Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy

10 October 2013 — Environment Victoria and Sustainable Business Australia have launched a new organisation of progressive business leaders called The Future Economy Group.

The group will be announced today [10 October 2013] at the Australian Sustainability Conference in Melbourne.

The idea is to provide a platform for like-minded businesses to speak with a shared voice on the importance of a healthy environment for the future of business.

The goal of the Future Economy Group is to quantify the vulnerability of Victoria’s economy to climate change and resource scarcity, and to develop and advocate policies and actions to transition to a sustainable economy.

The focus will be on the Victorian economy, but the group expects its research to be applicable nation-wide.

There are three businesses as founding members: bankmecu, VicSuper and Pacific Hydro, though more businesses from key industry sectors will be invited to join.

bankmecu managing director Damien Walsh said the Future Economy Group would positively influence economic policy in Victoria and across the country.

“The Group will develop and advocate for policies and action to transition Victoria to a strong and sustainable economy that restores rather than depletes natural assets.”

Sustainable Business Australia chief executive Andrew Petersen said the group came at an important time because businesses now needed to develop commercially viable solutions to ensure their sustainability into the future.

“Changes to our environment pose both great risk and great opportunity to business in Australia.” he said. “Now is the time to develop the blueprint to move from lagging to being a leader with the world’s most resource efficient, enterprising and low-carbon intensive economy.

“Climate change and resource scarcity are key business drivers of the 21st century. The economies that develop and commercialise solutions to these problems and align environmental and economic outcomes will be rewarded by investors, business and communities throughout the 21st century.”

Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said the group would help develop economic thought in Australia.

“By bringing together a leadership team of responsible, forward-thinking businesses, we can help create a paradigm shift in economic thinking and transform one of the globe’s more environmentally damaging economies to one that restores nature and returns value to businesses and Australians,” she said.

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