Sydney, 26 October 2018: Sustainable Business Australia has evolved to become the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia), representing forward-thinking companies and organizations that are working towards the transition to a sustainable Australia. Its mission is to accelerate this transition by making sustainable business more successful. BCSD Australia’s members come from all sectors and industries, representing more than 150,000 employees across Australia.
Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), made the announcement as he delivered the 2018 Fiona Wain Oration in Sydney with Australia’s sustainable business leaders in attendance. Fiona Wain was the second CEO of Sustainable Business Australia. The Oration was established in remembrance of her impressive legacy in leading sustainability action in the business sector.
Bakker underlined that “in the next 10-15 years the world will go through radical system transformation. Sustainability will be the shaper of the transformation. in Australia – and around the world – it is the time for greater corporate leadership. BCSD Australia will be instrumental in accelerating the transition to a future where more sustainable business in this country is more successful.”
Before delivering the Oration, Peter sat down with ABC TV Alicia Barry's from The Business in an interview encouraging business to step up on climate action and sustainability in Australia, and to challenge businesses to speed up the transition to a sustainable world.
On 29 October, Peter Bakker also participated in a roundtable convened by BCSD Australia bringing together over 75 Australian business leaders in Sydney , where they were encouraged to be ambitious and accelerate scalable action on the agenda around energy & climate, cities and mobility and sustainable finance, despite policy uncertainty and inaction.
Dr. John Hewson AM, Chair-elect of BCSD Australia, reminded the participants that business in Australia has a unique opportunity to get out in front and capitalize on opportunities or risk competitiveness on the global stage. “The incessant attempt to play short-term politics is an issue, but the challenges are very real,” Dr. Hewson said. “For example, we need an overarching economy-wide emissions policy, which can be led by business. “I am surprised there still isn’t a global trading system in carbon, because putting a price on carbon is fundamental”, Dr. Hewson said.
BCSD Australia CEO Andrew Petersen said the roundtable was a new collaboration and participatory platform in which industry stakeholders could share their views and leading business practices as well as hear about global solutions that are creating opportunities to disrupt markets and business models.
“Systemic change was signified as the major requirement if we are to transition to a zero carbon economy, with members already reappraising risk and implementing strategies to meet those science-based targets,” Mr Petersen said. “We shared a lot today about the availability of capital ready to invest in the green economy, with companies keen to move to the future regardless of the current political climate,” he added.