Sustainable Development Critical to World Prosperity

The pursuit of sustainable development is necessary for the future prosperity of the world, according to the Business Council of Australia.

Releasing the Business Council of Australia’s Statement on Strategies for Sustainable Development in Sydney today, the President of the BCA, Dr John Schubert, said the sustainable development debate had significant implications for all businesses.

“If business is to influence future policy directions, it must have a credible voice on this issue,” he said.

“This can only be achieved on the back of a clear commitment to sustainable development and a clear demonstration that this commitment is translating into practice.”

The Statement on Strategies for Sustainable Development provides direction in six key areas:

1. The development of public corporate policies on the application of the principles of sustainable development to all corporate activities, products and services.

2. The integration of sustainable development considerations into all aspects of business planning and operations.

3. Strengthening relationships with all stakeholders, including employees, the community and governments.

4. Continuous improvement of corporate performance against the principles and objectives of sustainable development.

5. Managerial leadership in driving the adoption of sustainable development principles through the corporation and beyond.

6. A commitment to review the statement and the performance of business against its principles after two years.

Dr Schubert said the Business Council of Australia’s commitment to sustainable development through this statement was not an end in itself.

“Ultimately, it is improvements in performance that matter,” he said.

“However, the statement demonstrates where we can expect to see progress, including through increased environmental and social reporting, better management systems and greater community consultation and involvement.

“The BCA is also putting in place an initiative to document just what leading corporations, including a significant number of our members, are doing to fulfill their commitment to sustainable development.

“The resulting report will provide a substantial and detailed guide to leading corporate practice, supported by specific case studies.

“As part of the BCA’s commitment to stakeholder consultation around these issues, we are also releasing a discussion draft of this document today.”

Statement on Strategies for Sustainable Development