Promoting sustainable capitalism

Advancing sustainability through the market
Promoting business-led initiatives for sustainable development
Versatile, dynamic, responsive and profitable businesses are required as the driving force for sustainable economic development and for providing the managerial, technical and financial resources to contribute to the resolution of environmental challenges.
The seven strategic imperatives identified by business for sustainable development are: reviving growth; changing the quality of growth; meeting essential needs for jobs, food, energy, water, and sanitation; ensuring a sustainable level of population; conserving and enhancing the resource base; reorienting technology and managing risk; and merging environment and economics in decision-making.

Six principles of sustainable development identified by business are: (1) anticipating and preventing problems is better than trying to react and fix them after they occur; (2) accounting must reflect all long-term environmental and economic costs, not just those of the current market; (3) the best decisions are those based on sound, accurate, and up-to-date information; (4) society must live off the interest the environment provides and not destroy its capital base; (5) the quality of social and economic development must take precedence over quantity; and (6) society must respect nature and the rights of future generations.

The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development called on the co-operation of business in tackling environment and development issues. To this end, business leaders have launched initiatives in their individual enterprises as well as through sectoral and cross-sectoral associations.
1. Sustainable capitalism will need more than just environmental-friendly technologies and markets which actively promote dematerialization. It also needs to address radically new views of what is meant by social equity, environmental justice and business ethics. This will require a much better understanding not only of financial forms of capita, but also of natural, human and social capital.

2. Business increasingly holds the view that there should be a common goal, not a conflict, between economic development and environmental protection, both now and for future generations. Business groups advocate that economic growth provides the conditions in which protection of the environment can best be achieved.

3. Sustainable development cannot be achieved worldwide while massive poverty persists. Wealth created by trade, along with continued economic reforms and a substantial increase in the transfer of financial resources and technology from rich to poor countries, is an essential means to achieving this end.

4. Domestic and international environmental policies are of paramount importance for all aspects of sustainable development. As such policies become more effective, the risk that economic activities -- including trade and development -- may contribute to environmental degradation is reduced.

5. Barriers to trade can create impediments to the achievement of sustainable development, particularly for developing countries. Trade liberalization is an important component of progress toward sustainable development for all countries. The contribution of trade liberalization to sustainable development is promoted by policies that respect environmental and social policy goals.

Facilitated by:
Redirecting capital control
Business enterprises
Sustainable development
Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies