Can profits and helping the environment or helping reduce poverty go hand in hand? Efrat Peled thinks so. In the latest installment of Big Think’s Edge, Peled explains how businesses can create a better world. 

Create a Better World

“We feel that in order to create long-term successful business you need to take responsibility and moral responsibility – look at the environment, look at the society around you, and create these solutions and services and products that can fit the world and the society,” says Peled, the Chairman and CEO of Arison Investments, a financial firm driven by making a positive impact through sustainability. “And by that you can be very profitable for the long run, but you can actually create a better world. So it's not in conflict the way we look at it, it actually goes hand-in-hand.”

Orchestrate a Plan

Sustainability investing is still a brave new world. Peled says it’s an area where businesses need to invent a lot of the practices. To begin building a plan, identify the network that shares your sustainability values. The nucleus of that network, according to Peled, is mid-level management, “champions,” she says, who understand innovative thinking and doing. “In each company, we identify the people who are the champions, the mid-level management,” she says. “We started with seven people coming for two forums and two platforms, open source platforms, and we have now a hundred people in our organization that are the engine for innovative ideas around values and implementation on the day-to-day planning.”

Reward Commitment

Corporations that want to be leaders in sustainability must walk the walk. Employees should be recognized and rewarded for practicing sustainability values. “When you look at compensation in a more conservative way, you say people need to be compensated for financial values. I believe that people need to be compensated for financial values, and in our group we believe that people need to be also compensated and also be recognized for any moral values that they create or take action on,” says Peled.

Watch an excerpt of Big Think’s Edge interview with Peled: