Raj Rajan, RD&E vice president of Global Sustainability at Ecolab, helps drive top-line growth for Ecolab and its customers by embedding sustainability considerations into innovative systems. He has 28 years of experience in environmental process engineering and water cycle management for the food, beverage, chemical, petroleum, utility, transportation, energetics and paper industries.
To-date, the private sector has approached climate change, population growth and resource scarcity as issues of risk management and mitigation. But are there also growth opportunities for businesses that adapt to tackle those mounting global challenges?
Ecolab thinks so. Following its merger with Nalco in December 2011, Ecolab has aligned its newly integrated organization around providing and protecting clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments.
Geoffrey K. Willis is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources and Environmental Practice Group with Sheppard Mullin. With years of experience advising the private and public sectors, Willis understands the roadblocks that can keep many corporations from swiftly embracing the adaptation agenda, as well as the incentives that can help business overcome this “inertia.”
Very often, companies I advise come to us when they plan to invest and are looking for three things: certainty, stability and fairness.
Certainty: If you don’t know what your legal or regulatory requirement will be it’s very hard to know how your investments will turn out and what your infrastructure costs will be.
Dr. Bernard Amadei, Founder, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, talks to GAIN about how adaptation is becoming central to the work of engineers around the world and the mission of EWB.
GAIN: How do you see adaptation being incorporated into the work of Engineers Without Borders moving forward?
Bernard Amadei: When we look at the developing world, we are looking at some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Those people are going to be affected most from the consequences of climate change. It is very important that we identify the capacity to respond and the vulnerability of those communities to various types of adverse events, including climate change – which will affect the livelihoods of poor people in the world and their access to water, sanitation, energy and transportation. EWB is looking at these issues for the future.