Sustainable business | WWF South Africa

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Sustainable Business

© Photo by Karsten Würth (@inf1783) on Unsplash

We know that successful economies rely on healthy ecosystems, and that issues like climate change, energy security and the loss of natural assets pose big risks to the sustainability of communities, and the businesses that depend on them. This is why our work with business is essential to achieving positive change for the planet. We pair our experience and technical expertise with businesses looking to build a prosperous future for people and nature.

What is the issue?

The nature of business is changing. For years, for most, the focus of business was purely profit. This was business as usual. Then the triple bottom line became trendy: people, profits, planet. Recently the six capitals have become reporting prerequisites.

Planning for the social aspects of a business’s operations has become more mainstreamed, but the need to consider and account for a business’s impact and reliance on natural capital, and a functioning natural environment is still too often something of an afterthought rather than an imperative.

Without a healthy natural world, society and the economy would not survive. Without nature’s supply of fresh water, quality soil, food-bearing plants and more, businesses would not be in business.

What are we doing?

Through authentic partnerships, WWF works alongside businesses to generate collective action, stimulate innovation, and mobilise resources for shared value and systems change.

How do we do this?

WWF identifies and welcomes strategic partners who are committed to a sustainable future and are intent to make a positive and lasting impact. In line with environmental and social best practice we work with committed companies and sectors towards improving the way that natural resources are extracted or grown, and products and services produced, contributing to society and to companies being more economically viable.

While all partnerships aim to deliver direct conservation results on key issues, some of our mutual partners bring their influence to bear in furthering sustainability in finance and investments, markets and supply chain development, and governance through adopting best sustainability standards. These all include the financial support for WWF’s work in the realms of sustainable agriculture, oceans, and freshwater and land stewardship as well as researching and committing to successful approaches to adapt to a changing climate.

Who do we work with?

In South Africa, we work across sectors with key transformational partners who are invested in long-term environmental outcomes as well as those organisations with an interest in future-proofing their supply chains and business as a whole.

For more information, contact: Stephen Wetmore on +27(0)21 657 6600.

How did it start?

We have grown from a place where companies simply wanted to support our conservation work, to where we now do this and more. We help to shape the private sector to best operate and grow within the natural thresholds of a one planet, informing and developing progressive strategies and approaches to tackle environmental risks and protect natural capital, whilst maintaining and enhancing social resilience and economic developments.  We call this One Planet thinking. Seeking shared value and systems impact, we create opportunities to engage customers, investors, supply chains, producers and employees to play their role in contributing to positive change. By working with business, WWF aims to change behaviour and drive conservation results that would not be possible otherwise.

What are the big wins?

  1. Into its 27th year the WWF Nedbank Green Trust provides more than 520 000 South Africans a practical way to support conservation and economic development.

  2. Through our cause related marketing strategy, supply chain, brands, and consumers can make better more sustainable choices. 

  3. Working with all major fisheries, partnering with small-scale fisheries, and harnessing the power of seafood consumers through WWF-SASSI – we have been able to collectively strengthen the practices and consumption in protection of our oceans and the sustainability of livelihoods.

  4. 8 South African companies have formally committed to set science-based targets as part of a global business community of more than 300 leading companies developing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in line with keeping warming below 2°C.