Monday, June 25, 2012

The Corporate Sector can Save the World

The Business community may offer the best hope of saving the world from the ravages of environmental decay. In the context of the difficult economic times we are experiencing corporate initiatives may be our best hope for slowing the progression towards worsening environmental calamity. As reported in The Guardian, Peter Bakker corporate, the president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Business (WBCSD), "believes that the corporate sector currently offers the best opportunity for saving the world."In the wake of the disappointing outcome at Rio+20, Bakker is on a "mission to encourage business to implement change at scale." He believes that the short term fate of the world hinges on "the coalitions of the willing," comprised of local efforts, and responsible cities and countries.


Bakker flatly rejects criticism that the 1,000 businesses that descended on Rio are not serious about creating change. As Bakker points the corporate world has made significant progress towards developing their approaches to sustainability. Bakker wants to move the WBCSD beyond merely educating business towards real efforts that have meaningful impacts.

As Bakker points out there are good businesses that work to be more sustainable and there are bad businesses that work to undermine progress.  "The 20% of really bad guys we need to regulate out of existence."

Bakker has developed a four point plan to extend the WBCSD's sector led coalitions to the tire and chemicals industries the same way progress has been made in the cement and forest sectors. This involves sharing best practice and creating common measurement and reporting standards. He also wants to create cross-sector working groups that auger change at city level including public transport, construction and utilities."

Bakker is working on innovative approaches to standardized reporting and he is developing a common methodology for companies to integrate impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity into their accounting systems. More than 50 companies have already signed up to take part and companies like Puma are leading in this area.

New accounting frameworks require financial system to put a value on companies' sustainability performance which is why Bakker also plans to involve financial companies. "The valuation of a business has to change and that's why I need the banking sector to value these commitments," he says. "If the capital markets measured the sustainability of companies then people like Paul Polman at Unilever would be seen as a god."

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Posts
Corporate Sustainability Pledges at Rio+20 UN Forum
Clean Revolution Campaign Launched at Rio+20
At Rio+20 Corporations Make a Natural Capital Declaration Pledge
Rio+20 Announcement: US Partners with CEOs to Reduce Deforestation Through Sustainable Agriculture
The Competitive Advantage of Sustainability: Short Costs Long Growth
Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point
Investors and Global Sustainability
MIT Survey Shows More Businesses are Embracing Sustainability and Turning a Profit
Sustainability Success Kit from Enviance
Sustainability (Sustainable) Defined
Top 10 Global Sustainability Leaders (Report)
Global Survey on Sustainability
10 Sustainability Initiatives for Small Businesses
The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework
The New Sustainability Advantage
Corporate Sustainability Experts Want a Tax
Corporate Sustainability Experts Scoff
China's Twitter Users Focused on Sustainability
Spring of Sustainability (Video)
Corporate Sustainability Strategies in Asia Part1 (Video)
Sustainability Methodology (Video)
Sustainability in the Workplace Low-Hanging Fruit (Video)
The Benefits of Sustainability in Business (Video)
How sustainability can Save your Business (Video)
The New Sustainability Advantage (Book) Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point
Investors and Global Sustainability
MIT Survey Shows More Businesses are Embracing Sustainability and Turning a Profit
Sustainability Success Kit from Enviance
Sustainability (Sustainable) Defined
Top 10 Global Sustainability Leaders (Report)
Global Survey on Sustainability
10 Sustainability Initiatives for Small Businesses
The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework
The New Sustainability Advantage
Corporate Sustainability Experts Want a Tax
Corporate Sustainability Experts Scoff
China's Twitter Users Focused on Sustainability
Spring of Sustainability (Video)
Corporate Sustainability Strategies in Asia Part1 (Video)
Sustainability Methodology (Video)
Sustainability in the Workplace Low-Hanging Fruit (Video)
The Benefits of Sustainability in Business (Video)
How sustainability can Save your Business (Video)
Sustainable Business Methods, Strategy, Management and Reporting
Sustainable Successes and Failures
Sustainability is an Unstoppable Megatrend
The Overwhelming Logic of Sustainable Business
Social Media and Sustainability
Social Action Driving Businesses to Adopt Sustainable Practices
A Sustainable World Order
Five Rules for Going Green (Video)
1. Sustainability Planning (Video): Business Practice Part 1/10

No comments: