Press release

The BSD Global Guide: helping business to do better by doing good

December 2, 2001

he BSD Global web site can be viewed at:

The BSD Global Guide project coordinator, Peter Hughes, is available for interviews.
Please call 416-532-8218 or 204-958-7742 to arrange a time.

WINNIPEG — A new web-based guide that shows businesses how to enhance their bottom line by putting the principles of sustainable development into practice goes online today (December 3).

Business and Sustainable Development - A Global Guide ( puts practical applications of sustainable business into the hands of corporate decision-makers. It was created through a partnership between the Canadian-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the independent, Swiss-based Foundation for Global Responsibility, which specializes in promoting sustainable business practices.

"In the run-up to next year's World Summit on Sustainable Development, industry is increasingly being put under the spotlight and expected to play its part in creating a world that's fit for future generations," said David Runnalls, President of IISD.

"Sustainable development offers big opportunities for business. The so-called 'triple bottom line' - taking into account financial, environmental and social aspects - is now widely used in gauging business performance. Companies can no longer afford to ignore the social and environmental impacts of their activities."

The BSD Global Guide gives business leaders the practical steps they need to turn broad aspirations towards sustainable development into tangible results.

"Businesses face real dilemmas when responding to the conflicting demands of different stakeholders, all trying to balance their economic, environmental and social responsibilities," says Javed Ahmad, President of the Foundation for Global Responsibility.

"No one pretends that this balancing act is easy, but it helps to have immediate, free and easy access to relevant, credible and practical information. The BSD Global Guide was developed to fulfill this purpose."

Case studies including such household names as Electrolux, ICI, Nike and Volvo are used to illustrate the wide range of business tools available. The online resource also provides expert briefings on specific topics, written from a business perspective, including:

  • Corporate reporting
  • Environmental management systems (EMSs)
  • Standards, such as EMAS and ISO 14001
  • Social responsibility

The BSD Global Guide also addresses the cold war that has traditionally prevailed between business and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and how this is gradually giving way to a more collaborative approach between lobby groups and the companies they are seeking to influence.

The BSD Global Guide is a development of earlier work by IISD in the field of sustainable business, which was funded by the Canada-Manitoba Infrastructure Program.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.