South Africa: Vision 2050 dialogues hosted by the National Business Initiative

Published: 12 Mar 2020
Type: News

Johannesburg, 12 March 2020: The National Business Initiative (NBI) hosted a dialogue on Vision 2050, diving into roles and opportunities for business to help unlock the transformations that are needed to allow over 9 billion people to live well, within planetary boundaries by mid-century.

The sessions in Johannesburg, a working dinner with executives alongside a day-long workshop the following day, were chaired by Joanne Yawitch, CEO of NBI. They provided companies operating in South Africa with an opportunity to hear an update on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) ambition to refresh its Vision, a collective effort led by over three dozen member companies of the Council.

The update, provided by WBCSD’s Filippo Veglio and Linden Edgell, was followed by an exchange of insights among the business representatives about the challenges and opportunities to catalyze the transformation of major economic systems (energy, food, mobility, etc.) in South Africa in line with sustainability imperatives. Furthermore, participants shared their views on the impact of global trends across demographics, economics, politics and finance on South Africa’s operating environment for the years ahead.

South Africa, with a population of 56 million people, faces a set of intensely challenging barriers to transformation. These include expanding inequality, a degrading environment (including water insecurity), an ever-growing crisis of capacity and an escalating economic downturn. In this context, NBI encourages bold leadership and business acumen to enable a just transition and a better life for all, with reinforced trust among societal actors.

The sessions aimed to ensure that the work to refresh Vision 2050 incorporates the varying impacts and importance of sustainability challenges in South Africa, to create ownership of the Vision 2050 process to ensure the initiatives can be practically implemented in South Africa, and to build a network of collaborators in South Africa to drive change.

The sessions were part of WBCSD’s effort to engage its Global Network partners across the world in a roadshow around Vision 2050, aiming to incorporate the varying impacts and importance of sustainability challenges across countries and to rally companies of all sizes around a positive, opportunity-based, action agenda it needs for the decade to come, in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and beyond.

Read this NBI news story for more information: Business Leadership For A Sustainable Future: WBCSD Vision 2050 Refresh.

About the National Business Initiative (NBI)

NBI is a voluntary coalition of some 100 South African and multinational companies, working towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa and the shaping of a sustainable future through responsible business action, thereby demonstrating business action for sustainable growth. NBI was launched in 1995 by former President Nelson Mandela, initially to support the new democratic government.

NBI 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.

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