We all leave a legacy. Should ours be sustainability?
When HRH Prince Phillip was asked by the BBC in 2001 his thoughts about his legacy, he replied, “I couldn’t care less”.
When he was born in 1921, the global population was about to hit 2 billion, the world was approximately 48% forest and there was approximately 300 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Fast forward to today, the world’s population is 7.8 billion, the world is approximately 31% forest (fao.org) and CO2 is over 400 parts per million.
This is the legacy for all who have lived and worked in the last 99 years. We now have a choice. We must choose to change.
Just as Prince Phillip entered the world, Cambridge mathematician Frank Ramsey left it at just 26 years of age. Frank ‘who’ you may ask? Ramsey’s influence lasts to this day.
One theory Frank Ramsey espoused was that society should not value current wellbeing over future generations. He called it “ethically indefensible” for a society collectively to discount its successors’ wellbeing.
Should this theory we now call sustainability be what we aim to make our legacy? There is no doubt that this theory has come full circle and is rising in prominence, not only in terms of the wellbeing of our planet but also in terms of the importance of sustainable business models.
We are shifting from the world of just maximizing shareholder value to one where business must consider all their stakeholders ̶ stakeholder capitalism.
Stakeholder capitalism became the mantra of the Business Round Table in 2019, despite the idea itself being around from when Prince Phillip was a young boy. It was used by business until Milton Friedman in 1970 published the Friedman doctrine “the Social Responsibility of Business is to increase its profits” https://www.nytimes.com/1970/09/13/archives/a-friedman-doctrine-the-social-responsibility-of-business-is-to.html
The worlds of 1921 and 1970 are vastly different to the world of today. Today we can measure our impact and use it to make better decisions.
David Attenborough in his “witness statement” discusses the five great innovations that changed the way we live and work – water power, industrial revolution, electrification, space exploration, and technology/internet – and then predicts that we have begun the sixth, sustainability.
Our legacy is to change the way we behave and how we produce growth. Profits not only coexist with other goals but now, through the sustainable business model, are immersed in the elements of stakeholder capitalism that will drive those profits.
At Beckon Capital, we believe value comes from measuring and reacting to all your business externalities; profit through impact.
We focus on the SME sector for several strategic investment reasons; lower valuation and more innovation are two key advantages. Most importantly, we believe it’s through SMEs that we will deliver the most impact for communities and the planet while generating significant returns. We partner with our investee companies to create sustainable business models that generate growth by taking all their impacts – both positive and negative – into account.
Beckon Capital is offering the opportunity to invest in a legacy valuing the future.
“You better think about the legacy
That you want to leave behind
It's all getting burnt-out, used-up
Bought and sold to the bottom line
That ain't the way it's gotta be
You can leave a better world than you find.”
Carole King 1989
David (Bushy) Nolan Beckon Capital Pty Limited (ABN 49 628 013 678), authorised representative No. 001280538 of Fundhost Limited (ABN 69 092 517 087, AFSL No. 233045) (“Beckon”)