Business leaders from a variety of industries have joined with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to launch a new initiative to identify breakthrough sustainability solutions for businesses.
The Next Practice Collaborative will focus on business and finance models for low-carbon economic growth in major markets like the US, China, Mexico, India and Brazil.
Founding members of the collaborative are Alcoa, AkzoNobel, CEMEX, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Staples and United Technologies Corporation.
"The Next Practice partnership is about re-imagining the bar for corporate leadership," says Manish Bapna, interim president, WRI. "While it has been encouraging to see more and more companies improving their environmental performance and reaping the business benefits, leading businesses understand that it is time for real innovation and new thinking, not just incremental improvement."
CK Prahalad, the late business thought leader and WRI board member coined the term "next practices," to describe business strategies that generate innovation, competitive advantage, and industry transformation by seizing opportunities in tomorrow’s markets. Next Practice is founded on that vision.
CEMEX, for example, wants to pioneer new financing models in rapidly urbanizing areas in Latin America and other developing countries that create sustainable housing at the lowest cost of acquisition and total ownership, through energy-efficient design and materials use.
"By developing environmentally sound homes that are inexpensive and accessible to low-income families, we can make a breakthrough in the sustainable solutions marketplace," says Luis Farias, Sr. Vice President of Energy and Sustainability at CEMEX.
Companies will draw on insights from a group of advisors to refine and advance these next practice project ideas. This group includes individuals such as ,Carter F. Bales chairman, NewWorld Capital Group LLC; David Blood, co-founder and senior partner, Generation Investment Management; Stefan Heck, Director, McKinsey & Company; Rebecca Henderson, Senator John Heinz professor of Environmental Management, Harvard Business School; Charles O. Holliday, Jr., former CEO of DuPont and Chairman, Bank of America; and Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room.
For WRI, Next Practice represents the next stage in the organization’s long history of working with the private sector to develop and advance innovations for practical, cost-effective business strategies for a sustainable future.