Transnational corporations must shift toward biosphere stewardship, says sustainability professor

Marty AnderiesMarty Anderies, a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and a professor in the School of Sustainability, was one of several authors of a journal article, "Transnational corporations and the challenge of biosphere stewardship," published in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution. According to the authors, transnational corporations are increasingly aligning their business models to support a stable planet. Although their analysis points to a prominent shift in corporate values, the authors, who were led by researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Center (Stockholm University) and Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics, emphasized that tougher legislation was required if we want to accelerate this positive trend. Lead author and director of the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics Carl Folke said, “Sustainability is no longer perceived as a choice among these companies. It has become institutionalized and increasingly recognized as a necessity.” The authors also proposed that the focus on a sustainable future be shifted from "corporate social responsibility" to "corporate biosphere stewardship" where stewardship incorporates both social and environmental dimensions. They presented six already observed positive signs of change in corporate values and government legislation towards corporate biosphere stewardship: alignment of vision, mainstream sustainability, license to operate, financing transformations, radical transparency and evidence-based knowledge for action. The researchers believe corporate biosphere stewardship can open up novel pathways for social innovations towards sustainable futures.