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Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

Responsible companies have come to recognize the importance of thinking more holistically about how to achieve sustainability – defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations meet their own needs (WCED,1987).

Along with this evolution in thinking has come a realization that improving environmental quality can lead to a higher quality of life and to new products and markets that boost economic competitiveness. For many, sustainability is now the end goal, one that can assure a more secure future and that is naturally pursued through environmental stewardship.

At CERB, Environmental Stewardship is referred to ‘as the responsibility that companies and their boards need to understand and undertake to manage their impacts on the environment in any number of ways’.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals discuss environmental sustainability in five out of seventeen goals. Three of these have been selected by CERB for businesses to focus on through their operations in the country with a view to facilitating the private sector in making its contribution to Pakistan’s achievement of the SDG. Goal 9 focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation, Goal 12 focuses on ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns, whilst Goal 13 urges countries to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

FAQs

What does environmental stewardship mean?

At CERB, Environmental Stewardship is referred to ‘as the responsibility that companies and their boards need to understand and undertake to manage their impacts on the environment in any number of ways’.

Why is environmental stewardship relevant to the private sector in Pakistan?

Globally, businesses have been using resources from the environment to operate and sustain themselves. Without the generation of these resources, most companies would not be successful, neither be operational after a certain length of time. However, it is evident that irresponsible business practices by companies around the world have led to the damage of the environment, affecting the ability to extract resources, sustain growing populations and mitigate against climate change.

Responsible companies have become cognizant of the fact that the impacts of their operations have directly impacted the environment negatively by polluting the air, water and land and also contribute to climate change. Hence, these companies have chosen to practice environmental stewardship and embed the concept of sustainability within their own business strategy. They are now convinced that they must fundamentally change the way they operate in order to efficient and effective.

CERB released a report of the baseline survey of environmental stewardship in the business sector of Pakistan – one of its kind. The title was “Decoupling Growth from Impact on the Environment”. What does that mean?

The phrase “Decoupling Growth from Impact on the Environment” relates to businesses balancing both environmental stewardship as well as rapid industrialization as Pakistan aims undergo fast paced industrial development from a solely agrarian economy.

Environmental stewardship is a vast subject with many complexities. What key components of it is CERB focusing on?

CERB aims to engage with businesses on environmental stewardship on the following topics: water, waste and energy. Further, CERB also hopes to engage on sector-wise aspects of environmental stewardship, such as textile sector and banking & financial institutions.

What can businesses do to reduce their impact on the environment?

Businesses can do a lot within their operations to reduce their impact on the environment, without compromising the needs of a growing economy. Here are the topics that businesses can focus on to reduce their footprint:

  • Have an Organizational Sustainability Structure
  • Leadership & Training within the organization
  • Value Chain & Procurement
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • Wastewater & Waste Management
  • Resource Management

Which UN SDGs is CERB focusing on for environmental stewardship?

The UN Sustainable Development Goals discuss environmental stewardship and sustainability in five out of seventeen goals. Three of these have been selected by CERB for the businesses to focus on their operations.

  • Goal 9 focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.
  • Goal 12 focuses on ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns.
  • Goal 13 urges countries to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

What is LEED and how does CERB aim to use it in Pakistan?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

In April 2018, CERB has started consulting on new construction and existing buildings owned by Pakistani businesses to become more sustainable, efficient and healthy environments for their employees. CERB doesn’t guarantee certification, but provides consultation for projects that hope to become certified green buildings and workspaces. ( Please see Advisory)

Publications

Business Case for Climate Action

The Economics of Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific Region

By: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and The Pacific

Cleaner Production

From Doing Better To Doing Enough: Anchoring Corporate Sustainability Targets In Science

By: C. Cummis, DC: World Resources Institute and Mars Incorporate, K. Rabinovitch, P. Reig. 2016. “From Doing Better to Doing Enough: Anchoring Corporate Sustainability Targets in Science.” Working Paper. Washington, Putt del Pino, S., S. Lake

Cleaner Production

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard

By: World Business Council of Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute