Sustainability is no longer a luxury business investment. It is a core driver of business productivity and growth in the 21st Century. That’s why at ICC we are working to define responsible business as the new normal and to ensure that every business model has sustainability and inclusivity at its very heart.
Becoming a sustainability leader requires changes in core business practices but the effort to do so is worth it: in environmental, social and economic terms.
Putting sustainability first not only enables business to drive the transition to a better and more just world, it makes plain business sense.
According to recent studies, sustainable business models could open economic opportunities worth at least US$12 trillion—creating up to 380 million jobs per year until 2030. But research has also shown that many companies remain unaware of sustainability considerations, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises.
ICC continues to play a key role in promoting responsible business conduct the world over and to help businesses shape their own sustainability strategy.
This includes helping to build an understanding within the SME community of the long-term commercial benefits of sustainable business practices.
The ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development is an accessible and common starting point for companies to develop a business sustainability strategy, regardless of their size, sector or geographical location.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have created enormous opportunities for businesses willing to put sustainability at the heart of their operations. But delivering fully on the promise of and a more sustainable and prosperous future for us all requires a collaborative effort to enable the transformation of business practices towards sustainability more broadly—including within the small business sector.
While many businesses are already playing a leading role in promoting sustainable development, there is still some way to go in fully engaging the global business community in the 2030 challenge.
It will take unprecedented cooperation to achieve unprecedented progress but with the right support and incentives from government, much more can be done.