The role of business in this is evident. Business is the main driving force for resource efficiency in the economy, for technology deployment and development and for infrastructure construction and providing financial services. But business can fulfill its role only if the right regulations and government institutions are in place. Maximizing the business role will require new forms of public-private partnerships and doing more business with both governments and civil society organizations.
As our Chairman, Samuel DiPiazza Jr. points out: “in 2009, it was business as unusual […] Sustainable development has clearly become a top priority for leaders of governments, businesses and civil society.” And business is being called upon to provide the innovations and solutions needed to help manage growth sustainably - in emerging economies, populations, cities and economic activity.
This Annual Review celebrates both the 15 year anniversary of the WBCSD and how member companies are engaging with sustainable development. In it we cover the pertinent issues challenging us, including:
- Energy, climate, development and urbanization and the link between them
- The re-invention of “green jobs”
- Smarter grids, new investments in energy supply and distribution
- Sustainable consumption, with consumers beginning to look at individual purchasing patterns and their impacts on the planet
- Global and local water challenges
- Advanced green energy technologies
- Business opportunities associated with the sustainable management and stewardship of ecosystems and the creation of market mechanisms for ecosystem services.
In short, the green race is on – both among governments and companies. Sustainability is now the key driver of innovation, and the sustainability performance of a company is a measure of its management quality. Combining these company drivers with government support for green innovation and knowledge becomes a powerful business case and stimulus for the green race.
Business' time has come. It is up to business leaders to make the most of it.