It is easy to make a convincing ethical case for sustainable business practices by highlighting the need to reduce our environmental impact because of the damning ramifications for people, ecosystems, biodiversity and our planet in general. However, making the sustainability business case is a lot more difficult because many executives and investors must see the business upside before and after signing off on transformative efforts or substantial investments geared towards making their business more sustainable.
But if sustainability is ever going to gain the desired foothold in West Africa, the private sector must continue to take the lead in implementing and promoting the right initiatives to drive the it in the subregion. Many companies are actively integrating sustainability principles into their businesses and they are doing so by pursuing goals that go far beyond the earlier concern for reputation management. Some companies are finding other reasons to be more sustainable like saving energy, developing green products, and retaining and motivating employees. These initiatives are helping to contribute to the company’s so called “Triple Bottom Line” (i.e. people, planet, profit).
All of these beg the question, how can stakeholders in West African collaborate better to encourage the implementation of more sustainability initiatives by the private sector? Are the new models of public-private partnerships that can foster these sorts of collaborations? As the global economy starts to recover from the worst effects of the pandemic, how can we ensure that any gains made are built upon post COVID-19? In this session, experts drawn from the academia, the public sector and industry would review the business case for sustainability and discuss some of the ways to enhance the adoption of sustainability models and initiatives in both large corporations and SMEs.