The effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the sustainability and green energy sector

Reihaneh Eshraghi and Dana Medukhanova
Participants of Global MBA in Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses
28 July 2020

What are the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the sustainability and green energy sector? Do firms will give up for being in sustainability path or probably after facing with the unpredicted challenges they faced during this pandemic, it is time to believe more on sustainability and invest more to be more sustainable in our businesses?
Compare to other industries that might have proper answers in facing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, being sustainable in business is not clear in which direction it goes after the pandemic will stabilize. From one side, the sustainability notion underlines the importance of investing in the future in order to cope with the unpredicted challenges firms can face.

Where Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction Theory precisely explains the urgency in the imagination of the future for the firms. If the firms do focus only on today and not look on past, present, with an imagination of the future, they will be selected out from their businesses sooner or later. As we clearly could monitor it during this unpredicted pandemic. Some companies who were well prepared by the sustainability tools during their business path could better cope with the COVID-19 consequences rather than those firms who preferred to continue their path business as usual.

Secondly, changing from long term traditional mindset that the firm has had during all the years into a sustainable way which deals with a completely new mindset and deal with ambiguities from the future is not an easy shift. Indeed, people tend to step in the ways where they see less ambiguity and blurred things. So, investing in having this change probably is not easily achievable for all firms. Although, it needs more investment as sustainability requires huge investment in new technologies and R&D. During the pandemic, the world has faced a big economic crisis and the consequences of such cries will be remedied in the long term. Many firms are almost facing bankruptcy and surviving from this situation will push them to be as less sustainable as possible.

From the first perspective, we can see a huge potential coming towards a shift for being more sustainable because of the lessons learned during this pandemic. However, looking from the second perspective, with all the efforts we did during the last decade to push many firms believing in sustainability, we see having a sustainable mindset is in danger of vanishing from many firm’s agenda.

This is the most delicate and important time for those who have a strong belief in directing the world towards more sustainable business to make the firms believe that if some other corporates could survive from this pandemic is thanks to the sustainable mindset they had. The world needs to learn from the COVID-19 lesson. We human beings are living in a time with the high need of having a sustainable mindset otherwise with the complex ecosystem we created during all these past years, it is not logical not to be able to face an unpredictable event and not to be able to cope with the challenges.

Authors: Reihaneh Eshraghi e Dana Medukhanova

Participants of Global MBA in Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses

Class 2019-2020