Money has influence. When you spend your hard earned money at McDonalds, for example, it ends up somewhere else than when you pay at the local bio shop. There's a very long process hidden behind what we buy. We only see a very small part of it: the result, that which we get our hands on. But even our smallest choices have consequences for the environment or working conditions. When we consume consciously, every euro we spend has the chance to bring about positive change. Because money has influence. So So let's steer it in the right direction.
Covid-19 has woken us up collectively. On the one hand, this virus showed us all the more that there's a lot going wrong in society. We can see this crisis as a wake-up call to do better, as a turning point. That we don't want to go back to normal, because normal was the problem. On the other hand, the crisis breathed new life into solidarity. We realise once again that together we are capable of more. Indeed, we Belgians have 257 billion euros in our savings accounts. A dormant treasury full of potential. If one percent of the Belgian population invested a small part of its savings in start-ups, hundreds of new businesses would emerge; accounting for thousands of new jobs.
Rob Wijnwerg stated in De Correspondent that climate change is like a pandemic, but in slow motion. A crisis of even greater magnitude, but which is gradually creeping up on us and is therefore all the more dangerous. But there's also good news: we can fight both crises at the same time. Two birds with one stone. In the light of this crisis and the emerging desire to do better, we can all invest in an economy that serves mankind and respects our planet. And not in pure profit maximization.
Although sustainable investments are becoming more and more popular, they represent only a small part of the capital employed. 10 percent of all funds and only 1 percent of savings accounts are sustainable. That's too little.
Of course, the responsibility lies not only on an individual level, but also on an institutional level. The government, for example, has a major role to play in steering the economy in the right direction. Especially now, while planning a relaunch. It must give an impulse for more sustainability and social justice, for an economy that serves everyone. Following in the footsteps of the European Green Deal, it can make impact investment the norm and use it as an instrument for the transition to a better world.
Money should not be an end in itself, but a means to build a more sustainable and just world. So let's not resign ourselves to "the new normal", but strive for sustainable change.