In the magazine this month Ethical Corporation kicks off 2020 with thought-leadership from leading commentators on what it will take for business to step up to the challenges of climate action and the SDGs over the coming decade

The failure of last month’s COP25 meeting to agree a plan for governments to deliver on the 2015 Paris Agreement, let alone to ratchet up ambition to keep within 1.5C of planetary warming, puts huge pressure on 2020 to be a pivotal year.

What we do over the next 12 months will in turn set the direction for a pivotal decade, which will determine whether we as a species can rise to the enormous challenge of changing the trajectory on catastrophic climate change and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

There is a huge amount of work that must be done ahead of the crucial COP26 negotiations in Glasgow in November, and business leadership will be critical to emboldening policymakers to make it a success.

For this month’s issue, which you can download for free by clicking on the cover of the magazine below, we’ve asked thought leaders in Ethical Corporation’s global ecosystem of change-makers to give their prescription for how business can help make the 2020s a decade of delivery.

John Elkington, the “godfather of sustainability”, kicks off the issue, saying that the Exponential Twenties promise to be the most exciting, and dangerous, years of his long career.

Mike Barry, architect of Marks & Spencer’s Plan A, outlines the 10 things companies need to know if they want to remain sustainability leaders in the radically different decade ahead.

Meanwhile, Henry Richards of the British Academy draws on lessons from the Future of the Corporation inquiry to explain how companies can get real about purpose, and Forum for the Future’s Sally Uren writes an open letter to C-suite executives with her nine-point plan for systems transformation.

Speaking for the sustainable investment community, Adam Matthews of the Church of England Pensions Board calls for investors and boards to form climate partnerships to develop net-zero carbon paths for sectors like aviation, autos, shipping and steel.

(Credit: sutadimage/Shutterstock)

Meanwhile, the World Benchmarking Association’s Paul Druckman explains why capital markets could be turned into a force for transformational change.

John Morrison of the Institute for Human Rights and Business says the rule of law is under threat as never before and companies will need to support initiatives to promote both the environment and human rights, while the UN Global Compact’s Lise Kingo calls for business to urgently course-correct to achieve the SDGs.

Dr Jane Thomason of Fintech Worldwide argues that collaboration is key to ensuring that blockchain and other digital technologies are harnessed to bring about social and environmental progress.

Andrew Higham of Mission 2020 reflects on progress since the Paris Agreement and what will be needed to make the next climate meeting in Glasgow a success, while Jen Austin of the We Mean Business coalition hopes the walls of indifference surrounding laggard countries can be battered down by momentum from businesses, investors, cities and regions.

Justin Adams of the Tropical Forest Alliance says more inclusive, transparent and forest-positive business models in commodity supply chains are needed to turn the corner on deforestation, while the Nature Conservancy’s Lynn Scarlett outlines how a series of international agreements in 2020 could set the stage for more sustainable economies.

Olam’s Sunny Verghese says a global food and agriculture system in line with the Global Goals could unlock economic value of more than $2tn by 2030.

In a rapidly urbanising world, cities are key players in forging a more sustainable future. CDP North America’s Bruno Sarda says mayors the world over now have no choice but to become more resilient, given the material and physical risks now posed by global warming, while Pat Dwyer of The Purpose Business argues that sustainability leadership in Asia must begin with rethinking waste and embracing responsible consumption.

We give the last word to WBCSD’s Filippo Veglio, who explains why, 10 years after its launch, Vision 2050 is being refreshed to help deliver the transformational change needed over the next decade.

At Ethical Corporation we will strive to do our part in 2020 and beyond, with our independent journalism benefiting from even greater support and editorial resources through our new ownership by Thomson Reuters, which takes effect this month.

We wish you all the best for 2020.

Main picture credit: james_stone76/Shutterstock
#deliverydecade  SDGs  climate change  Human rights  inclusive capitalism  just transition  UN Global Compact  WBCSD  Nature Conservancy  ESG  We Mean Business  Forum for the Future  British Academy 

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