Memorandum from Business Action for Sustainable
Business Action for Sustainable Development
(BASD) will be the first time the world's major business organisations
have come together under one banner in the interests of sustainable
A joint initiative of the International Chamber
of Commerce (ICC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD), the BASD has been formed to ensure business
rallies its collective forces for the UN World Summit on Sustainable
Development to be held in Johannesburg this August/September.
Its aim is to create a network among business
groups, whether international, sectoral or regional, in the months
leading up to the Johannesburg Summit to ensure the world business
community is assigned its proper place in preparations for the
Summit and is seen at the event itself to be playing a constructive
"Our messages will be straightforward:
a business-like emphasis on action and not merely process; an
openness to partnership with other players in a wide variety of
sustainable development initiatives; and a commitment to openness
and accountability all round. Put simply, our message going into
the World Summit in 2002 is that business is part of the solution
to sustainable development."
THE BASD FAMILY
Parents: The ICC and WBCSD have been very involved
in sustainable development activities since the Earth Summit in
Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Advisory Board: Chairing the initiative is recently
retired Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart.
The Advisory Board is made up of top-level business people from
all over the world.
Supporters: The BASD is supported not only by
the two parent organisations, but has also received generous contributions
from nearly 20 industry associations and organisations.
A major element in the business preparations
for the World Summit will be to examine the role of all types
of representative business groupsinternational, regional,
national and sectoral organisations. Examples of business activities
to achieving sustainable development are invited, especially those
focusing on partnership and cooperation with public institutions,
key non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, community
A key feature of the BASD initiative is the
mobilisation and presentation of business organisations' own initiatives
which demonstrate progress in addressing the challenges issued
in Agenda 21, and in support of a series of events leading up
to, and including, the Johannesburg Summit.
Initiatives will be displayed on BASD's website
in the lead up to the Summit. This function will be operational
early in 2002.
The partners in Business Action for Sustainable
Development plan to organise a high profile business day during
the Johannesburg Summit that will bring world business leaders
together with othersNGOs, labour unions and government
officialsto discuss the issues of sustainable development.
This one-day business event will take place on Sunday, 1 September
The basis for convening the meeting should be
to express commitments and initiatives in-line with the agenda
and main objectives of the Summit. Objectives include: presenting
a vision of the role of business in implementing the Summit's
decisions; demonstrating commitment to this vision; and stressing
shared responsibilities with policy makers and other leaders.
A virtual exhibition is intended as a continuous
presentation in Johannesburgcentrally located in the main
conference centre, in exhibition halls and around the citywith
screens displaying "live" and "prepared" presentations
including interactive web pages of sustainable development initiatives
and projects from around the world. In a sense a "living
exhibition". Where appropriate, live "webcam" broadcasts
will provide real-time access. It is potentially an enhanced opportunity
to show, in high traffic areas and with an interactive media,
what actions are taking place in the real world.
The South African Government is planning a "physical"
exhibition. The exhibition will be tailored more towards NGOs
and focus primarily on cultural and social matters as opposed
to what was originally proposed to be a technological exhibit.
The exhibition will be housed outside the summit grounds in a
park so that it is available to all.
BASD fully supports the idea that the Summit
should leave a lasting legacy. One such way business can contribute
is through the support of the proposed "legacy projects".
These projects actually offer business a concrete and sustainable
way of contributing to the summit. Many of the projects fit in
well with normal business social development aims.
The legacy projectsas proposed by the
Business Coordinating Forum of South Africa (BCF) and ESKOM in
collaboration with the SA Environment Ministryare a series
of sustainable development projects in Africa. They have been
organised into three main clusters: (1) FDI long-term projects;
(2) Local Agenda 21 projects; (3) A CO2 and water neutral summit.