Sustainable Development Creating New Business Opportunities?

November 30, 2008 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Sustainable Development

Ever wondered where the term “Sustainable Development” comes from?  In 1987, the Brundtland Report first coined the term.  This report proposed that business, governments and civil society work together on global issues, notably environmental degradation [due to climate change] and poverty alleviation. In 1992, the forerunner of the WBCSD took things a bit further when they were invited to participate in the Earth Summit in Rio.

The WBCSD tackles sustainable development issues through 3 main Focus Areas. These three focus areas are:  Energy & Climate, Development, and Sustainable Ecosystems.  They title these areas as follows:

  1. Energy & climate: The next industrial revolution - low-carbon economy and patterns of energy consumption
  2. Development: Doing business with the world - economic development and poverty alleviation (NOTE: 3 billion global citizens currently subsist on less than US$ 2.00 per day)
  3. Ecosystems: Sowing the seeds of a sustainable future - sustainable management of the world’s ecosystems

Our world faces conflicting issues:  meet demands of rapid population growth, mostly in so-called developing countries, in tandem with reducing negative impacts on society and the environment. Any misstep could be very grave according to WBCSD President Bjorn Stigson in the newly published book Creating A Sustainable Economy: Investing in the Future.

It has been twenty years since the coinage of the term sustainable development, and we are at a point that we can no longer simply “talk” about it.  There is urgent need for action.  Business could be the factor to step in and start cleaning things up.  Arguably, short-sighted business practices -mainly in the industrialization era- were a major contributing factor that got the world into such dire straits to begin with.  I am pro-business, but I can’t change the facts.  Realizing past indiscretions in the business community, it seems as though a great many organizations are willing to start turning things around.

There is hope.  Over the past two decades, business has accepted a new role.  And, with it’s new commitment comes new responsibilities and new expectations on business.  This creates new challenges for business, but it also stimulates new and exciting business opportunities.  What do we expect from this new role:  provide goods and services that people want at prices that are affordable while reducing negative impacts on the environment and not hastening resource depletion.

Notice some material included is paraphrased from World Business Council for Sustainable Development.  Please see the above link for the full story!  Very informative.
(Note:  that website only keeps archives for 90 days.  Better read the article quickly.)

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4 Responses to “Sustainable Development Creating New Business Opportunities?”
  1. admin says:

    Hey guys,

    I thought I would post this right here, as it will be the best place for commentors to air any questions.

    I mention this because, if you noticed this post states that the WBCSD only keeps their archives for 90 days for the linked article mentioned. If anyone would like to see more from the WBCSD, then let me know. I will try to include more content or a permanent way to link to them.

    Thanks for reading,
    Tommy Linsley.
    “Help sustain our Earth”

  2. admin says:

    I added a Right Sidebar widget with the WBCSD feed.
    The goal of the blog is to provide
    readers with information on Sustainable Development.
    WBCSD has been involved since 1997, so they should be a
    good, seasoned source of news for everyone.

    Post any comments if you have any suggestions for how
    you think may improve even more.

    Tommy Linsley.

  3. thomas says:

    Awesome website keep up the good work.

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