Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo, 28 November 2019: What does a sustainable world look like in 2050? How can leading companies contribute to achieving it? And what are the necessary transformations for the decade ahead required to bring Brazil and the world onto a more sustainable path?
These were some of the questions addressed in sessions hosted by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
The sessions, hosted by WBCSD members Vale (in Rio de Janeiro) and Natura (in São Paulo), provided an opportunity to dive into roles and opportunities for business to help unlock the transformations that are needed to allow over 9 billion people to live well, within the boundaries of the planet by mid-century.
The sessions in Brazil were part of WBCSD’s effort to engage companies and Global Network partners across the world in a roadshow around a refresh of Vision 2050, aiming to incorporate the varying impacts and importance of sustainability challenges across countries and to rally companies of all sizes around an opportunity-based, action agenda it needs for the decade to come, in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and beyond.
Participants included representatives from leading companies in Brazil: Votorantim Cimentos, Banco Itaú, Schneider Electric, Braskem, ERM, Anglo American, Banco Santander, Ambev, Nestlé, Ecolab, Telefónica, DSM, Suzano, Alcoa, Bayer, BRK Ambiental, Eletrobras, Equinor, Petrobras, Shell, ArcelorMittal, Neoenergia, KPMG, Michelin, Vale and Natura.
The sessions kicked off with a presentation by WBCSD’s Filippo Veglio, who shared the key ambitions, milestones and outputs of the work so far. Thereafter, participants exchanged insights and views about the challenges and opportunities to catalyze the transformation of major economic systems (energy, food, mobility, etc.) in Brazil in line with sustainability imperatives. Furthermore, participants shared their views on the impact of global trends across demographics, economics, politics and finance on Brazil’s operating environment for the years ahead.
Brazil, with a population of 210 million people, faces a set of challenging barriers to transformation. Participants pointed to the importance of quality education as a key enabler for the empowerment of people across all socio-economic strata, linking it to the ever-growing topic of employability in a country facing a challenging economic period. The optimism of a decade ago on the outlook for Brazil has been supplanted by worries of the impact of security, political polarization, public governance, inequality and exclusion, migration to urban centers, and threats to the natural infrastructure. Exchanges around social and natural resilience, inter-generational values and principles, and corporate activism around the linkages between sustainability and the country’s competitiveness, enriched the discussions.
The aim of the engagement was to ensure that the work to refresh Vision 2050 incorporates the varying impacts and importance of sustainability challenges in Brazil, to create ownership of the Vision 2050 process to ensure the initiative can be practically localized in Brazil, and to build a network of collaborators in the Brazilian business community to drive change.
CEBDS President Marina Grossi pointed out that the Brazilian Vision 2050, originally launched in 2012 on the margins of the Rio+20 Conference, was the first effort of the business sector to lay out a long-term view backed by action areas. She remarked: "When we think of the world we want, and the pathways that can help us get there, we envision a disruption that allows us to go further than predicted scenarios could allow. Our ambition is now to refresh the Brazilian Vision 2050 in view of resetting the agenda on the necessary solutions to ensure almost that the 240 million Brazilians who will live in our country by the middle of this century can live well, within the boundaries of our resources.”
BCSD Brazil (CEBDS) is a partner of WBCSD’s Global Network, an alliance of more than 60 CEO-led business organizations worldwide. The Network, encompassing some 5,000 companies, is united by a shared commitment to provide business leadership for sustainable development in their respective countries and regions.
- CEBDS news story: Empresas debatem caminhos para 2050
- CEBDS web platform on the Brazilian refresh of Visão 2050
- Visão 2050 launch event – O Futuro é feito agora! on 5 September 2019 – including a short video
- Marina Grossi, President, CEBDS
- For more information on WBCSD’s work on Vision 2050, please reach out to email@example.com