[Editors Note: It’s interesting to see the statistic that shows people perceptions vs. actual performance – it would appear that Canada is still benefiting from its past performance BUT for how long. Congratulations to beautiful Vancouver for being ranked as the 4th greenest city.]
How green is your native land? The 4th edition of the Global Green Economy Index, produced by private U.S.-based consultancy Dual Citizen LLC, has just been released, and you can look it up. The index provides an in-depth look at how 60 countries and 70 cities are doing in developing more environmentally friendly economies, in actual performance and in how experts perceive their performance.
While corporate responsibility has risen as a strategic priority for many companies, boards have not been driving this change. The UN Global CompactLEAD board program conducts extensive surveys and interviews with board members, which have revealed some significant key areas where board members often are not aligned. Those key areas are what sustainability means, what value it brings to the company, whether it adds to (or subtracts from) profit and innovation, what the risks and opportunities of sustainability are and who the most important stakeholders are for the company’s success or failure.
It’s time for a Future-Fit Business Benchmark. The reality of planetary boundaries presents one of the most daunting challenges of the twenty-first century. We are damaging the carrying capacity of the planet faster than it can repair itself. We are exceeding planetary boundaries. We are denying our nested interdependencies. For the first time in human history, the future of a healthy resilient human society is in question. This is not sustainable, neither for society nor for business.
The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we’re amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you’ll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.
Films of tropical forests don’t accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems. They’re skillfully edited shots acquired over many months. Our media-nurtured impatience and urgent sense of time often prevent us from seeing how life truly unfolds. (Credit: Floyd Stewart via Flickr)
Nature needs time to adjust and adapt to biosphere changes. After life appeared on Earth, atmospheric oxygen gradually went from zero to 20 per cent, oceans appeared and disappeared, mountains thrust upward and then eroded, continents moved on tectonic plates, climate cycled between ice ages and warm intervals, magnetic poles reversed and re-reversed. Life flourished because species and ecosystems evolved over time.
Recently the European Commission adopted a groundbreaking CSR directive. It applies to 6,000 large companies with over 500 employees. Effective 2017, it directs them to disclose information on policies, risks and outcomes related to environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and board director diversity. This is a bold and sensible move by the EU and should be applauded.
Now…what will Canada do?
Canada reviews the Canada Business Corporations Act – where does CSR belong?