For businesses, sustainability is more than mere window dressing.
The growing demand for "green" and "sustainable" products has created major new markets in which sharp-eyed entrepreneurs are reaping rewards.
Formerly referred to as "Corporate Social Responsibility," the concept of responsible business is underpinned by the idea that corporations cannot act as isolated economic entities detached from broader society. Traditional views about competitiveness, survival, and profitability are being swept away.
Positive outcomes that can arise when businesses adopt sustainable and responsible practices include:
1. Company benefits:
- Improved financial performance
- Lower operating costs
- Enhanced brand image and reputation
- Increased sales and customer loyalty
- Greater productivity and quality
- Greater ability to attract and retain employees
- Reduced regulatory oversight
- Access to capital
- Workforce diversity
- Product safety and decreased liability.
2. Benefits to the community and the general public:
- Charitable contributions
- Employee volunteer programs
- Corporate involvement in community education, employment, and homelessness programs
- Product safety and quality.
3. Environmental benefits:
- Greater material recyclability
- Better product durability and functionality
- Greater use of renewable resources
- Integration of environmental management tools into business plans, including life-cycle assessment and costing, environmental management standards, and ecolabelling.
Sustainability-Linked Bonds: A new way to finance COVID-19 stimulus
Sustainability-linked bonds can play a vital role for investors seeking to allocate capital toward COVID-19-related relief or recovery measures.
Eight Ways the Private Sector Can Apply the Sustainable Development Goals
Cory Searcy looks at how companies can start implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in their business.
Paying For It: How governments can help the private sector overcome financial barriers to investing in adaptation
Private sector engagement will be essential to the success of the NAP process, whether through direct financing or active participation in adaptation actions. Governments can play a key role in enabling this private sector engagement by promoting a number of enabling factors.
Toolkit for Engaging the Private Sector in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
This toolkit aims to help governments develop strategies for the effective engagement of private sector actors in the NAP process.
New Climate Action Toolkit Helps Manitoba Business Leaders Seize Opportunity and Mitigate Risk in a Changing Climate
Winnipeg, March 5, 2020 – A new toolkit launched today by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) offers practical guidance and resources that will help Manitoba’s business community prepare for the effects of climate change.
Sustainable by 2045: Three ways the mining industry can make it happen
On February 29, more than 150 leaders from the minerals industry—from governments, civil society and the private sector—came together to find solutions for sustainable development at the Sustainability Forum.
Beyond Rio+20: What It Means for Global Higher Education
The following article by IISD's Pamela Chasek was posted to The Chronicle of Higher Education website.Chasek comments on the results of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). She says "The conference made it clear on many levels that we have a responsibility to ensure…
SEED Symposium: The Green Economy—Accelerating the transition
On April 15, 2011, nearly 200 people gathered in Pretoria, South Africa to explore the role of social and environmental enterprises in shaping the Green Economy. The SEED Symposium on The Green Economy: Accelerating the Transition, brought together start-up entrepreneurs, government leaders,…
Measuring Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours Concerning Sustainable Development Among Tenth Grade Students in Manitoba
One of the overarching goals of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is to reorient curricula from preschool to university, reforming education as a vehicle of knowledge, values and actions to build a sustainable world.A key challenge will be to assess whether changes in…
Guide for Sustainable Schools in Manitoba
The Guide for Sustainable Schools in Manitoba is the result of a partnership of Manitoba Education and school divisions in Manitoba that seeks to support Manitoba schools and their communities in their goals to become sustainable.The Guide invites schools to take a whole-school approach to…
The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and Sustainability Education in First Nations Schools in Manitoba
This study was undertaken to explore and develop an understanding of what progress has been made towards encouraging and supporting First Nations schools in Manitoba to undertake sustainability programming and initiatives during the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (DESD).The…
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Standards and Value Chains
Voluntary sustainability standards contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and gender equality.
Depending on how trade policy is designed and implemented, it can either advance or be a hindrance to sustainable, low-carbon development.
Government purchasing power should be leveraged towards buying the most sustainable goods, services, and works.