The Value of Vision

The Value of Vision

Top Challenges for Business Leaders in 2013

Multimedia from this Release

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

Johannesburg, September 26, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Valuation is one of eight challenges facing South African industry in 2013 as identified by a roundtable of leading sustainable companies in this report. Business leaders also identified the need and interest of South African companies to contribute to a shared vision for a sustainable future for the country.

A new report released by the Network for Business Sustainability South Africa (NBS: SA), a research group collaboratively based at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Graduate School of Business (GSB) and produced with support from EY, reveals that challenge of creating value towards a vision of a sustainable future as critical in the South African context.

“In South Africa, business has a considerable obligation to determine the value that we create in the society in which we live. How do we account for social value, track it, and manage it. If we can agree on the measurement tools, we can start managing our progress towards it,” commented Sue Lund, General Manager for Public Policy and Sustainability at Transnet. Transnet is a South African freight logistics company and a member of the NBS: SA Leadership Council.

Representing the private, public and non-profit sectors, the roundtable includes organizations well known for their environmentally sound practices and public support of sustainability such as Woolworths, Nedbank, Sappi and Unilever.

“The business sustainability journey is challenging, especially in the context of competitive pressures, organizational inertia, and the complexity of social-ecological systems”, says Professor Ralph Hamann, Academic Director for NBS: SA. “There is a clear need for empirical evidence and rigorous theory to inform this debate. The knowledge priorities identified by our Leadership Council focus attention and provide a platform for improved communication between practitioners and researchers.”

NBS: SA was launched in 2013 and will convene the roundtable annually to outline business barriers to adopting environmental and social practices, and publicly promoting sustainability. Academic researchers will then study selected issues, producing answers that help managers both locally and globally overcome similar barriers.

Read the full document: The Value of Vision: Sustainability Challenges for South African Businesses in 2013

The Top 8 South African Business Sustainability Challenges

  1. How can business engage in long-term strategic planning that is linked to a shared vision for a sustainable future (in South Africa)?
  2. How can we measure and value natural and social capital?
  3. How can we ensure more holistic and integrated decision-making in companies?
  4. How can companies integrate sustainability into strategies and business models, realizing opportunities?
  5. How can we create sustainable supply chains in the South African context?
  6. How can companies engage their consumers in co-creating sustainable business agendas and solutions?
  7. How can businesses collaborate effectively and legitimately (also among competitors) to drive collective action for sustainability?
  8. How can we better integrate sustainability into professional training?

For more information, please contact Jess Schulschenk, Director for Strategic Partnerships, NBS: SA (

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About the Network for Business Sustainability South Africa

NBS:SA is an affiliate of the Network for Business Sustainability, which was established as a non-profit organization in Canada. The Network for Business Sustainability produces authoritative resources on important sustainability issues with the goal of changing management practice globally. We unite thousands of researchers and business leaders worldwide who believe passionately in research-based practice and practice-based research.

NBS:SA is hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria in partnership with the Graduate School of Business (GSB) at the University of Cape Town. The Leadership Council funds NBS South Africa, with additional support from the GIBS Transnet Programme in Sustainable Development.

NBS:SA Leadership Council Members

Altron, Barloworld, De Beers Group, Discovery, Exxaro Resources Limited, Nedbank, Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa, Santam, Sappi, Transnet SOC Limited, Unilever and Woolworths, as well as GIZ, National Treasury, IoDSA and WWF.


Jess Schulschenk
Network for Business Sustainability: South Africa
Jessica Kilcoyne
+1 (519) 661-2111ext. 88932
Network for Business Sustainability