By James Griffiths, Managing Director, Sustainable Forest Products Industry and Ecosystems, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Rich in ideas and information, providing perspectives from across the business community, yesterday's WBCSD/IUCN Think Tank left us with plenty of food for thought.
But great ideas need to be turned into action. That's why we got WBCSD's Peter Bakker, IUCN's Julia Marton-Lefevre, Ruksana Mirza from Holcim and Takeshi Takagi from Hitachi together this morning. At a press conference they provided their reflections on the previous day's discussions. They also established how we need to move forward – and how the WBCSD and IUCN will continue to work together.
So what were the day's key take-outs? What is clear is that we know the "why', the "what" and the "when to do". This is a good place to be but now it is about the "how". That means implementation.
Part of this will involve a transformation of our economic model from profit and growth to wellness and happiness.
To achieve our aims partnerships are critical. Partnership models should leverage relative expertise and capacity for implementation at the landscape level. We should also amend our language. The biodiversity term that business can understand, respond to more easily, invest in and grow is "natural capital".
Finally, where are the governments? They are missing but we need them to scale up, incentivize and reward leaders in sustainability.
The WBCSD and IUCN have been key players for near-on a decade in bringing the business and conservation communities together. What we are doing now is creating longer term goals to bring governments and policy makers into the discussion. If we are to trigger a system-wide transformation for sustainable development, this is a must.