Policy Leadership for Sustainable Transformation

The risk of the negative narrative on social is that companies simply do nothing out of fear of acting out of step or will face criticism.

Tarek starts out by explaining that there is a clear problem between statements and commitments and the data that can show us the path and evidence towards these.

Tarek starts out by explaining that there is a clear problem between statements and commitments and the data that can show us the path and evidence towards these.


Environmental indicators are key to ensuring that the policies that are in place are actually effective. To do so they have a multi-pronged approach, relying mainly on satellite data looking at:

  1. Water
  2. Air
  3. Biodiversity
  4. Land
  5. Tourism Statistics


As a team of 25 people, they have a lot of capacity to incorporate indicators and work with data from a wide range of sources to use it and create a link between tourism and its impact on the environment. When this data is put in the hands of tourism stakeholders, they then have the knowledge and power to act and take policy decisions.


Seeing data such as the pressure on nature, the mean distance from people to nature, the pressure of tourism on the environment and so on.


Ingmar explains how he uses his entrepreneurial background to take a business focused approach. He recognised clearly that even large corporations really listen to shareholders. It is clear that companies really need to listen to shareholders who can act and hold them to account through their investments, where he recognised this can be achieve.


We don't have time, the initiative started by bringing everyone together who wants to solve the climate crisis to create pressure on companies to act on the climate crisis. What he's now seeing is that many companies want to act on the companies, but the governments are increasingly the barrier that is holding people back.


To address this Ingmar gathered 700 investors to push the government to do more, to address everything that is bad such as fossil fuel subsidies to do precisely the opposite. He has seen that sadly policymakers don't appear to be listening to people but they are listening to the private sector.


The platform is all about bringing these different voices together, through social, the website and all other channels they are reaching more than 100m people per month to create pressure and grow momentum.


Tarek makes the point that we are faced with real challenges when we consider the globalisation model, and supply chains and indeed tourism are a part of this. He believes this requires major disruption and change, to be more radical in how we reinvent the global system.


The fact is that a far away destination like Seychelles depends heavily on tourists who fly into the destination, if they're told to dramatically reduce emissions on arrivals to the destination they will be reluctant to act as this will also harm the economic wellbeing of the destination.


Ingmar believes that we are still a long way from getting to where we need to be. The fact is we lack a totally standardised way of measuring environmental data, emissions and impact and we aren't currently doing this in real time, which is also needed. Tarek's initiative is in fact a rare example of providing this critical data that can give us the data to make the right decisions.


Tarek believes the business community sees the environmental challenges quite differently from the politicians, they see the opportunity to be more competitive and to undergo that next transformation shaping business and consumerism in the future.


At COP27 he was instrumental in getting 680 business leaders to make a climate call to action, representing more than 20% of the Swedish GDP behind the action and putting pressure on governments to also act. Taking this message to COP was key to shifting the narrative and the perspective, to directly address politicians who see this as a problem where they believe they'll be sacrificing everything they are working for. He is totally convinced that the business community is responsible for saving the 1.5 degrees climate commitment - which he reminds us is not a target but a limit. By being there and adding this pressure they have succeeded in preventing us from going backwards - even if it perhaps can't yet be considered progress.


Data is Key


Tarek explains that we are very fortunate in Europe to have a very heavy commitment to satellite earth observation which allows us to use critical data that helps us to understand, monitor and take action. He explains that whilst this is impressive if we can achieve consolidation with other agencies such as NASA, the Indian Space Agency and others can reach a global agreement on which tools and indicators can help us to track change and impact.


Tarek points out that we cannot ask developing countries to foot the bill or develop such initiatives, which is why we need a truly global approach. If we take that principle into tourism, we see the blessing and curse of tourism is precisely the complexity of where it plays in the bigger picture of things. It is a fact that tourism organisations are today heavily constrained in their role among different actors.


The 25 environmental indicators that form part of Tarek's dashboards help to overcome those differences and align on the indicators and the correlation between say meteorological changes and population shifts, such as the impact of a heatwave for example or say relocating from the city to the suburbs and what that means for the environment.


He has for example developed a surprisingly clear set of standards that help us to monitor how much is too much, so called capacity management. Identifying for example where too much development, for example, hotel rooms, is likely to have a negative impact on the environmental factors.


Social Pressure


Reflecting on how we can apply pressure through social media, Tarek talks about how social is too often used with negativity and we don't give enough space for positivity. Ingmar's initiatives have all been about creative public pressure through a positive narrative, one that is supported with data. Celebrating things like those who are actively working on reforestation, and who are taking action, yet today social media isn't making the most of this.


The risk of the negative narrative on social is that companies simply do nothing out of fear of acting out of step or will face criticism. If we can celebrate more, we can use social as a force for change and show the benefits of incorporating values and impact at the core of your strategy, measurement and message.

Key Takeaways

  • The risk of the negative narrative on social is that companies simply do nothing out of fear of acting out of step or will face criticism.

  • We are faced with real challenges when we consider the globalisation model, and supply chains and tourism are a part of this.

  • In Europe there's a strong commitment to satellite earth observation which allows us to use critical data that helps us to understand, monitor and take action.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Ingmar Rentzhog

We Don't Have Time

Tarek Habib

MURMURATION