Sector Archives: Natural Resources

The Future of Energy

The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and subsequent public debates over the safety and future of nuclear power has given the world pause this spring, forcing us to reconsider the following question: what does a sustainable, low-carbon energy future look like? To explore this question, and to find out what corporate sustainability practitioners

The Biodiversity Challenge Revisited

As we near the end of 2010 and the International Year of Biodiversity, some businesses are gradually awakening to growing risks and new opportunities as the protection of species and genetic diversity prove more and more critical to global supply chains. Business shouldn’t be surprised to see this issue forcing its way higher on the

Care for Some Plastic in your Soup?

A few years ago much of our time was spent convincing companies, or individuals within companies of the need to act on certain environmental and social issues. Much of this was centred on building the business case – analysing the extent and nature of the financial benefits that companies gain from sound environmental practice, social

The Biodiversity Challenge for Business – 2010 is International Year on Biodiversity, but what might it mean for business?

Biodiversity has been the Cinderella among environmental issues, with the CEOs of even some of the world’s biggest corporations comfortably confident that it has little—if anything—to do with their day-to-day preoccupations. Except, of course, where their operations directly impact rainforests, temperate wetlands or coral reefs, as in the case of a food company using palm

Peak Oil: Why $40 Per Barrel Is No Cause for Complacency

These days it is comforting to have one thing not to worry about. As the world teeters on the edge of a full-blown depression, and business is crushed between slumping sales and seized-up credit markets, at least the oil price is in retreat. From an historic high of $147 per barrel last July to around

Unchaining Value

Unchaining Value: Innovative approaches to sustainable supply, a report by SustainAbility, the UN Environment Programme, and the UN Global Compact, argues that companies should redefine the goals of supply chain management from creating more value at less cost for the company, to creating more value for all supply chain participants at a lower cost to

Can Democracy Save the Planet? (openDemocracy)

Is democracy necessary for sustainable development – or does it get in the way? The political world is full of evidence that can be used to argue for either view. The lengthy and lively United States presidential competition between Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama has, for example, engaged an unusually high proportion

One Planet Business

For some years it has been clear that individual businesses, no matter how committed, are not in themselves able to solve enormous and intractable problems like the spread of HIV/Aids, climate change and environmental pollution. Part of the problem has been a lack of effective tools to measure the extent of the challenge, and how

Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure: Uncovering the Business Case for Corporate Sustainability seeks to uncover evidence to test the premise that responsible business is value enhancing. The Sustainable Business Value Matrix links ten dimensions of sustainable development performance (e.g. accountability & transparency, environmental process focus, human rights, workplace conditions) with ten more traditional measures of business success (e.g.