Category Archives: Corporate sustainability

PwC: Supply Chains Threatened by Six-Degree Global Warming

Some 85 percent of companies have more complex supply chains as a result of globalization, and adjusted climate forecasts mean businesses should expect climate change to have an even more destructive effect than previously assumed on supply chains, assets and infrastructure, according to two reports from PricewaterhouseCoopers” (Source: Environmental Leader)

Two new remarkable reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers paint a scary 6-degrees climate future and economic turmoil for global business. High time one of the big consultancies goes beyond the usual "let’s keep it positive" approach and starts talking reality.

See also The Guardian: Business warned to prepare for catastrophic impacts .

The two PwC reports are: “Risk Ready: New approaches to environmental and social change” (Nov 2012) and “Low Carbon Economy Index 2012: too late for two degrees?” (Nov 2012).

Does the future of the planet rest on business after failed Rio+20?

“With a disappointing political outcome at Rio+20, the president of the WBCSD says the only option is for business to spring into action and implement change at scale…” (Source: Guardian Sustainable Business blog)

Yes, business could be not only part of the solution but the key to the solution if it can positively answer the following questions:

Can big business embrace limits to growth, admit that sustainability is not only about more opportunities but also about putting in place constraints and sufficiency, develop a business model beyond short-term profit, work for society instead of shareholders, empower leaders who advocate social and wage equality, adopt a no-lobby code, convince the fossil-fuel sector that the age of oil and gas has to end asap, order the financial sector to downsize and serve the real economy, help SMEs to go sustainable?

How realistic is it that we will see business have the courage to re-invent itself?

Sustainability should not be consigned to history by Shared Value

If Shared Value is to offer real, long term transformation it must address the flaws of capitalism, look beyond incrementalism and not just align commercial and societal goals, says John Elkington…” (Source Guardian Sustainable Business blog)

Good critique by sustainable business expert Elkington of the Shared Value approach developed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer. But Elkington’s own "triple bottom line" is as flawed as Porter’s. Both of them do not put "ecological limits" at the heart of the transformational agenda.

Time is ripe for a global commitment on mandatory reporting at Rio+20

Voluntary initiatives are not enough: a global agreement on reporting is needed to make ambitions on sustainability a reality…” (Source: the Guardian Sustainable Business blog)

I have started to become quite skeptical on this issue. As long as the power of the financial sector over government is not broken, even better and mandatory sustainability reporting alone will not help.

Can we believe China’s Corporate Social Responsibility rhetoric?

"China is talking the talk of Corporate Social Responsibility in its 12th 5-year plan. It has even endorsed the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights. Simon Zadek argues that the new economic superpower sees a real interest in responsible and clean business, and that deeds will follow the rhetoric" (Source: Open Democracy)

Excellent must-read analysis of China’s efforts to move to a cleaner and greener economy model. Is he painting too much of a rosy picture?

Compensation and the Myth of the Corporate Superstar

The public is up in arms about some of the big bonuses being paid to the CEOs of big bailed-out banks.”  

Very good article on Harvard Business Review blog with striking conclusion: "The notion of the superstar CEO has been a fixture of business life for at least two decades and it is at the heart of the compensation problem that continues to vex the public. It’s time we consigned the myth to the dustbin."

Sustainability reporting: immediate choices for the future

“Two new reports call for mandatory reporting as sustainability becomes increasingly central to the future of business…”  (Source: Sustainable Business blog The Guardian)

Excellent article by Paul Hohnen on the Guardian’s Sustainable Business blog about the need for mandatory corporate sustainability reporting.
For more on this issue, read Paul Hohnen’s great paper for Chatham House: “The Future of Sustainability Reporting” (Jan 2012).

‘Recessionary Hangover’ Slows Corporate Sustainability’s Momentum

“The fifth annual State of Green Business report, published today by Joel Makower and the editors of GreenBiz.com, finds that while progress is still happening in some areas, for the first time corporate sustainability has slowed, stopped and in some places even reversed.”  

The report also has some interesting ideas on which 10 trends will define corporate sustainability in 2012.

New WEF report sees urgent need for sustainable consumption revolution

A new report by the World Economic Forum makes the case for an emergency transformation to sustainable consumption in a resource-constrained world. 

The report "More with less: scaling sustainable consumption and resource efficiency" is an absolute must-read.  

Read the full report and the executive summary.

More about this report on this blog from tomorrow. Read already Simon Zadek’s evaluation: “Sustainability’s Cinderella – Us!”.

Exploring a Flawed Paradigm: Why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not enough

"Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is outdated and counterproductive to successful enterprise and the global sustainability imperative."  

Chad Park, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, explains why incorporating environmental and social considerations into a business-as-usual approach is a flawed sustainable business paradigm.

Most companies continue to ask themselves: ‘Based on our business plan, what should our CSR strategy be?’ But to succeed in the future, businesses must instead ask: ‘In light of the global sustainability imperative, what should our business plan be?’

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