Sustainable business builds a better world

The Business and Social Development Commission takes a thorough look at a challenged world in a report released today. It is called ‘Better Business, Better World’, and it focuses on how joint action from the political, societal and business spheres is decisive, if the world is to reach the UN’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Among the key messages are that it is necessary to build sustainable business models around the global issues, if they are to be resolved in a sound and long lasting way, and that the time for action is now.

“This report is a call to action to business leaders. We are on the edge and business as usual will drive more political opposition and land us with an economy that simply doesn't work for enough people. We have to switch tracks to a business model that works for a new kind of inclusive growth. Better Business, Better World shows there is a compelling incentive for why the latter isn’t just good for the environment and society; it makes good business sense,” says Mark Malloch-Brown, Chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN.

Because as large as the challenges might be, so are the opportunities. The Commission finds that there is at least a staggering 12 trillion dollar business potential in solving the serious issues, for instance by developing necessary infrastructure, tackle inefficiency and handle resource shortage. A potential, which can also create a significant number of jobs, according to the report.

Among the issues treated are the global challenge of unequal access to water, an issue which has been pinpointed as one of the gravest risks, the world is facing now and in the future.

Grundfos CEO Mads Nipper is one of the commissioners, and to him the timing of the report is perfect, as it is necessary to start solving the issues immediately:

“Climate, water, inequality and many other issues that are happening are not future threats, but very real challenges – and opportunities. In the course of the coming years, regulators, customers, employees, societies, shareholders or all in combination will eventually demand that your business is good for all stakeholders and not just shareholders of the company. If it’s not, it will eventually lose ground. This report can play a part in giving a head start with this work, and I dream of this report inspiring all business leaders to embrace that there is no opposition between doing good and doing well” he says.

The commissioners, who count more than 30 global CEO’s and NGO leaders, was supported by several different national governments and international organizations in the making of the report.