In a wide-ranging interview with Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD, the newspaper emphasizes the key aspects of WBCSD’s mission to overcome the challenges of sustainable development, by encouraging businesses to adopt a different mindset. Expanding on Mr. Bakker’s question as to why “governments subsidize and incentivize fossil fuels and not renewable energy,” the article underscores the WBCSD’s message to the private sector that leadership for positive change now lies with business.
“Incremental changes cannot be a strategy for sustainability,” says Mr. Bakker, adding that the current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) models are inadequate. The Economic Times explains that the WBCSD has led the way by engaging with over 800 scientists and experts to develop its new Action2020 initiative. Action2020 is a science-based action plan that seeks to engage companies across the globe to implement innovative and scalable business solutions and improve the business case for sustainability.
Action2020, which the WBCSD is promoting to the world’s business leaders this week at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, sets out nine priority areas, societal targets and an initial set of innovative business solutions. Reaching these targets would help achieve the long-term goal of a world in which nine billion people live well and within the limits of the planet by 2050. As Mr. Bakker says, Action2020 incorporates “the planetary and societal stress points that need immediate attention.”
The Economic Timesarticle also stresses that the WBCSD – whose chair, Paul Polman, is CEO of Unilever – is working hard with business to alter the current drivers in the corporate world. Businesses are not asked questions “on economic and societal risks. We need to change the rules to change behavior. Today, there is no reward for companies that are more sustainable, as markets obsess only about returns,” Mr. Bakker is quoted as saying.
Mr. Bakker spoke to The Economic Times shortly after presenting Action2020 to India’s leading business community executives and global partners. A report of that meeting can be read here.