Current environmental and social crises represent both threats and opportunities for business, which has the capacity, innovation and duty to carve a new path toward sustainability, according to a new white paper by the Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability (NBIS) released Wednesday at the 2014 GoGreen Seattle Conference.
The paper, New Challenges Reshaping Corporate Social Responsibility, says business is in a uniquely powerful position to change corporate and supply chain practices and help shift consumer behavior and government policy. As the leading source of innovation in society, business can move and scale rapidly, and has a life-critical interest in protecting the natural resources and stable social systems upon which sustainable profit depends.
The paper defines how companies can respond to the sustainability imperative and position themselves to thrive on a finite, crowded, resource-constrained, climate-destabilized planet. It provides a set of recommendations to business executives to change the way they think about corporate and social responsibility, and lead society through the bottleneck caused by deeply diminished natural resource reserves.
“As usual, NBIS is pushing us all to the next level on our sustainability journeys with this new white paper,” said Toronto-based author and speaker Bob Willard. “Karl defines how companies can respond to the sustainability imperative and position themselves to thrive on a finite, crowded, resource-constrained, climate-destabilized planet. We urgently need new visionary benchmarks of environmentally and socially responsible business performance, and NBIS is helping to define them.
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Hear more from Petco's Francesca Mahoney on the pivotal role retailers and store locations play in catalyzing sustainable consumer behaviors — Tuesday, Oct. 17 at SB'23 San Diego.
The white paper draws on important paradigms in CSR, ecological economics and earth science to demonstrate the critical urgency for moving beyond continuous improvement and taking the recommendations to heart immediately.
Employee engagement is one of the unsung heroes of accelerating CSR programs. Companies such as Microsoft have seen notable success implementing internal sustainability initiatives by tapping into their employee base — specifically in achieving carbon neutrality through its Carbon Fee Program.
Apple recently reaffirmed its apparent newfound commitment to sustainability by announcing it is now offering free recycling of all of its used products, and pledging to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.