Changing Tack

Extending Corporate Leadership on Sustainable Development

18 Jun 2013 – Report

Changing Tack is the final output of The Regeneration Roadmap. The project seized 2012’s major sustainability milestones – particularly the Rio+20 summit in Brazil – as an opportunity to assess progress on sustainable development, to examine the evolution of the role of business in delivering this agenda to date, and to consider what and how might be done, particularly by the private sector, to accelerate and scale progress in the urgent manner required. The Regeneration Roadmap team conducted interviews with pioneers in this field, held dialogues with thought leaders around the world, and undertook extensive research including multiple surveys testing expert, public and consumer attitudes and expectations regarding sustainable development.

While optimistic about what is possible to achieve, Changing Tack finds sustainability challenges to be great and growing, and that solutions are not yet proliferating at the speed and scale needed to avert widespread environmental, social and economic disruptions. It finds low expectations that governments alone will provide the leadership needed to change course and looks to other institutions, particularly business, to fill the gap.

While recognizing and encouraging proliferation of existing sustainability best practice from business, the policy realm and civil society, Changing Tack argues the need for shifting both the focus and degree of effort applied—a change of tack—in order to integrate sustainability considerations into the global economic system.

The report suggests that the private sector has both the capability and reason to play a catalytic leadership role where collective action and change to underlying system conditions are required. This will demand that businesses improve and evolve their own strategies and practices, as well as stimulate and support the shifts in policy, capital markets and consumption that will be required to achieve sustainable development.

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