The future of business and the future of sustainability are the two sides of the same coin, according to MSLGROUP’s latest People’s Insights report, A Chance for Change: The Tipping Point for Sustainable Business.
Two weeks before world leaders convene at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris, to negotiate an agreement on climate, MSLGROUP has spotlighted the voices of global leaders, Millennial change-makers and sustainability experts who are leading the momentum towards sustainable development and sustainable business.
The report highlights key takeaways, through a series of expert-written opinion pieces.
• Led by Millennials, people are demanding businesses take meaningful actions to address climate change. MSLGROUP’s global community of 250 Millennials* at BeTheChance.com, of which 90 of them are Millennials from China and India, share that they are frustrated, worried, and want immediate climate action. Similar to their global peers, both Chinese and Indian Millennials want to hear about greener products and expect businesses to collaborate with governments to address climate change.Interestingly, Chinese and Indian Millennials are different inone key way: Indian Millennials believe that the change starts with them personally, while Chinese millennials believe the change starts with the government.
• With new global goals announced by the United Nations, business is expected to play a bigger role in sustainable development. Experts from the UN and Salterbaxter MSLGROUP view the seventeen new Sustainable Development Goals as an opportunity for business growth and global impact. Business will play an essential role in implementing the goals, especially as it relates to partnerships, innovation and investment.
• Savvy businesses have already pivoted, raising the bar for others to transform and embrace disruption, innovation and new business models. MSLGROUP trend-watchers share examples of businesses that are already maximizing resources, creating positive handprints, collaborating across boundaries, changing people’s behavior and switching to clean energy. There is a race to the top that is widening the gap between businesses that already focus on sustainability and those that do not.
• Climate change and sustainability are complex topics – businesses must make these easier to digest to successfully engage consumers and employees. Sustainability leaders at leading businesses and organizations share their approaches to sustainability and citizenship, with examples of their latest initiatives and their projections for the near future. Action on sustainability is essential to attracting and retaining top talent.
• Human rights are a growing priority and responsibility for business, and a crucial part of the future of sustainability. Human rights experts and advocates highlight the growing pressure on businesses from the UN (and peers that are early adopters) to strengthen human rights policies and increase disclosure and assessments. Collaboration with human rights experts, and a proactive stance on newer human rights issues will help businesses achieve real impact.
According to Pascal Beucler, SVP and Global Chief Strategy Officer, MSLGROUP, the shift to sustainable business is unstoppable: “Sustainability has become one of top-most priorities for businesses today.Businesses are now increasingly eager to find more ways to add value to their triple bottom line. One could say that there’s a collective desire to be socially and environmentally responsible in how businesses are conducted. Material sourcing and climate change realities are only pushing brands to introspect new ways to operate, and the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris is going to significantly accelerate the movement.”
“Considering the fact that Millennials in both China and India have seen first hand the impact of human activity on their local environments, it is no surprise that they feel WORRIED, ANXIOUS and SAD about climate change. Millennials sense an urgent need to address the global issue, where Chinese and Indian businesses should seize the opportunity, engage concerned Millennials and involve them as active agents of change to make the difference that is desperately needed,” said Schubert Fernandes, Asia Practice Leader for Corporate & Brand Citizenship at MSLGROUP.
The Tipping Point for Sustainable Business and BeTheChance.com are part of MSLGROUP’s global initiatives to give Millennials a voice on the issue of climate change. These efforts culminate at an event of the same name, Chance for Change, which takes place in Paris during COP21. The event will bring together business leaders and inspiring Millennials and will explore how the millennial generation can lead the response to climate change.