PwC report: business needs to commit to sustainable development

A new PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report says companies will be driven by sustainable development in the next ten years. It identifies six trends that will encourage businesses to be more socially and environmentally responsible in the future.

The PwC report “”Corporate Responsibility: Strategy, Management and Value” recognises that environmental and social leadership will be essential to business success in the 21st century. The authors of the report see six major trends that will lead to greater commitment of industry and business to sustainability:

  • global markets will play a much bigger part than government policy in the decision-making process of companies, especially in the form of shrinking supply and growing demand for natural resources; labour and distributions costs or environmental and health legacies;
  • the financial model of current decision-making (in governments and business) will be revised to include new scenarios, new data and new risks; it will incorporate a growing number of intangibles and non-financial issues;
  • innovation will be key, but will be more than technological: changes in our behaviour, geopolitical structures and product design and development;
  • globalisation will diminish the role of the state; this will not be easy and sometimes driven by disruptions such as increasing pressure on scarce resources, changing patterns of global demand or growing awareness that we are a global community;
  • progress towards sustainability will be incremental, not revolutionary but specific catalysts may cause sudden disruptions and spurts of great change
  • the global media will play a big role in awarenes-building.

The report, which also looks at regional sustainability issues (challenges for Europe, the US or Asia) should be mandatory reading for all EU stakeholders involved in defining the EU’s review of its sustainable development strategy and the new CSR strategy of the Commission.

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