These resources will help you to identify a set of social and environmental issues that are, or may become, particularly relevant to your organisation by building an understanding of external information, underlying trends, and how they apply to your unique operating context.

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Scan: A Comprehensive List of Sustainability Issues for Companies

More companies are becoming interested in understanding how environmental and social factors may impact their business and what impacts their business may have on these issues. This guide provides a comprehensive list of emerging environmental, social, and governance issues, to help you reflect on your company’s impacts and identify where to prioritise action and allocate resources.

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Embedded Strategies for the Sustainability Transition

It is time for companies to take a very different approach to corporate strategy.

Our new Embedded Strategies guide helps companies respond to the growing calls for businesses to articulate their purpose and their strategy in alignment with the need to shift the global economy towards the reduction of inequality, a rapid climate transition, the preservation of biodiversity, and the elimination of waste.

This guide will help you to develop a contextual strategy and goals that ensure your company is doing its part to maintain the resilience of key social and environmental systems.

Building on our Road to Context guide with insights from 300+ interviews with senior executives, CEOs, board chairs, and directors, as well as our experiences supporting companies around the world, it outlines resources and tactics that can help your company to scan for emerging issues and risks; understand their implications for your business; understand your impacts and your potential for positive influence; prioritise where it makes sense to direct your efforts; and set your strategy and goals in alignment with delivering systems value.

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Future-Fit Business Benchmark

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark is a free open-source tool grounded in systems science, and is designed to help companies assess where they are relative to necessary levels of environmental and social performance. The Benchmark includes an Action Guide and Methodology Guide that outline categories of positive environmental and social impacts and help companies articulate and quantify their unique contributions in a consistent framing (Positive Pursuits). It also describes areas of environmental and social footprint that represent risk areas to businesses and external stakeholders until they are addressed (Break-Even Goals). The Benchmark guidance also aligns with the UN SDGs. By using Future-Fit's guidance and metrics, companies can clearly understand and credibly communicate their contribution to the SDGs.

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Macrotrends and Disruptions shaping 2020-2030

This report from WBCSD takes a longer-term perspective on general themes and potential shocks that will shape economies, politics, and social systems and conditions in the coming decades. In addition to a set of macrotrends (demographics, technology, culture, etc.) that businesses and industry will need to prepare for, this report includes "wildcard" disruptions that could materialize, such as protest-driven regime changes and a global Green New Deal, which may shed light on critical (and often overlooked) issues.

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Vision 2050: Time To Transform

This ambitious report from WBCSD outlines many of the most pressing issues facing humanity and will help you to understand the scope and scale of the transformative changes required to enable over 9 billion people to live within the boundaries of social and environmental systems. A refresh of a report released a decade prior, Vision 2050 provides a glimpse of a credible and equitable future that industries can help to create. The report traces out the transformative action required through nine frames of reference (energy, transportation & mobility, health & wellbeing, food, etc.); explains why a mindset shift is crucial; and spells out the ways in which systems thinking will will support this shift.

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World Economic Forum 2022 Global Risks Report

This report goes beyond identifying the risks (failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, fiscal crises in emerging economics, food crises, water crises, etc.) to considering the interconnections between them, and speculating on how they may play out in the future. This may help you in thinking through what these large-scale systemic risks might mean for your organisation.

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CEO Guides

The WBCSD has published a number of CEO Guides to provide a high-level overview on the risks and opportunities of corporate sustainability issues. These guides focus on topics such as human rights, water, climate-related financial disclosures, the SDGs, climate action, and the circular economy, and will support executives at your company with understanding key themes and trends, aligning business strategy with critical societal and environmental agendas, and developing and implementing meaningful, credible goals.

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SDG Compass

The SDG Compass aims to provide guidance to companies to help align their strategies and measure their contributions to SDGs. This guide, Step 3 (setting goals), focuses on setting specific, measurable, and time-bound corporate sustainability goals across the organisation.

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The Sustainability Yearbook 2022

With 61 industries and 7,554 companies assessed; 140,136 documents uploaded; and over 13.4 million data points collected, the Sustainability Yearbook 2022 leverages data from the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) to highlight sustainability topics and share industry insights. This yearbook is an excellent resource to gather an understanding of industry trends and sustainability leaders by industry and region.

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Teck's Development of a Strategy for Sustainability

This case provides an insider's perspective on the development of Teck's first strategy for sustainability. It explores the company's early rationale behind developing and implementing a multi-year strategy, and provides insights on how sustainability champions within the company used environmental and social megatrends to envision and co-create a long-term approach to sustainable business. This case also provides insights on the major obstacles and lessons that staff and leadership learned through this transformative experience.

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Our Future on Earth 2020

This comprehensive report from Future Earth will help you to connect the dots between what society is currently experiencing - from food shortages to forced migration and the rise of populism - with recent developments in the research community, and will support you with connecting your company's "story" with emergent and salient issues. Combining up-to-date research with information on recent world events, the report provides a snapshot of our world at the start of 2020 and explores what is required for the global community to achieve the conditions necessary for long-term prosperity.

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Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses the corporate policies, processes, transparency, and governance over large, publicly traded companies, as well as their responses to allegations of human rights abuses. This set of reports and resources scores the companies on 100 indicators across various measurement themes, and the key findings report provides insight into individual company performance across a range of metrics.

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Our COVID future: The Long Crisis scenarios

COVID-19 has impacted billions of lives and futures, as well as trillions of dollars across the economic spectrum. Every industry has been forced to take a step back and reassess long-term plans, but this is difficult to do when so much remains in flux. Local Trust and the Long Crisis Network have created four scenarios about different futures, with a specific focus on two drivers of change: collective action versus polarization, and centralized responses versus distributed ones. These scenarios will help you challenge your thinking and expectations on the near-future implications of COVID on strategic decision-making and reveal opportunities for influencing positive change.

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Climate Action Pathways

First launched in 2019 by the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Climate Action Pathways set out sectoral visions for achieving a 1.5° C resilient world in 2050. Pathways are a living document, and will provide you with an up-to-date road map of the interim actions and key impacts needed by 2021, 2025, 2030 and 2040 to achieve the 2050 vision.

The Pathways are divided into executive summaries and action tables that cover thematic areas linked to climate change, such as energy, industry, land use, transport, and water, as well as cross-cutting themes like resilience. The summaries provide a vision of the future, summarising the needs - and milestones - for system transformation and progress to date, whereas the action tables highlight specific time-bound actions that businesses (and other relevant stakeholders) can take to deliver on 2050 vision.

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Breaking Boundaries: The Science of our Planet

This film is among the first mainstreams efforts to explain environmental limits (such as the Paris Agreement's limits on greenhouse gasses) to the broader public. Hosted by David Attenborough and Johan Rockström, and based on the Planetary Boundaries Framework, the film provides a good summary of nine key earth system processes and explains how abrupt and irreversible changes are likely to occur when key “limits” or “boundaries” are trespassed. The film will help to acquaint you with the concept of thresholds, and will explain how close we are to exceeding them, or - in the case of climate, biodiversity, and other process - how far past we have already gone.

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