the words ESG – This represents the best chance for the Environment and Society. With Governance – Structure, processes, reporting and transparency as we continue to greenwash and be hoodwinked. ESG is much more than Investing ESG or Company ESG, but we need to have Country ESG, City ESG and Product ESG where we, the consumer and citizen, know the good and bad of that product for the environment and society.
Hence, the need to Upgrade ESG.
ESG represents a substantial shift in how companies and boards operate their businesses and impact the world for the better. This is cemented by the IFRS’s new sustainability standards, which require a much more comprehensive, documented approach that will drive the need for ESG compliance and assurance. Ultimately, it will affect Investors and positively or negatively on the company’s ability to keep or gain new customers.
Companies and boards must take urgent action in this new ESG world.
I invite you to learn how we can help you in your sustainability journey.
Please feel free to reach out to me by email: Jeffrey@upgradingESG.com.
Or browse my blogs on https://www.upgradingESG.com
Join 20,000 people on the LinkedIn Upgrading ESG group sharing ideas and news https://www.linkedin.com/groups/133378.
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With thanks and blessings