Business Brains

New must-read on sustainability from world business group

Posting in Sustainability

Business leaders publish sustainability suggestions for peers.

There's a new prescription for global sustainability being put forth by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Vision 2050 report is described as nothing less than the pathway to a world that supports 9 billion people "living well, within the resource limitations of the planet" by that timeframe.

The analysis represents the viewpoints of about 29 global businesses (from 14 different industries) who are advocating that the corporate world take a leading role in setting strategy and policy that will lead their respective customers, partners, employees and communities down the right path. In a press release announcing the publication Syngenta CEO Michael Mack (who was involved with the project) describes humanity's relationship with the planet in the past and present as an "exploitative relationship." We need to transform it into a "symbiotic one," he says.

Among the issues businesses need to address are how carbon footprint, ecosystem services and water usage considerations should be mapped into marketplace and pricing structures. Agriculture will come in for major investments: The report calls for a doubling of output over the 40 years between now and the report's end game. Two other goals are the halving of carbon emissions worldwide, based on 2005 levels and "universal access low-carbon mobility."

In case your must-read limits end at executive summaries, there's also an abridged version of the report.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure