Sustainability, the new agenda for businesses

In 2010 the WBCSD-report ‘Vision 2050, the new agenda for business’ was published. It deals with a pathway to a world in which a global population of 9 billion people will have access to and the ability to afford education, healthcare, mobility, the basics of water, energy and shelter and consumer goods. This all created within ‘the limits of the planet’ so it can be sustained with the available natural resources and without further harm to biodiversity, climate and other ecosystems. As this can only be realized by radical policy and lifestyle changes, companies that are able to turn sustainability into their strategy, will be confronted with a tremendous amount of business opportunities.

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Radical new thinking

The human race is living beyond its means as almost two-thirds of the natural machinery that supports life on earth is being degraded by human pressure. At the same time the world is confronted with an economic as well as a climate crisis. This undeniably shows that the time is right for a different, more sustainable, approach. For entrepreneurs who are capable of ‘disturbing’ the present status quo, this offers a window of opportunities to develop sustainable products and services through radical new thinking.

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Customer and social values

In order to act corporate social responsible, a sustainable mind-set should not be limited to one’s own business operations (increasing shareholder value) but should include social and customer value as well. Such added values, where businesses use more ethical decision making processes to secure their future, can be created through innovation and collaboration. At the same time, it also helps to (re)build trust in business and is therefore more relevant than ever in the context of the economic crisis.

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Quote

There is “observational evidence” that many natural systems on all continents and most oceans are being affected by climate change, particularly temperature increases. Climate change will have pervasive and serious affects worldwide.

Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)

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