BSR's Outlook for Sustainable Business in 2014

Jan 15, 2014 10:00 AM ET

In three articles published on our website this week, we share perspectives on the outlook for sustainable business in 2014. 

2014 in Two Acts: Part I, Paving the Way for International Agreements of 2015

By Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR

BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer considers the most important stories of 2014 in two acts. In Act I, he explores how we can create the right conditions for international agreements in 2015 on climate change and sustainable development.

In looking ahead at sustainable business for 2014, I am going to take a radical step and suggest that the right role model is the U.S. Congress—no, really.

With the exception of mud wrestling fans, not many groups use the American Congress as their ideal, but bear with me. The recent agreement on a two-year budget—instead of crisis-driven, short-term spending bills—is something that the world of sustainability would be well-advised to emulate.

Here’s why.

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2014, Act II: Three Telling Questions about Progress

By Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR

In the second half of his series looking at 2014, Cramer outlines three questions that will determine how much progress is made in the coming year.

In my previous post, I argued that the sustainability agenda for 2014 is actually all about progress toward global agreements on climate change and sustainable development to be completed at the end of 2015. And while international agreements are necessary, they are not, in themselves, sufficient to achieve the goals they establish. As we have learned from Kyoto, treaties alone do not bring results.

With this in mind, three questions will tell the tale about how much progress is made in the coming year, and will be key to how well any agreements in 2015 can actually be advanced.

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Hopes for the Business World in the New Year

By Sissel Waage, Director, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, BSR

In 2014, business should commit to three goals that are essential to business, human, and environmental sustainability. By focusing on becoming biodiversity and ecosystem services neutral, companies can ensure that natural systems continue to function in the ways that we have come to expect.

In my home, with two young children, we end the year with discussions of the best memories of the year gone by. Over dinner, we fill scraps of paper with words such as, “reading on the sofa, under that soft green blanket,” “smelling mama’s homebaked bread” [author’s note: made from Trader Joe’s pre-made dough], or “swimming in the ocean.”

These discussions inspire my planning for the year ahead. What do I want to expose my children to in the New Year? What do I want to learn? How might we grow as individuals and as a family? This week, it occurred to me that the process could also apply to my professional life. That is, what are my hopes for the business world in 2014?



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