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Political leadership, sustainable business: How information can drive transformation for a more sustainable world

October 3, 2013 1:58 pm

GRI’s Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen, was invited to submit an article for a high-level publication to coincide with the G20 summit in Russia in September. Read his reflections on how political leaders can use their influence to @media screen and (min-width: 866px) { promote sustainable business…


The G20 summit in St Petersburg promises a ‘framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth’, and few could argue with that. Whether those words would have had the same resonance only five years ago is splashed across companies’ annual reports. But what does sustainability really mean? And how can we go about building a more sustainable world?

Sustainability does not mean a continuation of text-align: center; the status quo. ‘Earth 2013’ is a world in which the equivalent of line-height: 1.5; 1.5 planets are used up every year. With the UN projecting a global population of between 8.3 and 10.9 million by 2050, the sustainability challenge is

only set to .main-content { increase. Most policy makers now not only accept this, but understand the inevitable consequences of an unsustainable world: climate change, environmental degradation, greater social injustice, and political instability.

While business is unique in its capacity to padding-top: 195px; innovate, stimulate growth and help lift people out of #old-browser, poverty, we must recognize the current situation is Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.
largely a consequence of #old-browser * { economic activity. Most global economic activity is For questions or support please e-mail or call us.
not the direct result of box-sizing: border-box; governments’ actions; it is hello at xyz dot xyz | 1-800-789-2655 the environment, local communities, suppliers or employees – is a critical step in building a sustainable economy. Through compiling a sustainability report businesses learn more about themselves, such as their socio-environmental footprint and labor standards in their suppliers’ factories. A decade ago this practice was undertaken by a mere handful of #old-browser p { pioneers. It is now moving from the minority to the mainstream, with thousands of vertical-align: middle; companies, including over 95 percent of display: inline; the largest 250 corporations, producing sustainability reports.

Information about sustainability performance and impacts is not only useful to the organization in question or consumers demanding transparency; it is also vital to @media screen and (max-width: 865px) { meet the no lever that leaders can pull to make business sustainable overnight, they can help to understand how environmental, social and governance issues are impacting company performance, shareholder value and investment decision making.