The year is 2016.
Sustainability is scientifically defined by robust operational principles. Scientific studies of planetary boundaries show global systemic consequences of humanity’s present, unsustainable behavior. We know that the economy currently powering our civilization comes with yet-to-be-payed external costs, some of which are unthinkable: We are fast approaching biophysical tipping points and risk irreversibly pushing the world into a state dangerously unfavorable to civilization and all higher life-forms.
The historic COP 21 Paris Agreement shows that, although we still lack sufficient plans even for urgent climate actions, we now have widespread, at least partial, recognition of the need for profound change. This is an urgent call to move further and act faster to secure a sustainable future.
In order for agriculture, fisheries, transportation, housing, industry and other crucial sectors to work in the future, they all need to comply with the sustainability principles. We represent businesses currently working to realize this transition towards sustainability, and we know this to be true:
- It is already profitable and in our self-interest to stepwise move our organizations towards full sustainability.
- This is possible because we set our goals by using basic sustainability principles as the boundary conditions for what will work in the future, and then develop concrete actions to move strategically, taking steps at the right pace and in the right order, towards these goals.
- But the transition is too slow. Many leaders in businesses and municipalities would like to increase the pace of change and are now asking for more proactive governance, including legislation and infrastructural investments.
- The prevailing global economy is dominated by norms and practices that rapidly consume natural and social capital, funneling us globally into a future where the indispensable biosphere capacities are shrinking, and social stability is weakening. These mounting costs are made invisible by dangerously flawed, current economic accounting.
- Individual organizations, regions and nations do not have to wait for global agreements in order to act on this call. Strategic sustainable development in line with the above offers us a competitive edge, while at the same time aiding society in the necessary global transition.
We call on business leaders and policymakers at all levels to engage with the StepWise method, and to adopt and implement sustainability strategies for future-fit governance.
Stockholm 2016 02 03,
Anna Borgeryd, Chairman Polarbröd; Karin Bodin, CEO Polarbröd; Anders Ehrling, CEO Braathens aviation; Martin Malmros, CEO Aura Light; Jenny Lindén Urnes, Chairman Lindéngruppen; Erik Urnes, CEO Lindéngruppen; Johan Castwall, CEO Ports of Stockholm; Jonas Kleberg, Chairman Soya Group; Torkel Elgh, CEO Wallenius Water.