Sustainability in Companies:
For the business enterprise, sustainable development means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future. – Sustainable Industry lecture slide
World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global association of some 200 companies (among them, Apple, Bayer, BASF, etc.) dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.
The Council provides:
– A platform for companies to explore sustainable development
– Share knowledge, experiences and best practices
– Advocacy to business positions on these issues in a variety of forums
– Work with governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations
To accelerate the transition to a sustainable world by making more sustainable businesses more successful.
To create a world where more than 9 billion people are all living well and within the boundaries of our planet, by 2050.
WBCSD – Looking to the future
Based on the latest scientific consensus, Action 2020 sets an agenda for business to take action on sustainable development to 2020 and beyond. It identifies most important natural and social issues that must be prioritized to achieve sustainable future laid out in Vision 2050.
Business solutions have to be measurable, scalable, replicable, beyond business as usual and good for business.
This strategy acknowledges that the world is shifting towards partnerships between government, business and civil society to address the major challenges. In order to respond adequately to this shift, the WBCSD has recognized that there is a need:
– To more clearly articulate the business case for sustainable development
– To encourage members to take a more active leadership role in sustainable development efforts
– To increase its outreach to those regions where the WBCSD’s representation is presently weak
WBCSD target the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through five work programs to achieve systems transformation:
Each program contain specific areas of expertise such as circular economy, social impact or sustainable cities, to name a few. If you want details about each, check it out here.
For our course, we will focus on three priority areas: climate & energy; natural capital & ecosystems and social impact.
The Climate and Energy priority area provides WBCSD members with a platform to engage with their peers and stakeholders in energy and climate, to address critical industry issues and to share ways to solutions.
The project delivers business input to the implementation of the Paris Agreement through an active involvement into international processes. The objectives are:
– Contribute to the science-based societal goal of limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5 – 2°C above pre-industrial levels, enhancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement
– Share business experience and knowledge in addressing climate change
– Promote policies that support the rapid deployment of existing solutions, and the development of future solutions essential to achieve emission reductions
Climate and Energy’s close collaboration with other WBCSD projects is key to its understanding the close linkages of climate change with other economic, environmental and societal issues and to the elaboration of business solutions to address in a comprehensive way the challenges ahead.
Valuing and managing interactions and relationships with nature helps businesses make better – more successful – decisions. The WBCSD has efforts to:
– Develop and support implementation of corporate decision support tools to identify and respond to ecosystem risks and opportunities, such as the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (ESR), the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV) and the Business Ecosystems Training (BET) program
– Support business with tools to measure, value and manage natural capital through a structured approach and purposeful communication such as the Natural Capital Protocol and Toolkit (through the Natural Capital Coalition)
WBCSD’s work on Social Impact catalyzes business action to fuel inclusive growth. The objectives are:
– Strengthen foundations by understanding and measuring social risks and the social impacts of business operations
– Capture opportunities by enabling and advancing business strategies, innovative business models and financing mechanisms for social impact
A social Impact Protocol is being developed based on leading practices in the measurement and valuation of 3 subjects core to business – employment, skills and safety. It provides tools, insights and company examples in these three areas.
Inclusive business creates value for the company in the following ways:
– It encompasses the labor pool
– It encourages innovation
– It´s a competitive advantage
– It´s a supply chain strategy
Measuring Impact Framework (launched in 2008):
– Helping companies measure and assess impacts to inform investment decisions and conversations with stakeholders
– Currently focusing on uptake by members and partners (also in cooperation with the WBCSD’s Future Leaders Team) and on providing input to external measurement frameworks such as Business Call to Action on the Millennium Development Goals, Oxfam, and others
– Forthcoming: summary of impact measurement initiatives
Approach to measurement:
“Beyond the bottom line” – Why measuring impacts makes business sense. This publication highlights the lessons learned from those companies that have pioneered the thinking behind the Framework. It explains why measuring and understanding a company’s impact is good for business and good for society.
What is the definition of sustainability in companies?
Why should companies care about sustainability?
What is the role of the WBCSD?