The second is the increasing awareness of sustainability issues and their impacts. Understanding is growing in both the scientific community and the broader public. The expansion of scientific knowledge, coupled with better data showing the changes around us, make it clearer that we must act to forestall the growing consequences of our current approach.
In addition, public awareness, as reflected (and also lead) by media coverage, is demanding greater and more effective action from business and government.
Business is an important actor in society. Not only is business the implementer of the world, developing and producing myriad products and services that defi ne daily lives (as a measure of the reach and impact of business, consider that WBCSD members through their goods and services touch half of the earth’s population daily), business is also the only
segment of society that is driven to improve productivity. And as we look forward, productivity improvement, doing more with less, is increasingly essential.
However business is unable – and in fact no segment of society is able – to meet the challenges of sustainable development alone. This is why the WBCSD’s work program aims to provide leadership for far-sighted businesses and to be a basis for dialogue on sustainable development with governments and civil society.
Without a doubt, the top of mind issue that businesses, governments and the public at large are grappling with is climate change. Among the many publications released by the WBCSD in 2007 was Policy Directions to 2050, our contribution to the discussions on cooperative action on energy and climate. Already it has provided an important set of views in multistakeholder dialogues around the world. But this is not enough.