BCSD Portugal member companies form multisectoral working groups whose mission is to create mechanisms and tools to respond to business challenges.
The topics that are being monitored at working group level are the most relevant to the fulfillment of BCSD Portugal’s mission.
The working groups do:
- Permanent monitoring of topics
- Meetings with public entities
- Participation in public consultations
- Have a space in BCSD Portugal newsletter
- WBCSD Material Translation
- Annual meetings with BCSD Portugal members of the working group
- Development of specific projects or initiatives (eg diagnostics, benchmarking / case study analysis, pilot initiatives, training, etc.)
Objective of the establishment of groups:
- Defend the business case of business sustainability
- Influencing debate and public policy
- Have a collective business voice
- Act as a radar for emerging trends and issues
- Helping companies identify risks and opportunities
- Allow companies to learn from each other
BCSD Portugal member companies form multisectoral working groups whose mission is to create mechanisms and tools to respond to business challenges. There are currently 6 working groups working on the Charter of Principles, Biodiversity, Sustainable Cities, Circular Economy, Carbon Neutrality and Sustainable Finance.
Charter of Principles Committee
The BCSD Portugal Charter of Principles establishes the guiding principles for good business management. It was prepared by the “Sustainability in the Value Chain” Work Committee, created for this purpose by deliberation of the BCSD Portugal Board in 2016, and encourages signatories to go beyond legal compliance, adopting recognized norms and practices and aligned with management standards ethical, social, environmental and quality, in any context of the global economy.
Working Group of Biodiversity
Alongside global warming, preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. Nature sustains the prosperity and well-being of society, providing economic value and security, supporting human development and equality and increasing resilience to climate change.
Loss of access to the resources that nature provides (food, fibers, minerals and building materials; pollination of crops, water purification, waste decomposition, CO2 sequestration and climate regulation; and healthy and prosperous societies that provide customers and workforce) thus constitutes a risk for businesses and the economy.
The Biodiversity Working Group was created to help companies better understand their relationship with nature, namely through the promotion of sustainable and circular bioeconomics, and by stimulating companies’ commitment to reverse the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems.
Working Group of Sustainable Cities
More than half of the global population lives in cities and it is projected that in the next two decades more than 1 million people will move to cities every week. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in cities offers a significant opportunity for companies in the areas of housing, efficient construction, mobility, water and sanitation, and companies are already developing many solutions that can contribute to urban sustainability.
In this context, focusing on the challenge of sustainable mobility, the Sustainable Cities Working Group is monitoring the implementation of the Business Mobility Pact for the City of Lisbon and the “Lisbon European Green Capital” agenda.
Working Group of Circular Economy
The idea of a circular economy is not new for companies. As the demand for resources has grown exponentially in recent years, companies have begun to debate circularity as a new model for managing resource limits, with a view to economic growth. However, the world is still currently only 9% circular. 91% of fossil fuels, minerals, metals and biomass entering the economy are not reused. In order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, it is urgent to move to a circular economic model now.
In this sense, the Circular Economy Working Group (EC) was created to promote circular synergies between companies, as well as to follow trends, public policies and promote the development of knowledge in this area.
Working Group of Carbon Neutrality
We are not yet on the right path towards carbon neutrality by 2050, and mobilizing companies to make the necessary transformation in all sectors and locations in the world is the only way to avoid dangerous and irreversible damage to people and the planet.
While some companies are already making commitments to become climate neutral, the processes that influence systemic transformation still pose challenges in many sectors of activity, leading to inertia and failure to achieve the necessary climate action.
Companies do not survive in societies that fail and those that recognize the opportunity – and the imperative – to decarbonize will gain a competitive advantage.
The Carbon Neutrality Working Group is thus developing the project “Business Solutions for Climate Neutrality in 2050”, a sectorial, practical and collaborative approach to help companies operationalize their decarbonisation action plans until 2050.
Working Group of Sustainable Finance
Sustainable financing is currently a central theme on the international agenda, recognizing that it is essential to align the financial system with the existing investment needs in order to achieve the carbon neutrality of the economy and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As the European Union moves towards climate neutrality and intensifies the fight against environmental degradation, the financial and industrial sectors will have to undergo a transformation on a large scale, making significant investments. Progress has already been made, but efforts need to be stepped up. Following on from the achievements of the Action Plan to Finance Sustainable Growth (2018), in order to face the current context, a more comprehensive and ambitious strategy is being developed – Europe’s Renewed Strategy for Sustainable Financing which will establish the strategic recommendations for the implementation of the European Ecological Pact Investment Plan – Investment Plan for a Sustainable Europe (announced in January 2020).
According to the European Commission, “Europe’s Renewed Strategy for Sustainable Financing will focus mainly on three areas:
- Strengthen the bases for sustainable investment, creating a facilitating framework, with the appropriate tools and structures. Many financial and non-financial companies are still overly focused on short-term financial performance, rather than long-term development and sustainability opportunities and challenges.
- Increase opportunities for a positive impact on sustainability for citizens, financial institutions and companies. This second pillar aims to maximize the impact of the frameworks and tools created, for “green financing”.
- Climatic and environmental risks will need to be fully managed and integrated into financial institutions and the financial system as a whole, while ensuring that social risks, when relevant, will be duly taken into account. Reducing exposure to climate and environmental risks will further contribute to “green financing”. ”
In this context, the Sustainable Finance Working Group, created in 2016 and made up of companies in the financial sector and other sectors of activity, aims to continue to monitor and contribute to the development of sustainable financing policies, develop knowledge, promote debate and sensitize companies to the themes and challenges of Sustainable Finance.