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Green entrepreneurs call for capitalism to be used as force for good

Dale Vince and Guy Singh-Watson

Two of Britain’s greenest entrepreneurs, Dale Vince and Guy Singh-Watson, have come together to appeal for businesses to refocus on people and the planet over profit.

Vince, who is the founder of green energy company Ecotricity, and Singh-Watson, who established the organic veg box company Riverford, have called for different measures of success, and said the short-term pursuit of profit damages both people and the environment.

Riverford Organic Farmers produces and delivers veg boxes to more than 50,000 homes throughout the country each week. Its network of growers and suppliers in the UK includes Home Farm at Newby Wiske and other North Yorkshire producers.

The call comes in a week of yet another reminder of how human activity is harming the environment with news that over 40 per cent of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, primarily due to agricultural intensification.

On a global policy level, there is little evidence that world leaders are truly committed to the scale of change needed. David Attenborough told the recent World Economic Forum in Davos that humans are wrecking the planet, but the leaders he addressed arrived on 1,500 private jets and some are already planning how to capitalise on the impacts of climate change.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “Capitalism has become a force of evil in the world and I don’t think it originated in that way and it doesn’t need to be that way.

“The pursuit of profit has taken priority over people, over the environment, over everything.

“I’m not motivated by money. I want to change the world. Everything that motivates me is about creating change because I can see so much scope for that – so much change that we need to bring so that we all live more sustainably.”

Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford founder and organic farmer, said: “The quest for short-term profits is what’s wrong. For some reason we don’t measure success in the things that really matter so we measure it with money.

“It should be measured in what you can do – what you can do for other people, what you can do for the environment. That’s the shift we need.”

Riverford is the first veg box company in the world to have all their operations powered by 100 per cent green electricity, and saves 665 tonnes of CO2 annually by being supplied by Ecotricity –the equivalent weight of 133,000 veg boxes.

 

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