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Media release: "Time to Transform" Leading multinational companies set urgent action agenda for all

25 March 2021

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and more than 40 of its members, all major global companies, lay out "Vision 2050: Time to Transform", with nine pathways to action across industries to ensure a more sustainable and prosperous future.

GENEVA, March 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The world faces three critical challenges: the climate emergency, nature crisis and mounting inequality. The pandemic has illustrated that these challenges are interconnected, and that our systems are ill-prepared for shocks. As global risks continue to build, business leaders are rallying behind a bold and urgent transformation agenda developed by WBCSD, a CEO-led organization of over 200 leading companies.

Vision 2050: Time to Transform sets a shared vision of a world in which more than 9 billion people are able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by 2050. To achieve this vision, we need transformation at scale, and business needs to focus its actions on the areas through which it can best lead the systems transformations.

Vision 2050: Time to Transform maps how systems transform and lays out a new framework to guide business action in the decade ahead. At the heart of this framework are nine transformation pathways – actionable routes for companies to take – covering the areas of business activity that are essential to society: energy; transportation and mobility; living spaces; products and materials; financial products and services; connectivity; health and wellbeing; water and sanitation; and food.

The vision and transformation pathways are aligned with the SDGs and the targets of the Paris Agreement. Each of the nine transformation pathways contains ten action areas for the decade ahead, designed to help companies drive transformative change in their strategies, business operations and impact on society.

To move beyond business-as-usual into the accelerated transformations necessary, business leaders must adopt three mindset shifts: reinventing capitalism that rewards true value creation; focusing on building long-term resilience; and taking a regenerative approach beyond doing no harm.

While business can take a leading role, it must work on and design systems transformations, together with scientists, policy makers, financiers and investors, innovators and consumers. Only collaboration at unprecedented levels will create the impact and speed needed to achieve all people living well within planetary boundaries by 2050.

"Vision 2050: Time to Transform should not be read with the idea that tomorrow is going to be much the same as today. This is a report for change, starting now, outlining how business needs to play a leading role. We have no time to waste. Achieving this vision requires a wholesale transformation of everything we have grown up with: energy needs to decarbonize; materials need to go circular; food needs to be produced sustainably and equitably and provide healthy diets", said WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker. "Our future depends on transformation. One of the keys to success will be a mindset shift around capitalism. Our economic systems, incentives, global accounting standards and capital market valuations can no longer just be based on the financial performance of businesses: we must integrate our impact on people and planet as part of how we define success and determine enterprise value."

The launch of Vision 2050 follows the announcement in October 2020, that WBCSD, together with members, raised the bar of business commitment to sustainability through a set of new criteria put forward as part of WBCSD's membership conditions.

WBCSD member companies that engaged in the development of Vision 2050: Time to Transform were: 3M, ACCIONA, Arcadis, ArcelorMittal, BASF, Bayer, Chanel, DNV, DSM, EDF Group, ENGIE, ERM, EY, Fujitsu, Givaudan, Godrej Industries, Henkel, IFF, Inter IKEA Group, Microsoft Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Natura, Neste Corporation, Nestlé, Olam International, PwC, Rabobank, Banco Santander, Shell, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., SONAE, Syngenta, The Navigator Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, Unilever, Vale, Volkswagen, and Yara.

Source : World Business Council for Sustainable Development

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