A group of South African business leaders met in July 2013 to identify the most pressing challenges their organizations face in achieving sustainable development – both inside their companies and in broader society. In a one-day roundtable, these leaders identified eight sustainability issues associated with important knowledge gaps.
These challenges are put forward as questions for consideration and action among researchers and practitioners, and as a platform for enhanced interaction between the two groups.
The Eight Sustainability Challenges for South African Business in 2013
1. How can business engage in medium- and long-term strategic planning that is linked to a shared vision for a sustainable future (in South Africa)?
2. How can we measure and value social capital for business decision-making and reporting?
3. How can companies ensure integrated decision-making?
4. How can companies integrate sustainability into strategies and business models?
5. How can companies create sustainable supply chains in the South African context?
6. How can companies engage their consumers in co-creating sustainable business agendas and solutions?
7. How can businesses collaborate effectively and legitimately (also among competitors) to drive collective action for sustainability?
8. How can sustainability be integrated into professional training?
Over the next year, NBS:SA will dedicate attention to the first two of these business sustainability challenges: business contributions to a shared vision for a sustainable future, and measuring and valuing social capital. We will commission leading academic teams to review existing knowledge, address research gaps and present practical guidance for business leaders to engage in these issues.