Stewarding Our Global Commons – An Urgent Call for Action
The planetary boundaries – defined as the limits within which human activities can safely operate in nine priority environmental areas – that have sustained our planet for millennia are being strained and in some cases, exceeded. Urgent action is needed to mitigate the detrimental effects of human activity on the environment. Private sector leadership must step up to accelerate systems change and contextualise these boundaries into operational targets for every business.
On June 6 2019, Stewardship Asia Centre and the Global Commons Alliance co-hosted the inaugural Stewardship Commons 2019 in Singapore as part of Temasek Ecosperity Week 2019, with the intent to mobilise private sector action to reverse negative trends in climate, biodiversity, oceans and other Earth ecosystems.
This report distils the sharing from the session and adds additional insights to complement the conversation on how companies can act on their obligation to steward our global commons. It discusses why urgent action is required; proposes what responsible business ideas that use social, natural and financial capital to enhance wealth and economic progress could look like; and finally, offers the “how” in three basic steps companies can follow to develop their sustainability strategy and ultimately help preserve natural capital.
There are US$12 trillion worth of business opportunities available to address these challenges and more importantly, stewarding our global commons is crucial to a successful business future. The science is clear – there is a limited window of time for us to reverse the harmful impact on critical environmental areas. Private sector action is urgently needed to address today’s challenges and work towards a more responsible system of wealth creation.