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Jeffrey Levine
CFO | Seeking a just world I Author

Nature – Some thoughts to ponder on Tu B’Shvat

Nature.

What is interesting about all the talk about Climate Change is the focus on Nature. A world with increased sensitivity for Nature. Our Urban Lifestyle has distanced us from Nature. On this day of Tbshvat, I want to meditate on the word Nature. We need to go back to a more Natural Lifestyle. I see an attempt at the cooperation of government,  companies and people, although seemingly flawed.

So, let’s see how this manifests Itself.

Tu B’Shvat – and what is now labelled “Israel Environment” day falls in the middle of winter. The sages chose this day to determine the status, year of the counting of the year of the tree as regards legal obligations. Yes, it was and is a day of Accounting for how to relate to Nature and the gift of Nature that  God has given us. Time to give an account of how humans have caused the planet’s abuse.

Today, there is a worldwide calling for Climate Change – One of the major outcomes of COP 27 and 15 conferences was – Investment and Finance into Smart Agriculture. Some key themes were funding for developing economies, climate-resilient smart agriculture, biodiversity and pesticide reduction.

Many organisations and businesses are promoting natural solutions and sustainability. A lot of this talk and what is called Greenwashing. ESG and Sustainability Reporting is a movement to bring about awareness, sensitivity and disclosure.  This is the biggest shakeup of how companies consider their business and the impact on the environment and society since the 1930s.  There is increasing mandatory reporting and calls for greater transparency and accountability by Companies, Cities and Governments.

One Organisation gaining prominence is the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures – developing and delivering a risk management and disclosure framework for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks. – https://tnfd.global/. I recently connected to somebody on LinkedIn who works at one of the big 4 accounting firms; this is how he describes himself. “ESG & Nature Positive Strategy | TNFD | Natural Capital | Net Zero + Nature | Supply Chains | Sustainability Communications”.

I want to share with you what I see as the major challenges and solutions to a more natural food system and more natural living are:

  1. Biodiversity – sourcing more food in developing countries – the global south. This has the added benefit of helping meet SDGs 1-3
  2. Waste – overfishing / over meat, overconsumption in our food chain and lifestyles.
  3. Reduction in chemicals and pesticides in our food chain– This has a direct negative impact on our health – Obesity, Fitness, cancer, diabetes etc . Solve this problem, and we all will a lot healthier
  4. A Business Model for Farmers based on the Israel Agro Model – Eco System, increased $ yields on existing farms and encourage a new generation of Farmers + new farming initiatives.
  5. Digital + Technology + farming expertise working in tandem
  6. Food Security and labelling – Chemical, MSG, CO2 through track and trace technology – Product ESG
  7. Urban Farming – organic , natural farming, combined with solar panels for electricity

Israel has always been a leader here, and although there is room for improvement, I want a highlight some areas of consideration:

  1. JNF – Leading the way with Tree Planting and more.
  2. Water – setting out examples of national water projects.
  3. Renewable Energy from solar to heating water and electricity.
  4. Israel Farming /Model and Ecosystem.
  5. Technology for good
  6. The Kibbutz / Moshav – Time to renew the spirit and example to establish new “Eco Villages Natural Living communities” – Added benefits lower costs of living and a more balanced lifestyle.

It is time for Israel to refresh and upgrades these ideas for 2023. All the above can be used as a model for use in Israel and to be used around the world. It is an opportunity for Israel to become the Impact Nation.

For the last few years, I have been learning and exploring these themes and taking practical steps to make a difference in how we invest and carry out our business. We need disruptive solutions, ideas and business models that can make a large-scale impact.

This is the ultimate impact + profit opportunity. Climate-related jobs are all the rage.

With all the talk of Climate Change, one key area gaining attention is the Business case – Investment for Profit and Impact into Agriculture. This represents the next frontier – The Next VC Investment,  a new asset class of Investment in Real Estate investing. It has a solid base of  Innovation, and with the correct Business Models and Funding, it opens a blue ocean for investors and plays an essential part in meeting key ESG / UNDGS challenges.

We can all play a part. I have set up ww.upgradingesg.com, which aims to be a leading marketplace for ESG innovation, providers and resources. Please feel free to reach out and learn and make a difference – ask questions, browse our website, and join our group on LinkedIn.

About the Author
Jeffrey is a CFO | Seeking a just world I Author -living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather who has five kids and seven grandchildren. Jeffrey is promoting a vision for a better and fairer world through https://upgradingesg.com and is the author of Upgrading ESG - How Business can thrive in the age of Sustainability
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