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A stark lesson in life and death – What can we learn?

We’re all in this together. This moment in history. This turmoil. Prioritising everything in an effort to come together around the shared goal of beating this pandemic. A single event which has so quickly impacted all of our lives, the extreme being such abrupt and tragic loss of life, risk to the vulnerable and economic shock.

All this compounded and made all the more mind-bending by the warnings that went unheeded by the scientific community for years; and then balanced with the small positive side effects we’re seeing emerge: the comfort in being reassured that at our core, we all care for one another – asking how each other are, and really meaning it; the admirable spirit of people volunteering, businesses pivoting to serve a community, newfound appreciation of key workers, the realisation/reminder of the value of human interaction, wellbeing and family.

At Livingstone, we’ve managed to maintain ‘business as usual’, albeit our perception of ‘usual’ has changed. Prioritising wellbeing and finding a new rhythm to life, less frenetic, benefiting our productivity. Individually we’ve rediscovered simple pleasures in simple things, and not being solely reliant on the constructs we knew before lockdown. And from speaking to our clients, suppliers and friends, we know we’re not alone in this.

Perhaps those small positive side effects are just the ground work for unparalleled progress toward a more sustainable future. Conceivably this also means it’s imperative we must not ignore lessons learned, particularly from scientists and subject matter experts. This was supposed to be a “a pivotal year” for efforts to address climate change, as UN Secretary General António Guterres put it at a recent briefing on the UN’s annual climate summit. It’s important to keep the conversation going about such serious subjects, and realise the visceral reality which can paradigm shift so quickly and dramatically.

The priority right now is to control the pandemic and save lives. As the interventions begin to have an effect and we start to emerge from this terrible crisis, it will be time to consider what we rush back to, what can be different, what can’t be the same, and how serious such fundamental questions are, and to work towards a more just, equitable, and ecologically balanced future.

Now more than ever, we should acknowledge the importance of Climate Action, face into the huge environmental debates and solutions we have been discussing for decades before COVID-19 hit, and find ways in which new investments can help us build a cleaner, greener and fairer future – one in concert with the planet, where all prosper equally.

We know these are unsettling times and that many of us are feeling uneasy for loved ones and the world around us. We share these feelings and are thinking of all of you. Community and relationships are very important to us as a company. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been adversely affected by this deadly contagion.

So let’s take time to reflect and remember those lives lost. Together, we must also apply our energies, renewed focus, and appreciation of global wellbeing to embrace the similar yet potentially far graver climate warnings, and be unflinchingly bold, decisive and purposeful to collectively shape a world where everyone and everything can thrive, sustainably.

Are you ready to build sustainability into your business plan?