Palladium Managing Director, Jose Maria Ortiz meets King Charles III.
Three years ago, the UK’s King Charles III (then the Prince of Wales) established the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) to accelerate the transition to climate neutral and inclusive economy. As the newest CBA member, Palladium leaders were recently invited to a reception with the King and other leaders from organisations aligned with CBA goals.
For Palladium Managing Director Jose Maria Ortiz, the reception was energising.
"The fight against climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our generation, if not the biggest, and won’t be solved by just one person or organisation,” he says. “We need to bring together organisations like ours, investors, offtakers, and governments to start really making progress. The CBA does that.”
The event, hosted by King Charles at Buckingham Palace in support of action on global biodiversity, brought together environment ministers, business leaders, and indigenous representatives. It offered the opportunity to discuss the practical delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework, which consists of four overarching goals to protect nature and address biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems.
“It was very encouraging to see all of these senior executives that were there, not just to greet the King, but to figure out how their companies—some of the biggest investors or multinationals in the world—could contribute to solving the climate crisis,” Ortiz adds. But he concedes that talk is still an early step in solving the problem.
“I think it will take time,” he says. “Many of these executives are still wrapping their heads around how they can contribute, so I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but having that many people with that level of seniority trying to get their hands around it all is a step.”
Progress, he explains, will mean having some ‘champions’ brave enough to step forward and take action, whether by buying into ecosystem services, joining the carbon market, or supporting projects like the CBA’s Living Labs to restore nature at both scale and with profit. “We need more of those first companies that are visionary to take that step and demonstrate to the world that they can transform their value chains while remaining efficient and protecting nature.”
And where does Palladium fit? Ortiz sees his role as supporting and implementing projects globally in partnership with the large organisations that are working towards net zero goals. “Many of these companies don’t have boots on the ground and they don’t understand, in many cases, the countries where those goods or services are coming from or going to, and that’s where our role is – being their partners on their journey towards sustainability.”
There is a way forward; one that leaves behind business as usual and forges ahead with new ways of doing business that protect natural resources while producing better products and services. CBA and its impressive list of members are proof of a growing momentum among large corporations to make this shift. And according to CBA, those sustainable economies must be based on a successful circular bioeconomy, which in turn relies on healthy and resilient ecosystems.
Having the King of England on side doesn’t hurt the cause either. “It’s the first time I met the King – he’s not someone I have tea with often,” Ortiz laughs. “But you could tell that he was happy and having conversations on things he was passionate about.”
“Having someone at that level convening people around one cause is really powerful. Truthfully, it’s not about what he does now, it’s about the people he’s able to bring to the table and the moments of truth and action he sparks.”
For more, read 'Palladium Joins the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance' or contact email@example.com.