Environmental Innovation

Capitalism is “the only answer to the environmental crisis”

Entrepreneur and international sustainability expert John Elkington shared his views at Calcalist’s Corporate Responsibility Conference alongside Dr. Talia Aharoni from the Tel Aviv University School of Management

James Spiro 16:1617.03.21



"In its current form, capitalism is incompatible with effectively battling climate change,” said John Elkington, serial entrepreneur and expert on sustainability and corporate responsibility. He spoke atCalcalist’s Corporate Responsibility Conference alongside Dr. Talia Aharoni, founder of the Ma'aleh organization and a lecturer at the Tel Aviv University School of Management.


“But in another state, with different ways of thinking about economics and valuation, I think capitalism is essential to fighting climate change… We have two battles at the same time, one to change capitalism and the other to deal with climate change," Elkington added.


"Several things need to happen at the same time. One is that economics has chosen to ignore absolutely critical elements of the ecological and environmental system. It cannot go on. We cannot simply treat what is happening to species around the world oceans, and to our climate and soil as externalities - something that capitalists should not and do not worry about. They have to take these things into account and then that system can work automatically to improve matters.”


"Capitalism, and not only capitalism, continues to cause harm to the environment,” added Dr. Aharoni with whom he shared a conversation. “But at the end of the day, if we look forward, I see capitalism, as almost a different capitalism, maybe as something more responsible, perhaps the only answer to the environmental crisis because I believe that the built-in drive for success, innovation, for creating financial value as well as other value, will drive capitalism to bring the solution and create a medicine for the harms we have done so far.”


You can watch the entire exchange above.