The Charter is designed to provide a practical framework including tools for businesses of all sectors and geographies to help them shape their own business sustainability strategy. In doing so, it is also intended to be relevant for small and medium-sized companies and businesses in emerging markets as a common and accessible starting point.
Updated to reflect new realities
For more than two decades the original ICC Charter for Sustainable Development has been recognized and applied around the world as a guiding set of principles upon which businesses have established their own environmental and human resources management systems. It has now been updated and broadened to reflect a more holistic business approach to new global realities helping companies to manage economic, societal, and environmental considerations in their operations.
Two global megatrends are challenging traditional notions of growth and development:
- Increasing competition impacting earth’s finite resource base.
- Fast growth in the world population, with 9 billion predicted by 2050.
This Charter is founded on the belief that we can continue to grow our economies sustainably and support societal development, in spite of these megatrends and associated environmental pressures if the below principles are followed and implemented. The challenge is on us all to adapt — policymakers, society, and businesses. Yet, the Charter addresses the business community’s actions.
Guiding principles to integrate sustainability into business objectives and management systems
Many businesses of all sectors and sizes have already taken up the call, individually or in collaboration, creating good practices and examples of how business can pursue continuous improvement towards sustainable development.
Improving national and international practices, guidelines and standards
The 2015 Charter builds upon its 1991 and 2000 versions and draws from the “ICC Green Economy Roadmap”. Each principle can be furthered through the use of a number of existing internationally renowned guidance documents, standards and tools developed by ICC and other organizations. These should be combined with new forms of collaborations and innovation to leverage synergies with others for long-term value creation.
- adapt these principles to their particular circumstances, assessed risks and opportunities by selecting those principles and related tools that best fit their own situation — as no one size fits all.
- consider enhancing their commitment by including and implementing selected principles and related tools as part of an integrated management strategy.
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