As the world seeks to become sustainable, business must act quickly. Companies that deliver value for all stakeholders will have the brightest futures.
Shifts within our natural and social worlds are forcing a new reality for business.
Climate change and social discontent threaten to make lives harder and economies poorer.
We may not see firsthand poverty or war. But extreme weather and rampant pollution already disrupt business and personal lives. We all know people with aggravated mental or physical health conditions.
Opportunity followed trade; yet growth has also caused problems. With industrialisation came greenhouse gases; with capitalism, unhealthy lifestyles and dangerous inequalities.
In the firing line
Shareholders, employees, customers, and wider society are calling for sustainable practices.
Already, slow responses to new expectations are capsizing brand reputations and executive careers.
Business routinely shoulders blame for any harmful consequences of industrialisation.
Corporate strategy, day-to-day operations, and executive behaviour are now all fair game for public scrutiny and censure.
Still, to demonise business is unhelpful. Demands for cheap products and short-term profit conspire with apathy and doubt to keep the world locked onto its current path.
The energy and organising power of business can help the world become more sustainable.
Senior teams that think beyond the market, to grapple with the reality of Nature and society, will advance.
Leaders who navigate stubborn facts, solve complex dilemmas, and deliver strong outcomes, will flourish.
Companies that behave ethically, and make responsible use of natural resources, will prosper.
Business that adapts when hard science or public appetite forces a new direction, will prevail.
Overcoming the challenge
Sustainable business, at a good pace and a fair cost, requires work beyond isolated CSR or ESG projects. We help companies deliver near-term outcomes and build a lasting capability to meet new demands.