Our philosophy of open membership

At WBCSD, almost 200 of the world’s forward-thinking companies work together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We are a global, CEO-led organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world by making more sustainable business more successful. Our vision is to build a world where nine billion people are living well and within the boundaries of the planet, by 2050.

Our mission and vision are ambitious. Driving long-term, sustainable change across our highly complex and interconnected world is not easy. No problem exists in isolation, and incremental change is no longer sufficient to fix the world’s most pressing challenges.

WBCSD enhances the business case for sustainability through tools, services, models and experiences. Our scalable, science-based solutions deliver measurable impact while our members engage at the highest level, influencing the agenda and demonstrating leadership.

Our members believe that by integrating social and environmental impacts with financial results, businesses will lower their risk profile, make better decisions and lead the solutions that are laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Under frameworks like the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, our members work together on big questions, such as: how do we get to net zero emissions by 2050? How can we help to make our cities more sustainable, as well as livable? And how can we avoid wasting a third of the food we produce while millions of people still go hungry every day?  

To solve these challenges, business leadership is essential. We need innovative thinking, action and momentum from the organizations that can truly make a difference. Collaboration is the only way to achieve, impact and scale the system transformation the world needs, because together we can deliver what no single company could achieve alone.

Our members come from all sectors and industries, representing over 19 million employees and a combined revenue of over US$8.5 trillion. This cross-sectoral membership allows our project to truly drive system transformation debate and action.

As business adapts to an unprecedented rate of global change, WBCSD membership gives businesses the value, impact and voice to navigate this change and prosper by transforming themselves and the world. WBCSD membership is by invitation only, with our Executive Committee reviewing and approving every applicant company.

After joining, we hold all member companies to our membership criteria, which includes supporting our mission and vision.

Sometimes we’re asked how we rationalize working together with companies who haven’t always held a spotless track record on sustainability, or who operate in industries that aren’t traditionally thought of as sustainability leaders.

Our answer is that we realize that sustainability and its integration into core business decision-making is a journey. If a company is serious about improving sustainability in their business practices and will contribute to collaboration on sustainability across sectors and countries worldwide, then they are a welcome member of our network.

WBCSD is inclusive - we don’t judge a company by its legacy. We know that no company in the world is perfect and that all companies can do better. We believe that today’s challenges require innovative ideas that can come from anywhere. We seek inspiration from all corners of the diverse, global business community.

Joining WBCSD gives all companies an opportunity to be part of large-scale collaboration our world needs. More sustainable companies will be more successful, and we need as many companies as possible to be part of the transition to a sustainable world – because no business can succeed in a society that fails.

We look forward to welcoming many more companies to WBCSD. Together, we’re always pushing forward.  

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