In his sustainable business talk, IKEA's Steve Howard discusses the need for business to go all in on environmental sustainability. The Steve Howard speech begins with several shocking statistics. By 2030, 3 million more people will be joining the middle class and move out of poverty, making the total global middle class around 5 million. Global warming will increase by 6 degrees, rather than the 1 or 2 degrees at present. Where the speaker's grandmother lived in an age where only 12 cities had more than one million inhabitants, now over 500 cities have populations in the millions.
The overall thesis of the sustainable business talk is that sustainability used to be "nice to do," but now it is a necessity. In its early days, eco-friendly products used to be about making compromises, but now consumers have many choices. Businesses should have a goal of being 100% sustainable and measure the things they care about. Meanwhile consumers should be discerning and vote with their wallets.