Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Five Sustainability Questions for 2013

Here are five sustainability questions for 2013 asked by Andrew Winston at the end of an article on the Top Ten Sustainable Business Stories of 2012, in the Harvard Business Review.

In many respects 2013 looks like it will be a year filled with achievements and challenges for sustainability. As we move into the year to come here are five interesting questions for sustainability in 2013.

1. Can we standardize sustainability, which some smart folks began to do around rankings (GISR) and accounting (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)?

2. Will we find a way to value externalities like ecosystem services and internalized, intangible benefits? (A focus of some of my work as an advisor to PwC US). For example, Microsoft launched an internal carbon tax and some major companies (Coca-Cola, Nike, Kimberly-Clark, etc.) pledged to value natural capital at Rio+20.

3. Will government get in the way or help, like when the U.S. Senate allowed the military to keep investing in biofuels?

4. Hertz and B&Q (Kingfisher) have delved into collaborative consumption (see WWF's Green Game-Changers report), but will the sharing economy make a dent on sustainability issues?

5. Finally, how much will we challenge the nature of capitalism, and what will that mean for how companies operate?

Source: Harvard Business Review

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