WBCSD-ICLEI survey: How are cities engaging with business on sustainable development?WBCSD
The WBCSD and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) have just published the findings of a joint survey of city leaders and senior officials to understand the perspectives of cities on engaging with business for sustainable development.
The survey, conducted between February and April 2014, aimed to increase understanding of city-business relationships to inform the global discussion on how cities and business can work together. It follows up the report of the WBCSD’s Urban Infrastructure Initiative, which was launched at ICLEI’s Global Town Hall @ Metropolitan Solutions in April 2014.
This document summarizes the responses from 59 local government officials in six continents. This relatively small sample provides, however, several important insights:
- Many cities have some form of sustainability plan and targets because they see sustainable development as important for their future success.
- They feel they lack certain skills and resources which businesses can contribute to help develop effective strategies.
- Cities are engaging with business to some extent but are restricted impeded by regulations and the lack of a suitable engagement process.
- A facilitated dialog between a city and businesses is seen as the most promising way to overcome the barriers.
This report is the first formal output under the two organizations’ new Memorandum of Understanding to drive city-business collaboration for sustainable development (see recent news item).
ICLEI Deputy Secretary-General Monika Zimmermann said “This survey was a great opportunity to continue our dynamic collaboration with the WBCSD. The insights from the survey will be useful for shaping future joint activities under our new MoU, as well as advancing the wider debate on public-private collaboration in the urban domain”.
Matthew Lynch, Director of WBCSD’s Sustainable Cities Program, said “We were very encouraged to see that so many of the city leader respondents through business solution providers had an important role to play in helping cities develop and implement their sustainability plans. However, it is also clear that there is more to be done to support effective city-business engagement at a strategic level and we are looking forward to continuing to work with ICLEI to drive this agenda forward”.