Returning to Rio to build a more sustainable future

Source: Guardian Sustainable Business In 1992, heads of state converged on Rio for the Earth Summit, a bright moment that seemed to herald a new era for sustainable development. Bold speeches were given, important treaties signed. Saving the planet was cast as a moral imperative. Multilateral institutions would lead the way. Twenty years later, the world looks much different. The unipolar system of US domination that followed the end of the cold war is now multipolar. The locus of global growth and consumption has largely shifted to developing countries, especially in Asia. And for all the good intentions voiced in Rio, the health of our climate, water resources, and ecosystems has been deteriorating at alarming rates. Continue Reading…

Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe

Source: The Scientific American Almost six years ago, I was the editor of a single-topic issue on energy for Scientific American that included an article by Princeton University’s Robert Socolow that set out a well-reasoned plan for how to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations below a planet-livable threshold of 560 ppm. The issue came replete with technical solutions that ranged from a hydrogen economy to space-based solar. If I had it to do over, I’d approach the issue planning differently, my fellow editors permitting. I would scale back on the nuclear fusion and clean coal, instead devoting at least half of the available space for feature articles on psychology, sociology, economics and political science. Since doing that issue, I’ve come to the conclusion that the technical details are the easy part. It’s the social engineering that’s the killer. Moon shots and Manhattan Projects are child’s play compared to needed changes in the way we behave. A policy article authored by several dozen scientists appeared online March 15 in Science to …

Overcoming Barriers to a Green Economy

Source: SustainAbility Blog This year marks two especially significant milestones in sustainable development: the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the 25th anniversary of the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future. How far have we come since the concept of sustainable development was elevated to the global policy agenda? To put it simply, not far enough. The recent—and ongoing—financial crisis has made for a dramatic and challenging backdrop to the Rio+20 Summit to be held in June. The February 2012 UN report by the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, Resilient People, Resilient Planet, clearly points to actions governments should take at Rio+20. Key in our view is the role business will play. By virtue of its own growing power and the corresponding decline in the ability of many governments to deliver various public goods, business is under rising pressure to lead efforts aimed at systems change. Furthermore, business has started to realize it cannot continue to deliver narrowly on the imperative of shareholder return without wider attention …

How integrated reporting can help companies see the bigger picture

Source: Guardian Sustainability By including environmental, social and governance information in their reports, businesses can reap significant benefits. The United Nations has put global reporting by companies on sustainability among its proposed key outcomes for the Rio+ 20 summit in June. The “zero draft” policy agenda that negotiators will consider, calls for “a global policy framework requiring all listed and large private companies to consider sustainability issues and to integrate sustainability information within the reporting cycle.” This is a welcome move. Corporate reporting is all too often narrowly limited to financial information. But in our increasingly complex world, a company’s finances represent just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface lurk risks that could cause leaks in the most seemingly successful business’s operations, reputation or bottom line. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico involving BP and recent issues regarding factory conditions at a Chinese supplier for Apple are cases in point. Many of the growing sustainability risks companies face, such as changing consumer preferences, climate change, and …

Big Business On The Sustainability Offensive

Source: Ethical Corporation There is a growing trend for big companies to use sustainable concepts as core business drivers For decades, many companies have typically responded to sustainability challenges by pursuing incremental operational improvements. But we are beginning to see an interesting new trend – businesses using sustainability as a tactic for long-term offense, rather than just short-term defence. Despite the uncertain economic outlook, leading international companies across diverse sectors are investing heavily in sustainable products and services. Others are making cross-industry partnerships to develop next generation products such as the elusive mass market electric car. Some are even enhancing their business models through mergers and acquisitions that seek to address, and capitalise on, sustainability trends. The big challenges What is driving this marked shift in approach? In our view, it is not just a focus on marketing or corporate social responsibility or even the need to manage costs and improve efficiency. Instead, leading companies are demonstrating a growing belief that their future profit and growth will be tied to …

Sustainable Development Guidelines for Central Public Sector Enterprises

The Department of Public Enterprises has given out notifications to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) or PSU companies to undertake Sustainable Development as a mandatory function of their MoU with them. We believe it is a great opportunity for these companies to undertake various activities under this banner and showcase different best practices in this domain. We believe that the PSUs have to take a route that is quite different from the normal Private Sector companies in approaching Sustainable Development. To address this, we have made a presentation for the CPSEs to give a direction on complying with these guidelines and how to maximise this opportunity to become Sustainability led organisations. Do have a look  at the presentation below and get in touch with us for a discussion on how PSU’s should be approaching Sustainable Development.   Addressing Sustainable Development Guidelines for CPSEs View more presentations from EfficientCarbon

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