Vision 2050 The Pathway to Sustainable Living

New Delhi - The World Business
Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today launched the href=””
target=”_blank”>Vision 2050 href=””>
report, a study that lays out a pathway leading to a global
population of some 9 billion people living well, within the
resource limits of the planet by 2050.

The report, released at the href=””
target=”_parent”>World CEO Forum in New Delhi, India, was
compiled by 29 leading global companies representing 14

This work results from an 18-month combined effort with CEOs and
experts, and dialogues with over 200 companies and external
stakeholders in some 20 countries.

The report presents new opportunities for business in a broad
range of business segments with the foresight to lead their
societies on a sustainable business development agenda. Entitled
Vision 2050: The new agenda for business, the report “lays
out the challenges, pathway and options that business can use to
create an opportunity-rich strategy, both regionally and globally,
that will lead to a sustainable world,” said Dr. Mohammad A. Zaidi,
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Alcoa, who
led the project as one of four co-chairs.

“The world already has the knowledge, science,
technologies, skills and financial resources needed to achieve
Vision 2050. However, concerted global action in the next
decade will be required to bring these capabilities and resources
together, putting the world on the path to sustainability,”
explained WBCSD President Bjorn Stigson.

The publication outlines a future in which 9 billion people live
well, enjoying health, food, shelter, energy, mobility, education
and other basics of life. Syngenta CEO, Michael Mack added that
“humanity has largely had an exploitative relationship with our
planet; we can, and should, aim to make this a symbiotic one.” In
the Vision 2050 scenario, global society attains this
standard of living at a sustainable rate, without further harm to
biodiversity, climate and ecosystem services.

The report states that the world already has the resources to
achieve Vision 2050, but there is a catch: “The radical
changes highlighted in Vision 2050 demand a different
perspective from business leaders, requiring them to rethink how
they operate to stay on-track for a sustainable future,” added
Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr., former CEO and Chairman of
PricewaterhouseCoopers. This includes a radical transformation of
global markets, governance and infrastructure, and a re-thinking of
our ideas of growth and progress.

target=”_blank”>click to enlarge image

spells out the “must haves” - the things that must happen
over the coming decade to make a sustainable planetary society
possible. These include incorporating the costs of externalities,
starting with carbon, ecosystem services and water, into the
structure of the marketplace; doubling agricultural output without
increasing the amount of land or water used; halting deforestation
and increasing yields from planted forests: halving carbon
emissions worldwide (based on 2005 levels) by 2050 through a shift
to low-carbon energy systems and improved demand-side energy
efficiency, and providing universal access to low-carbon

As part of this transformation, Vision 2050 calls for a
new agenda for business: to work with government and society
worldwide to transform markets and competition. “Sustainability
will become a key driver for all our investment decisions,” added
Idar Kreutzer, CEO of Storebrand and another project co-chair. New
rules for markets will reframe environmental challenges as economic
challenges, driving innovation and competition in the direction of
sustainability and away from resource- and energy-intensive
production. Rationalizing prices to include such externalities as
climate and biodiversity impacts will make corporate environmental
efficiency a true competitive advantage across all industries and

Business will lead market change by doing what business does
best: forming partnerships, creating efficiencies and competitive
advantage, seizing opportunities and meeting customer needs. At the
same time, a shift toward sustainability will trigger trillions of
dollars in new investments in infrastructure, technology and human
services, creating new opportunities for business to thrive and
grow. A recent study commissioned for this project with
PricewaterhouseCoopers and released today indicates that this
investment could reach US$ 3-10 trillion per annum in 2050.

Vision 2050, with its best-case scenario for
sustainability and pathways for reaching it, is a tool for thought
leadership, a platform for beginning the dialogue that must take
place to navigate the challenging years to come. “It is hoped that
the Vision 2050 work will be used for many years to come.
It is designed to be a platform for companies when deliberating
strategies and for dialogue with governments and society about how
to realize the sustainable future,” concluded Per Sandberg, Project
Director for Vision 2050.


  • href=””
    target=”_blank”>Vision 2050: The new agenda for business -
    full report ( 2.6 MB)

  • href=””
    target=”_blank”>Vision 2050: The new agenda for business -
    summary report ( 2.4 MB)


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