CEOs in Davos representing a broad range of industries agreed that our global economy is at risk unless fundamental changes in the way we consume and produce products and services are made. A prosperous future depends on sustainable consumption – innovative new products and business models that achieve transformative efficiency and create new market opportunities.
To learn more, read their report "Redesigning Business Value: A Roadmap for Sustainable Consumption".
Tomorrow's businesses will meet the future by channelling their creativity to form markets that capture the emerging opportunities these shifts offer. The formula for business success during our era of great change will place a premium on innovation, collaboration and smart investments to shape a globally prosperous and sustainable future.
To build a future of sustainable consumption, we need:
- Collaborative innovation: Sustainability helps drive innovation and should be at the core of the design of products and services and the development of new business models. This can be brought about by new forms of collaboration along entire value chains.
- Lifecycle thinking: Resources are more valuable than ever, and the days of the linear value chain are numbered as we increasingly have the technologies and the will to measure our environmental impact across the entire lifecycle of a product and recover materials to embrace closed loops.
- Consumer engagement: To shift consumption patterns around the world, there needs to be a new supply of sustainable products and services, as well as a market pull for sustainable consumption, embraced by all 7 billion consumers globally.
- Investment: To spark a prosperous future, business needs to look beyond short-term pressures and focus on investment for the long term, working to build understanding among investors of the value at stake in long-term planning.
CEOs believe they have the potential to create new business models that build lasting prosperity for the many and not for the few; that make wise use of natural resources; that internalize social and environmental capital; and that focus on innovation to thrive in a low-carbon, dematerialized economy driving smarter consumption.
CEOs are working together through the World Economic Forum's platform to develop practical projects and partnerships, including workstreams on innovation, lifecycle metrics and consumer engagement.
Ahead lies a tremendous challenge, but also a great opportunity for those who meet it.
Randall Krantz, Associate Director, Environment Initiatives, World Economic Forum