Our key takeaway: “It is now time for bold choices and urgent action that can change systems to create a better future on a healthy planet.” These are the words of WBCSD, in partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Stockholm+50 Secretariat based on a series of extensive consultations with public and private players. We need to reach transformative change in supply chains. There are a number of ways in which we can do this - but this won’t work without activating levers: transformation levers that can propel companies forward. These include due diligence laws, as well as a number of other measures such as circularity; disruption and innovation; decent jobs, education and skills; and resilience.
WBCSD, with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Stockholm+50 Secretariat, published ‘Stockholm Synthesis Report’ (September 2022):
Time for urgent and bold action is now: The report delves into the numerous targets and goals for global environment protection and sustainable development that have been designed over the past 50 years, and finds that “we have no shortage of aspiration and policies – instead, we have an ‘action gap’.” The report calls for “an agenda for action to create an enabling framework for sustainable transformation that inherently involves business and the financial system.” This agenda needs to “engage business and finance to scale transformation quickly across our global economic system within the next eight years.” The report describes how Stockholm+50 has been connecting with public and private players “to connect climate action to biodiversity restoration, to create value chains that are net zero, nature positive, and equitable for all.” In short, “It is now time for bold choices and urgent action that can change systems to create a better future on a healthy planet.”
Transformative change for global value chains: The authors engaged with over 70 stakeholders over a 4-month period from businesses and organizations from across the value chains (electronics, mobility, built environment, fashion and textiles, travel and tourism, and global food systems) to uncover “what the roadblocks to a sustainability transformation are, and how would they suggest overcoming them fast, and at scale.” The results are a series of priority action areas for each value chain that are required, in order to reach transformative change. For instance, in the fashion and textiles value chain, the report suggests the creation of a global skills initiative “to develop and expand circularity collaborations, innovation and partnerships”, including promoting “disruptive innovation.” When it comes to food and agriculture, the report recommends the establishment of “a global Food Systems Resilience Board to help capture and mitigate social, economic and environmental risks.” Another recommendation is to “reform environmentally harmful subsidies, fiscal policies and incentives to, instead, reward net-zero, nature-positive actions and finance a just transition so that payments and financial incentives includes small, medium and large-scale farmers.”
‘The Stockholm Action Agenda: Transforming Global Value Chains’: The report delves into eight “practical transformation levers … that, when pulled with sufficient coordinated force, can propel companies and the critical value chains within which they operate onto a net zero, nature positive and zero pollution pathway.” The transformation levers identified are as follows: (1) accountability and transparency (e.g. “Harmonize social and environmental standards and reporting, using these to power due diligence legislation”; and “Tracking and traceability of e-waste”); (2) circularity (e.g. “Introduce national regulation to reduce food waste and loss in the value chain”; “Invest in and require circularity for batteries and the recycling of components at scale”); (3) finance (e.g. “Apply sustainability conditions and targets to public procurement”; “Establish a global Food Systems Resilience Board”); (4) infrastructure (e.g. “Governments to provide funding for e-waste collection”); (5) governance and collaboration (“Increase the application of sustainable urban planning principles”; “Brands to use their influence with suppliers to move away from fossil fuels within their operations”); (6) disruption and innovation (e.g. “Create an enabling policy environment for disruptive technologies, such as automation and CCS”; “Design accommodation with ‘zero energy building’); (7) decent jobs, education and skills (e.g. adhere to ILO “construction code of practice and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) guidance on Dignity for the Built Environment”); and (8) resilience (e.g. “Promote food security by linking small-scale growers of climate-smart crops to processing opportunities and markets.”)