WBCSD and WEF to scale up impact on pressing sustainable development issues

WBCSD and WEF to scale up impact on pressing sustainable development issues
WBCSD and World Economic Forum sign a memorandum of understanding on to scale up impact on pressing sustainable development issues. Image: WBCSD

Geneva, 20 August 2019: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collectively mobilize action on urgent issues related to climate change, biodiversity, food systems, circular economy (including plastics), mobility and other environment- and social-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issues.

Peter Bakker, WBCSD’s President and CEO, and Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum together with Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Public Goods, signed the MoU between the two organizations at the WEF headquarters in Geneva this afternoon.

The MoU cements future collaboration between the two member-based organizations and links WEF’s leadership in engaging governments and policymakers with WBCSD’s proven track record of transformation through business leadership.

Through this MoU, WBCSD and WEF will formalize and further their work together to accelerate and scale the impact of business initiatives and public-private partnerships to put on-track delivery of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement with an initial focus on five areas:

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Climate change
  3. Food systems and forests
  4. Circular economy
  5. Mobility systems

Peter Bakker said: “Globally, we are not where we need to be when it comes to social and environmental action and investment. The urgency is clear; we only have a few years to implement sustainable systems transformation - in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement - that will allow us to tackle our most pressing environmental and social issues. This makes the need for an extraordinary collaborative action on sustainable development issues from public and private sector coalitions all the more urgent. WEF’s and WBCSD’s respective memberships span the globe and represent diverse sectors of the economy – together, our members have the potential to show their leadership and scale up transformative action for impact in the next couple of years.”  

“Tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and other urgent environment challenges will require unprecedented levels of collaboration between the public, private and civil society sectors. This partnership provides a platform for all businesses, governments, international institutions and philanthropic foundations to scale up their activities and achieve the levels of impact needed to meet science-based targets,” said Dominic Waughray.

Within this context, an MOU for deeper and more coordinated collaboration between WBCSD (and its platform for collaborative business action) and the WEF (via its platforms for public-private cooperation and action) will send a clear signal of intent to participating and potential partner companies, governments, international institutions and philanthropic foundations to step change the level of global ambition and action.

The MoU is initially designed to last until 31 June 2021 but can be extended at any time by the two parties.

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