In the latest report, the world's five main risks are inflation, cost of living, trade wars, geopolitical tensions, and social inequalities. These risks are certainly not new and have been observed countless times in the past. According to the report, the climate crisis represents the most significant risk for the next decade. The report highlights the interconnected nature of these global risks and emphasizes that the 'lack of global cooperation' is one of the major threats to progress.
Sustainability in its newest definition
Sustainability has become the top priority on the business world's agenda. It is crucial that the whole of society, particularly the younger generation, accurately perceives this agenda and fully understands that in order to achieve sustainability, a holistic perspective encompassing the environment, as well as economic and social development, is necessary.
For social development to succeed, there is a need to enhance societies' welfare, improve education and health systems, generate new employment opportunities, and foster the development of low-carbon economic models.
Sustainable growth involves various key concepts such as digital access, inclusion, healthy employee relations, and transparency. In this context, the stakeholder landscape, particularly regarding investors, is undergoing a transformation. Investors are not solely focused on responsible production and services but also consider environmental and societal impacts. Therefore, the pathway to strengthen financial stability, enhance corporate reputation, and foster customer and employee engagement lies in the effective implementation of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices.
The global green market has surpassed USD 700 billion
Over the past 30 years, the finance and banking sector has played a leading role in promoting sustainable development-oriented investments, driving green transformation across various sectors, implementing climate change mitigation practices, and bringing technological advancements to life.
According to the World Bank (2018) and Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (2022), the global green bond market exceeded USD 700 billion in 2020. The majority of the proceeds from this market were allocated to the energy sector, followed by low-carbon buildings and transportation. In 2021, the global green bond market surpassed USD 1 trillion; by the end of 2022, it had reached USD 3.7 trillion.
Türkiye requires innovative strategies and a growth model centered around digitalization, technology, the green economy, innovation-driven production, skilled human resources aligned with the era's demands, and data utilization. Consequently, companies must establish frameworks based on the corporate governance principles of fairness, transparency, accountability, and responsibility. It is now well understood that actions taken without considering sustainability criteria can adversely affect living organisms across the globe. In this process, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals serve as a crucial roadmap for companies. The 17 goals introduced in 2015, which we aim to achieve by 2030, clearly outline the priorities for countries, companies, and societies. By placing these goals at the core of our roadmap, it becomes our collective responsibility to make necessary corrections in the areas of the economy, society, and the environment.
In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 agenda, an annual investment of approximately USD 2.5-3 billion is required. It is crucial for financial institutions to adhere to sustainability principles in their lending processes and for companies utilizing financing in their projects to operate within the framework of these principles, enabling effective risk management and sustainable development.
Efforts towards sustainability and green transformation have been underway worldwide for many years. Natural disasters, as well as social and economic risks, have highlighted the importance of sustainability. In addition to the climate crisis, we find ourselves in a predicament with multiple unforeseen crises occurring simultaneously. Previous actions have not yielded the desired success, necessitating the establishment of new goals and the creation of new hopes.
For companies that have achieved success in local markets and aspire for global growth, embracing sustainability as a business model is inevitable. When discussing sustainability, we emphasize four main pillars; Decent Work Practices, People-Centric Focus, Creating Social Impact, and Environmental Stewardship.
At Rönesans Holding, we employ over 18,000 individuals representing 64 different nationalities. ENR recognizes us as the 24th largest international contracting company globally and the 8th largest in Europe. With our local and foreign partners, we have completed investment projects in Türkiye totaling around EUR 7 billion in value, a figure expected to exceed EUR 10 billion by 2027. Through these investments, we have attracted a total of EUR 2 billion in foreign direct investment to our country.
Although our company primarily derives the majority of its income from international projects, most of our investments are made in Türkiye. Our primary motivation behind this strategy is the desire to contribute to our home country.
Despite facing financial difficulties in Türkiye and worldwide, mainly due to global crises and uncertainties, it is crucial to adopt a long-term and holistic perspective, focusing on creating sustainable value rather than short-term solutions. In today's world, success is not solely measured by financial results; it should be evaluated from a broader perspective. The ability to transform commercial benefits into social benefits is equally important. The consequences of profit-driven growth over the past few decades have detrimentally impacted our planet. It is evident that continuing with this growth model will further exacerbate ecological and social problems. Our strategy involves responsible growth that benefits society, Türkiye, the world, humanity, and nature.
Hence, our priorities have consistently been centered around occupational safety, business ethics, competitiveness, innovation, strong collaborations, business partnerships, combining international financing capabilities with our business expertise, establishing new ventures in new markets, and contributing to the regions in which we operate.
In this 'new normal,' where success criteria and value judgments are being redefined, companies must continuously strive to improve and work towards creating a livable world for all stakeholders. Despite the challenging conditions, we firmly believe that organizations that prioritize society and people will achieve the most success.