BSR Conference 2012: Highlights

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BSR Conference 2012: Highlights

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.@BSRnews Conference 2012: Highlights
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 2:45pm


The theme of this year’s BSR Conference was “Fast Forward” — a nod to the urgent action required by companies to create a “just and sustainable world.” While the majority of the U.S. business community recognizes that the threats and increased uncertainty of climate change will have a negative effect on its operations, Aron Cramer, BSR’s CEO, reminded the room “we don’t need more road maps, we need to get where we’re going more quickly.” His four priorities were: 1) continue to push business integration; 2) push even harder for financial market reform; 3) take a fresh look at partnerships between business and civil society to produce systemic change; and 4) capture the power of empowered individuals in connected communities by leveraging new technology and information that drive more sustainable outcomes.

Highlights of the conference sessions included:

The Poll of Polls

A lunchtime poll was conducted by Joel Mackower, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz, to which approximately 1,000 attendees responded via smartphones. The simplicity of the exercise allowed the room to consider key trends. For example:

  • Biggest sustainability impact in the last 20 years: “The rise of sustainability reporting”
  • While not surprising to the people in the room, this highlights the importance of corporate transparency, the need to communicate regular updates and why keeping score matters.
  • Making the greatest difference in accelerating business progress toward a sustainable world: “Business integration of sustainability”
  • Other contenders were “reforming the financial markets to promote long-term thinking,” and “improving supply chain management.”
  • While companies are making good progress on integrating sustainability, many are missing an opportunity to engage with their staff on sustainability issues at all levels of their operations. Done right, empowering individuals as a core strategy will foster a culture of innovation.

Discover the rest of Addison's highlights of the BSR Conference 2012 at