The Mainstreaming of Carbon Conscious Capitalism

The Mainstreaming of Carbon Conscious Capitalism

Capitalism can no longer afford to ignore carbon impacts, according to Forbes(1) | #Forbes |contributor Christopher Marquis: it must become carbon-conscious. 
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Capitalism Becoming Carbon-Consciousness 
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Traditionally, capitalistic enterprises could generate carbon emissions that contributed to environmental harm and treat the issue as an externality, a cost imposed on the planet at large.
It has been possible for investors and businesses to ignore these externalities and allow people and our planet to incur the costs. However, mounting consumer and governmental pressure is gradually making this harder and harder, as the costs of carbon mount in the form of increasing environmental impacts.
Governments and Consumers Want Carbon Control
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As society becomes more carbon-conscious, it is becoming less and less socially permissible to pollute the environment and impose costs for others to deal with. Some of the pressures for carbon-conscious capitalism are coming from policymakers in many countries, who are increasingly levying carbon taxes and tightening emissions standards. 
However, other pressures toward sustainability in a business | Learn more on Commonshare | are coming from consumers themselves. People want to buy socially and environmentally responsible products: they do not want their purchases going to support companies that harm the planet when other, more environmentally- and socially-friendly options are available. 
In this environment, businesses that “green-wash,” dressing up their products and services as more environmentally friendly than they actually are, may face significant public backlashes as well as legal and financial penalties if caught.
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Carbon-Consciousness and the Real Estate Industry
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One industry that has lagged behind is real estate. This industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation and climate change but has generally not been held responsible for its carbon footprint. 
The B corporation VC firm Fifth Wall, however, is seeking to change that. Fifth Wall is working to help the real estate industry create scalable solutions for reducing the carbon footprint. 
Fifth Wall’s Chief of Staff Michael New says that the company strives to be “trusted confidant for a lot of large real estate corporations, and they look to us to help identify the emerging trends in technology that can be accretive to their businesses, not just six to 12 months from now, but five to 10 years from now, too.”
Fifth Wall partner Tyson Woeste explains that the real estate business is the first industry that should be subject to scrutiny in the effort to address climate change because it is “the biggest contributor of greenhouse gases.” 
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Three Major Forces of Change 
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Woeste says that three major factors are pushing the real estate industry toward carbon-consciousness:
Lawmakers:
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The first is regulators: lawmakers in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Austin, and in Hawaii have levied carbon taxes on the real estate business. 
Decarbonization pledges
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Second, major tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are adopting decarbonization pledges and demanding their suppliers comply. These companies account for a lot of real estate in the form of their data centers, logistics centers, and office space, so they are having a major impact on the industry.
 Public and private markets 
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And third, public and private markets are responding to activists. The environmentalist push for a greener era is affecting the real estate market, as companies realize they have to address carbon concerns to remain competitive. 
Lexicon:
Forbes website | https://www.forbes.com/sites/christophermarquis/2020/08/13/its-no-longer-a-viable-option-for-capitalism-to-ignore-carbon-impact/#6f6daaf853bb |

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