The Busi­ness Op­poryu­nity

Element - - The Blue Economy - By Penny Nel­son, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Coun­cil

A large group of New Zealand busi­nesses have a vi­sion for how New Zealand should look by the mid­dle of this cen­tury.

By 2050 Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Coun­cil mem­bers want all New Zealan­ders liv­ing well and within the lim­its of the planet. There re­ally is no other choice.

The New Zealand goal aligns with a global vi­sion de­vel­oped by the World Busi­ness Coun­cil for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment, which has over 200 mem­ber busi­nesses and part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions in 66 coun­tries.

Four years ago it pub­lished the ground-break­ing Vi­sion2050 re­port – the first time global com­pa­nies have pub­licly come to­gether to say that busi­ness as usual is no longer an op­tion.

We will all need to make sig­nif­i­cant changes to how we pro­duce and con­sume ev­ery­thing from en­ergy to agri­cul­ture prod­ucts if we want the pro­jected nine bil­lion peo­ple to be able to live well and within the lim­its of the planet by 2050.

But when busi­nesses change the way they op­er­ate, that will also cre­ate a raft of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Whole new in­dus­tries will emerge that sup­port low­car­bon, zero-waste cities; there will be new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove and man­age ecosys­tems, liveli­hoods and life­styles.

The World Busi­ness Coun­cil for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment es­ti­mates that those op­por­tu­ni­ties will be worth some­where be­tween US$3-10 tril­lion USD ev­ery year by 2050.

How­ever, a 35-year trans­for­ma­tion doesn’t just hap­pen. We need way­points. That’s why the World Busi­ness Coun­cil for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment has more re­cently de­vel­oped Ac­tion2020 – a plan that looks at the dif­fer­ence we can make over the next six years.

The in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific com­mu­nity was es­sen­tial in draw­ing up short term ac­tiv­i­ties so that we are able to reach the as­pi­ra­tional mid-cen­tury goals. For ex­am­ple, it set a tar­get of lim­it­ing cu­mu­la­tive net emis­sions to a tril­lion tonnes of car­bon, which aims to keep global tem­per­a­tures to just two de­grees above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els by 2050.

A grow­ing num­ber of New Zealand busi­nesses are play­ing their part in these global plans.

Com­pa­nies fo­cused on our own Vi­sion2050 plan make up al­most a third of New Zealand’s pri­vate sec­tor GDP with a col­lec­tive turnover of about $63 bil­lion.

That’s a lot of sway from a group of busi­nesses who are al­ready do­ing more to make sure New Zealand has a strong, vi­brant econ­omy, where in­no­va­tion is the norm, where our clean, green image is in­tact and com­mu­ni­ties pros­per.

Our own New Zealand Ac­tion2020 plan is still be­ing de­vel­oped. We’ll be shar­ing our short term plan later this year – around the same time ASEAN part­ners to the World Busi­ness Coun­cil for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment launch what they will do.

Over the past year a hand­ful of lead­ing com­pa­nies have started ex­plor­ing how de­pen­dent they are, and the im­pact they have on the en­vi­ron­ment us­ing the World Busi­ness Coun­cil for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment’s Ecosys­tem Ser­vice Re­view Tool.

Six months from now, those com­pa­nies will be able to share what they have learned from hav­ing a much greater un­der­stand­ing of how they in­ter­act with the en­vi­ron­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.