Globalfields insight

Globalfields turns 5

September 2023
Marta Simonetti

This month Globalfields turns 5 years old. It has been an incredible journey, one in which we managed to grow the business organically and steadily, covering multiple areas of work, including investment practice and philanthropy.

Globalfields is now a fully-fledged consultancy, advisory and training firm. We are a boutique company with expert knowledge at the intersection of green finance, development banking, climate and environmental governance. Being small enables us to work directly and closely with clients who get our full expertise throughout.

In these 5 years, we have conducted over 150 assignments and worked with over 50 clients in 73 countries. We have grown from 1 to 10 employees and have provided internships in association with the London School of Economics and project-based placements for students with London Strategic Consulting.

What key lessons have we learned in these 5 years?

-      Working to stabilise the global climate and ensure environmental sustainability is now more urgent than ever. As trite as it can sound, we need to do much more, much better and much faster. We all know the data by now: emissions have continued to rise, global mean temperatures have continued to rise, and the highest number of hot years have been recorded in the two decades, with 2023 on track to become the hottest year ever recorded. This is not a record we want to keep on beating.

-      Experts like us who have spent our lives and careers around climate change and sustainability tend to take it for granted that everyone knows what we know and that everyone is on board with the green transition. However, we continue to get pushback on green investments. We are still facing climate deniers and fossil fuel lobbyists whose job is to derail our work and instil doubt on the true economic and social value of the green economy.

-      The green transition is necessary to achieve the much-described transformational shift toward sustainable growth that includes (concomitantly) economic, social and environmental dimensions. Ecologically-balanced sustainable development will mean moving away from fossil fuel dependency and the overconsumption of natural resources. It means moving from extractive to regenerative practices.

-      Sustainability is not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a ‘must-have’. Sustainability can be mainstreamed and in so doing, our critical task is to enable it in a substantive way (that is to say, in ways that bring positive impacts across developmental dimensions and avoid greenwashing).

-      There are multiple ways to achieve sustainability – by means of legal and policy interventions, through business, politics, and grassroots movements. I have often found conflicts among people or groups engaged in different streams or professions but that, to me, makes no sense, as we ultimately are working toward the same purpose, keeping a liveable, stable planet.

-      Integration, rather than fractionalisation, is key to achieving these objectives. In green finance, as in politics these days, there has been a trend to criticise forms of cooperation and multilateralism. Opposing multilateralism leads to win-lose or lose-lose outcomes, which are not sustainable in the long term.  Working together across disciplines, countries and cultures can instead support a democratic green transition.

-      Inclusivity, flexibility and cooperation also translate into organisational practices at Globalfields that support people, their lives’ commitment and learning. Again, this is not the usual cliché one reads in companies’ profiles… As an employer, I don’t see the point in forcing people to work within very narrowly defined standards. People thrive when they have the space and flexibility to be themselves.  

I wanted to thank all those who still work or have worked for Globalfields, or have supported Globalfields with their expert advice and therefore contributed to the impact and success of the company.

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