Communication for Sustainable Development

Accelerating the tipping point: Business action is needed

Diagram showing aspects of sustainable develop...Image via Wikipedia
Accelerating the tipping point: Business action is needed

In order to overcome these challenges and accelerate a
tipping point in the integration of sustainability into core
business, CEOs believe that a number of "must-have"
conditions need to be put in place. Businesses need to take
a leadership role to bring them about, often in collaboration
with wider stakeholders such as the UN Global Compact:
1. Actively shaping consumer and customer awareness,
attitudes and needs. To create a market for sustainable
products and services, CEOs see the need to increase the
provision of consumer information and set clear standards,
as well as direct government incentives and investment in
areas such as energy, transport and public infrastructure.
2. Generating new knowledge, skills and mindsets for
sustainable development. Although businesses believe that
formal educational institutions and business schools need
to do more, CEOs also recognize the need to increase their
own efforts to engender the right skills and mindsets in their
managers and future leaders.
3. Leading the creation of an investment environment
more favorable to sustainable business. CEOs need to be
more proactive in engaging with investors to ensure that
the value of sustainability activities can be demonstrated
through traditional metrics such as cost reduction and
revenue growth.
4. Embedding new concepts of value and performance
at the organizational and individual levels. Businesses
will need to measure both positive and negative impacts
of business on society, track and manage sustainability's
impact on core business drivers and metrics, and embed
sustainability in individual performance frameworks
for managers across their organizations (e.g., through
remuneration packages).
5. Creating a clearer and more positive regulatory
environment for sustainability. To avoid the unintended
consequences of regulation, build trust and provide a
more informed basis for policymaking, businesses should
adopt a more proactive and collaborative approach with
governments to seek out genuine opportunities for business
and societal benefit.
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