“There is no sustainable business in an unsustainable world.”
This saying — a kind of Reporting 3.0 “motto” — is simultaneously contrarian and common sense: contrarian in the sense that it counters the prevailing tendency in the corporate sustainability field to focus on incremental progress toward sustainability at the company (“micro”) level. Common sense in that sustainability applies holistically (not just atomistically), such that company-level impacts “roll up” to the systemic (“macro”) level.
Natural capital underpins prosperous economies and thriving societies. Understanding the interconnectedness between business and nature well as the associated risks and opportunities, allows companies to better inform decision-making.
Two years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, companies are finally beginning to align their sustainability strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are increasingly being used to inform decision making and guide strategy, which is helping drive innovation and create new value along the value chain.
In 20 earlier parts of this series,Claire Sommer,Jill Lipotiand I developed 38 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields (Find them here.).
Sustainability driven business is the way of the future, but getting there is no small undertaking. To make it easier for companies to reduce their environmental impacts, businesses such as Kering, Interserve, Mars and Asda have banded together to develop a new healthy ecosystem metric designed to support companies as they make the transition to a more sustainable business model.
In Part 1 of this series exploring contextual strategy-making and goal-setting, we shared how our work with the corporate members of the Embedding Project, and their interest in understanding how to make sense of the methodologies, frameworks, tools and ideas around sustainability context, led us to develop our free “Road to Context” guide.
Following the ratification of the Paris Agreement last fall, companies have become increasingly aware of the need to adopt strong sustainability strategies that have the ability to create real, meaningful change. But to do so requires starting from a solid foundation, one that is informed by a company’s core sustainability challenges and an understanding of planetary boundaries.
In 19 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer,Jill Lipotiand I developed 38 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields (Find themhere.).
Big changes for better outcomes
Businesses today are realizing that to truly address the environmental and social challenges that affect our world, a major shift is required in the way they produce and market products and services.
As with most industries these days, companies in paper and packaging know that their customers — be they publishers, fast food companies or office suppliers — want to buy products that are deemed sustainable. They know that millions of dollars can depend on whether their products can meet this threshold.
Adding to the growing body of research highlighting the value of forests for mitigating climate change, the TD Bank Group (TD) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) have released a new report that assigns an economic value to the ecological goods and services forests provide to Canadians.
With its narrow economic focus, GDP has long been considered a poor measure of human welfare and progress. Several alternatives have been developed over the years to more accurately measure the well-being of a population, including Gross National Happiness (GNH), which uses the collective happiness of a nation as its main development indicator.
The question remains of how best to assess the sustainability of whole economies. If existing measurement models such as GDP, ISEW and GPI focus on size or welfare, then we need a third class of models – one that makes it possible to measure the sustainability performance of economies.
Cities are major contributors to – and battlegrounds of – climate change. According to a report from the UN Habitat, cities pump out roughly 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions whilst just occupying just 2 percent of the Earth’s land.
This post is a response to a challenge posed earlier this year to new IIRC Chief Executive Richard Howitt by Dr. Mark W. McElroy and Martin P. Thomas, co-authors of The Multicapital Scorecard (2016).
The goal to make Integrated Reporting the global norm in corporate reporting is indeed at a breakthrough moment.
What better time to benchmark your sustainability program than the start of the year? Evaluating whether your program is following best practices can spur improvement and provide justification for prioritizing initiatives. This helps determine whether teams are headed in the right direction and moving with enough momentum to meet the sustainability challenges of the future and drive business value. With growing evidence demonstrating the business case for sustainability, such as $8 billion earned in one year by a sample of 150 companies, there are compelling reasons to gauge your program’s health.