Perspectives on sustainability and impact

How can we put science and technology to use for the benefit of the planet?

‘We have a daunting list of environmental crises – from climate change to ocean pollution, acidification, and impending biodiversity loss. And as we are pushing the limits of our planet you could say we are also looking for solutions by pushing the outermost edges of what's possible in science, technology and in the tools that we have at hand.’

In this Founders and Funders event, Christiaan de Koning (Saïd Business School) and Thom Wetzer, Associate Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oxford, assemble a panel to discuss how innovative science and technology businesses can better support sustainability and address the environmental problems facing the world.

The panel:

  • Henry Lane Fox, Global CEO and Co-founder, Founders Factory
  • Carlotta Saporito, Head of Impact Investing at JP Morgan
  • Mathieu Flamini, CEO, GFBiochemicals

They discuss how to identify the technological breakthroughs that will make a difference, how they are best supported and financed, and the changes in the business and finance environment that they would like to see in the future. Key points include:

  • Policy frameworks and consumer attitudes, particularly in the light of government Net Zero commitments, are increasingly welcoming to new businesses that seek to address environmental challenges.
  • 'Purpose’ and ‘impact’ are no longer seen as eccentric, minority concerns at odds with a drive to create profit; indeed, the level of returns from sustainable investments suggests that purpose can now be regarded as adding value.
  • Science and technology have massive potential to address real problems but even breakthrough ideas do not translate seamlessly into successful businesses: they need finding and nurturing.
  • Despite positive attitudes to purpose-led and sustainability-focused innovative businesses, the sector still has a massive gap when it comes to funding at an early stage. The panellists called for a ‘tidal wave’ of early-stage capital to support innovative businesses ‘from the lab to the first plant’.

Watch the event now

Poster with green globe