Speakers at the Private Sector Forum: Our Business Too: Democracy & Private Enterprise Delivering Together. L-R Top: John Brothers (T. Rowe Price Foundation), Lenna Koszarny (Horizon Capital). Bottom: Nanette Medved-Po (HOPE and Plastic Credit Exchange), Dr Amy Jadesimi (LADOL Free Zone)
Promoting democracy through responsible investment, PCX Founder and Chairperson Nanette Medved-Po joined a panel discussion at the US Department of State’s Summit for Democracy. Hosted by the President of the United States, Joe Biden, the Summit for Democracy serves as a flagship initiative illustrating the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to putting democracy and human rights at the heart of US foreign policy.
The two-day virtual summit focused on challenges and opportunities facing democracies. It serves as a platform for leaders to announce individual and collective commitments, reforms and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights.
The private sector forum titled “Our Business Too: Democracy & Private Enterprise Delivering Together” included a constructive dialogue examining how responsible business practices are grounded in human rights, the rule of law and how equity can reinforce democracy. Moderated by John Brothers, the president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the panel highlighted the importance of the government in promoting a culture of integrity that ensures transparency, supports corporate governance and reinforces the independence of the judiciary. Included in the panel were Nanette Medved-Po, founder and chairperson of HOPE & Plastic Credit Exchange; Lenna Koszarny, founding partner and CEO of Horizon Capital; and Dr. Amy Jadesimi, CEO of LADOL Free Zone.
Asked about how their business plays a role in the country’s overall well-being, Medved-Po highlighted the importance of democratizing social good, giving every Filipino the power to vote with their peso. “The Philippines is the one who brought the world People Power, so we thought we could find a way to leverage that force for good in how we make our daily decisions for nation-building and investments in social good,” said Medved-Po.
Apart from the initiatives Medved-Po works towards in education and livelihood, she turned the spotlight on the market-based mechanism, Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX). PCX focuses on the joint participation of the government, the private sector and local communities to reduce plastic waste in the environment. She shared, “The Philippines is infamously known to be the third-worst offender for ocean plastic pollution. Waste management is highly fragmented, with almost no waste infrastructure, and the country is a recipient of imported trash from other countries. PCX offers a market-based mechanism where businesses can voluntarily take responsibility to clean up their post-consumer plastic footprints while we wait for the government to enact [Extended Producer Responsibility] EPR legislation.”
In addition to the need for a proper EPR scheme in the country, Medved-Po also expressed how a universally accepted accounting standard measuring sustainability is essential for achieving responsible investments. “For government and business to work together effectively, there needs to be an agreement on how we measure success, a uniform standard of accounting for sustainability. We need systemic change. The financial cost of doing business unsustainably will make Boards look at ESG differently. If governments can agree on this uniform standard of accounting, then everything else will follow,” shared Medved-Po.
The 2021 Summit for Democracy kicks off a year of action by participants to make democracies more responsive and resilient and build a broader community of partners committed to global democratic renewal. Following consultation, coordination, move towards democracy, and delivery of results in subsequent months, the President will host an in-person Summit approximately one year later, taking stock of the progress made and forging a shared path ahead.
To watch the Private Sector Forum: Our Business Too: Democracy & Private Enterprise Delivering Together at the Summit for Democracy, click here.