By Laura Clise
Director of Sustainable Development and Continuous Improvement
(blogging live from Montreux, Switzerland)
In the opening of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development meeting this week, President Bjorn Stigson talked about the world transition to sustainability. Stigson emphasized that the WBCSD vision of 9 billion people living well and within the limits of the planet in 2050 will require different mindsets, new technological and regulatory solutions.
WBCSD Vision 2050 looks at nine elements for a pathway to sustainability: people’s values, human development, economy, agriculture, forests, energy and power, buildings, mobility, and materials. These elements support change in the key areas that will close the gaps to avoid a future based on business as usual.
Low-carbon energy solutions are clearly an integral part of these key areas of transformation with the link between energy and water, transportation powered by electricity, and urban growth using more efficient buildings. All of these interconnections imply that a sustainable, low-carbon future will require businesses to adopt an integrated approach that address global challenges.
WBCSD members heard a consistent message from speakers including Yvo de Boer (Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), Ambassador Richard Jones (Deputy Executive Director, International Energy Agency), and Rob Steele (Secretary General, International Organization for Standardization) about opportunities for businesses and business leaders to turn sustainability into strategy.
In the words of Syngenta CEO, Michael Mack, the exploitative relationship that we have with the planet and accompanying mindset must shift.
Through its membership and participation in WBCSD, AREVA and its partners engage in the development of visionary frameworks, and the creation of the tools like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Global Water Tool. These tools enable critical measurement and subsequent management of business’ impact on the planet. Our low-carbon energy future will demand new models of collaboration. This begins with new approaches to sustainable innovation that support economical solutions, while ensuring social and environmental responsibility.