HRH Prince of Wales: “..we need a Revolution of Capitalism to balance return on financial, natural and social capital”
Speaking at St James’s Palace, the Prince told delegates: “As many of you will know, the daunting challenge of building a better world that provides for a better life for everyone, all within the environmental constraints of our planet, is one that I have been concerned about for many years. And now that my first grandchild is on the way, even more so.”
Charles was addressing a gathering of chief financial officers (CFOs), accounting bodies, NGOs and public and private sector organisations who had been discussing the topic – “the role of the finance and accounting community in future-proofing our economy”.
The Prince established A4S in 2004 to develop practical approaches for embedding sustainability into decision-making and reporting for businesses.
His organisation launched a report at the forum – Futureproofed Decision Making – which states there is an urgent need to better communicate to senior decision-makers the business case for considering nature and society.
Charles joked about how he is perceived by the press, telling the delegates: “I am, apparently, as various organisations of the media seem to insist, an interfering busybody. But I suppose this forum shows that being a busybody works.”
The Prince went on to highlight his concerns: “To use an accounting term, we are living off the Earth’s natural capital rather than the income derived from that capital and, unfortunately, there is no global CFO to keep us in check.
“So, we sit by and watch as the biggest bank of all – in other words, Nature – heads towards catastrophe. Over-dependence on fossil fuels, over-fishing, over-stretching the capacity of the soil; rapid and unsustainable population growth; you name it, we’re at it. And it’s a very dangerous game.”1