Open Letter – We are our own biggest threat

By Louis Roy
President at Optel Group

On March 23, 2018, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a group of 550 scientists under the aegis of the UN, published an alarming report. We are now an endangered species and our planet is in critical condition. Biodiversity, the basis of our food, water and air supply, is seriously threatened. At this rate, we will experience our own extinction. Whose fault is it?

Of course, we could put the blame on everyone else – It’s easy and comforting. But do you really believe that we are not, as a whole, responsible for our own demise?

As an entrepreneur and a father, I have to be a part of the solution – It’s my responsibility. I must use my company to make the world a better place and encourage my employees to help their community. I built my company with this goal in mind: finding solutions for real, concrete issues, instead of creating new ones.

Now, OPTEL is the world’s leader in traceability for resources and goods (food, medicine, raw materials, etc.), working towards the eradication of counterfeit products and creating intelligent supply chains, namely through the Innovation Supercluster Initiative. Initiated by OPTEL, the AI-Powered Supply Chain Consortium is an industry-led consortium with close to 120 industrial partners, organizations and world-class research institutions – all working together to create a new end-to-end supply chain platform. Ultimately, this will enable the tracking of raw materials, maximize available resources, reduce wastes and increase material reuse.

Implementing innovative technologies that will ensure safe and fair trade is the solution I have found, but I can’t save the world all by myself. Organizations have to make decisions that will benefit both the community and the environment every single day. The role of companies and citizens in a society is very significant, as we can all be agents of change.

We must act now – A report like the one published by IPBES is proof enough.

Collaboration and concrete actions have become more important than ever. I believe it’s time that organizations, regardless of their industry, mission or capacity, realize the amount of influence they, their products and their services, have on everything that is truly important: the environment, natural resources, biodiversity and the quality of life for future generations. Otherwise, there won’t be any future generations at all. We can’t take everything and leave nothing behind!

Think about it: what can you, your company or family do to change things? Which one of your specialities, skills or expertise could you use? We must find our own solutions to save humanity because the loss of biodiversity will spare no one. Yes, companies can in part be held accountable for the degradation of the planet, regarding certain business decisions, whether it be when a product is created, transported or commercialized, but indviduals are just as responsible. We must be aware of the choices we make, like asking for more sustainable products, stopping our excessive consumerism and reducing our ecological footprint, to ultimately lead everyone to embrace new and better habits. By being more involved and making more conscientious personal choices, we can lessen the destruction of ecosystems that accelerates climate change.

What about you? Will you be the cause of current and future problems or will you be a pioneer, finding solutions that can create real change?