Business can help make the world a better place by driving the solutions to problems like climate change, food security and rising energy demand.
“I firmly believe that the companies who will lead the 21st century will be the ones that invent solutions to these mounting global challenges,” said Andrew Liveris, speaking last night at the RACI Centenary Chemistry Congress.
For Dow that’s meant developing a paint that removes toxic formaldehyde from the air, innovative packaging technologies that reduce food waste, and new methods of desalination that allow us to put more of the planet’s water to use.
Last year the company was awarded 754 US patents – eight times the number they were getting a decade ago.
“More and more companies are seeing that we can do well by doing good,” Andrew said.
But we also need governments to set smart regulatory and policy frameworks that enable innovation to flourish, and that’s not happening enough in Australia he said.
According to the World Economic Forum, Australia ranks 25th in the world when it comes to “business capacity for innovation”. And we’re also falling behind in our competitiveness in teaching young people maths and science.
Andrew says our quality of life will go backwards “if all we are is a farm, a hotel and a quarry”.
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