Advocacy strategy for the sustainable transition of high impact enterprises

Building a sustainable strategy sometimes demands complex action plans involving multidisciplinary and interdependent areas of any organization. Such approach may come at high planning and interwoven execution costs, which may represent the first barrier at the decision making process on transitioning from an ordinary twentieth century business to a sustainable twenty-first century enterprise.

However, if your organization is indeed intending to incorporate the new business development model in its institutional framework, action shall not precede planning, and a simple road map to guide a first discussion on which actions should be given priority to during the transitional phase – however long it may last – will certainly fit a broader purpose. The following are the four key elements I believe lies at the core of a well planned head start.

Research & Development: R&D is the primary element in changing the ways in any organization, thus it provides technological solutions for current industrial processes that may release harmful residues to the environment, as well as new modes of product development. As we experience great increase in innovation initiatives along with growing incentives, having a strong R&D system may support consistent economic and intellectual property growth.

Measures of Compensation: Sustainability implies rational use of resources, and that means understanding the need of mitigating negative environmental and social impacts through reconstructive initiatives, such as the recovery of damaged areas, treatment of contaminated resources or restablishment of displaced communities. This may intertwine with the organization’s R&D capacity, for the development of specific technologies, or plans for community engagement in the cases of considerable social impacts.

Community Engagement: It is important to engage community members for awareness growth. This is the element conducting collective and collaborative transformation, which may be provided through capacity building and interactive educational campaigns.

Corporate Governance: It is essentialy important for any institution to publicly engage through incorporating governmental measures and combining internal and public policies in order to attract political support and stronger institutional recognition. At a time when private sector is continuously growing its active participation in development policies construction, incorporating external policy models may contribute to building holistic synergies between enterprises, market, society and government.

Regional Sustainable Development and the Universal Energy Supply: A free initiative for the institutionalization of the new development paradigm.

The Solar schools Project is a civil initiative that foresees to institutionalize current development policies utilizing as its basic and fundamental premise the emerging paradigm of sustainability.
 
The proposal represents the elaboration of an interdisciplinary, insterinstitutional and intersectoral plan for regional sustainable development that contemplates the integration of public schools to the electric distribution grid, as a form of strengthening the public schools system and strategically contributing to the modernization and strengthening of national and global energy matrix.
 
One of the many factors that makes the Solar Schools project an outstanding formulation of a significant solution to current and future global challenges is its universal applicability trait, meaning that the project is adaptable to multiple and distinctive regions, as long as local studies are performed according to the project’s regional organization framework, presented here as a development plan, and also, its remarkable structure of endogenous development and the particular incentive for systematic photovoltaic solar energy technology development that it represents.
 
Solar Schools contributes in a pragmatic way for the State to meet in an institutional disposition  its undertaken commitments on international forums of debate for the cooperation and partnerships for global development. Among the current global commitments undertaken by national States, the following institutional macro governance policies out stand:
 
Agenda 21 : Global action plan promoted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, under Division for Sustainable Development , responsible for its global, national and local organization and execution. Agenda 21 draws an integrated policy strategy for the areas in which human actions are of impact to the environment (anthropogenic impacts). The Agenda 21 table of contents is: a) Social and economic dimensions; b) Conservation and management of resources for development; c) Strengthening the role of major groups such as indigenous, scientific, women, private and industrial sectors and communities; and d) means of implementation of the agenda, which foresees different financial, scientific, legal, technical mechanisms for implementation of proposals.
 
United Nations Global Compact : Initiative that has created strategic policies for enterprises that are committed to adapt its operations to ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, work, environment, and anti corruption.
 
Millennium Development Goals : Widespread proposal of eight development goals to be reached by the year of 2015. The MDG is a global policy adopted by a diverse range of organizations. Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty; Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education; Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women; Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality; Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health; Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases; Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability; and Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development.
 
The Solar schools project presents the intention of contributing to the many above mentioned aspects of global development policies, but it is especially important to mention its contribution to both the Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals. Its complementary structure of organizing local productive processes also reflects the adaptation of its actions the principles of the UN Global Compact. The above mentioned features are to be identified throughout this complete project description.
 
The traditional vision and approach for development is that the State institution is responsible to provide basic services to its citizens. Thus argues Montesquieu in its work The Spirit of Law, the maintenance for fundamental rights by the State, which served as the fundamental guidance for the current political system structuring that we live in today. “[The State] owes to all a guaranteed subsistence, the food, convenient vestments, and a way of life that is not contrary to health.” (MONTESQUIEU, 1989). Although, our current social mechanism promotes the exogenous maintenance of social order, in which the State is frequently entitled to use authoritarian forces to impose order. Notwithstanding, it is evident that awareness about endogenous development processes to regional communities promotes independence for local population from the State and other organizations, contributing to the rescue of the self-determination of peoples principle.
 
The project Solar Schools represents the construction of a method based in principles and fundamentals of citizenship, social value of work, free enterprise, and political pluralism, in the attempt to promote a systematic plan featuring the premises of local action and global governance for the integration of the public educational system to the electric distribution grid, along with the organization of local productive processes, in order to create better standards of welfare for our globalized society.
 
It is presented herein, the framework of an institutional model for social and human progress, and so disseminating the prerogatives of inclusion and development with a vision of constructing a fraternal and caring society, always in the search of improvement of elevated moral, ethical and spiritual principles and values – by means of education.

Follow up on Rio+20 and launch of the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

The United Nations continues its tremendous efforts in keeping the sustainable development governance strategysynchronizedto a global scale. The information in this article was received from the UN Division on Sustainable Development, directed to the major groups. The material is especially interesting for institutions building internal policies and business strategies on Sustainable Development, Corporate Responsibility, Corporate Citizenship, Social and Environmental Responsibility. For more information, please read the following:

Rio+20, one of the largest conferences ever convened by the United Nations, ushers in a new era for implementing sustainable development. The Conference was a rare opportunity for the world to focus on sustainability issues – to examine ideas, forge partnerships and solutions.

There were several outcomes to the Rio+20 Conference. The political outcome, The Future We Want, agreed to by all 193 countries, charts the way forward for international cooperation on sustainable development. In addition, governments, businesses and other civil society partners registered more than 700 commitments to concrete actions that will deliver results on the ground to address specific needs, such as sustainable energy and transport.

In the follow-up to Rio+20, a new website has been launched; the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP). The platform contain information pertaining to the past nineteen years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20, and is the go to place for the Rio+20 follow-up.

More information in the following pages: