Singapore, 9 April 2020: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development was joined by business representatives across Asia-Pacific for a two day virtual 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 the boundaries of the planet by mid-century.
Originally a face-to-face workshop was planned to take place in Singapore earlier this year, but due to the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, WBCSD was unfortunately not in the position to convene this session in person. Instead, 30 some sustainability practitioners came together online to explore and discuss the themes of that sit at the heart of WBCSD’s ambition to refresh Vision 2050.
On the first day, WBCSD’s Linden Edgell and Uta Jungermann provided an overview and progress update and shared key findings with respect to global macrotrends and potential disruptors, as well as how systems transform and what role business plays in system change. Participants shared their views on how global trends across demographics, economics, politics, and finance play out in Asia-Pacific and what is shaping the region’s sustainability priorities and operating environment for the years ahead.
The discussion on the second day focused on how the updated Vision 2050 pathways resonate with priorities in the region and explored how business can inform and influence transformation enablers such as, policy, technology, finance, and consumer behavior.
The online exchanges surfaced that many countries in Asia-Pacific continue to operate under the development imperative, in particular with regard to meeting basic needs, providing food and energy. At the same time, many family-owned businesses are experiencing a generational handover and sustainability is increasingly being seen as a business opportunity rather than just corporate social responsibility. Similar to previous dialogues, participants stressed the immense role and importance of managing natural resources sustainably, in particular biodiversity and forests.
Other important topics of discussion included the need to finding solutions to waste management and making the economy more circular in the region. The role of compliance and enforcement of the law, as well as the role of business in ensuring human rights are respected were emphasized.
The sessions were part of WBCSD’s effort to working in close partnership with its Asia-Pacific office based in Singapore as well as the Council’s Global Network partners and their respective member companies in the region. The objectives were to ensure that the work to refresh Vision 2050 resonates with sustainability priorities and challenges in Asia-Pacific, create a network of collaborators and build ownership of the Vision 2050 process to ensure the initiatives can be practically implemented in region.
- Constant Van-Aerschot, Director, WBCSD Asia Pacific