Programs and Initiatives: Corporate Sustainability

The Corporate Sustainability program identifies and promotes sustainable business practices and strengthens business stakeholders’ ability to hold companies accountable.

We envision a world in which private sector businesses utilize natural resources sustainably, assess and manage their impacts on society and ecosystems, understand and address stakeholder concerns and interests, and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development policy goals. We believe that this business approach not only has the potential to be a core driver of sustainable development worldwide, but is also a critical component of managing business risks and ensuring long-term business viability.

To meet today’s sustainability challenges, proactive action by the private sector is necessary. Unfortunately, in many contexts, unsustainable and inequitable business practices are perpetuated by a lack of knowledge of the long-term adverse effects of those practices to the business, a lack of economic incentive to curb those practices, or an inability among stakeholders to differentiate between good and bad corporate performers.  We believe that research into the business benefits of sustainable practice helps drive good practice. Further, private sector-led mechanisms can play an important role in creating effective incentives and helping stakeholders identify and reward good performers.

Currently, the Program’s efforts focus largely on corporate sustainability related to water. The Program plays a key role in the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, acting as the operational arm of the initiative and serving in partnership with the Global Compact Office as the Mandate Secretariat.

The Program also studies the role that voluntary sustainability standards play in sustainable development. In particular, it focuses on demystifying key concepts to better understand the role that standards have with public governance and communicate the value of sustainability standards.

Tools

Current Projects

Selected Past Projects

Program Director