SMART Legacy Business Roundtable
We invite business and finance representatives, both from organisations and individual entities, to this SMART Legacy Business Roundtable.
We will present business-relevant SMART legacy plans, including a Sustainable Corporate Governance Programme, as well as ideas for new research projects together with business (pilot projects). There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. The event is by invitation only. Please contact Beate Sjåfjell or register online if you are interested.
Background about SMART
The EU-funded project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART, 2016-2020), has studied what prevents and promotes market actors’ contribution to sustainability, defined as securing the social foundation for humanity everywhere, now and in the future, within planetary boundaries.
Identifying obstacles to sustainable business
Our comprehensive analysis on the state of art on market actors’ contribution to sustainability was completed in August 2018. Concentrating on the global value chains of products sold in Europe, our analysis bring together the results of research done on the level of international law and policy, on the EU level, and the level of selected Member States. We have identified the barriers, gap and incoherencies in the regulatory frameworks that keep market actors form making more sustainable decisions. We have also identified possibilities that need to be enhanced if we collectively are to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Legislative reforms to support the transition to sustainability
We strongly believe that achieving sustainability is possible. The transition to sustainability has strong legal basis in the EU’s overarching goals set out in its Treaties, with duties to protect the environment, human rights and human dignity, within the EU and in the EU’s relations with the wider world. To achieve sustainability, we need to change the way business operates. The SMART project has developed an elaborate set of reform proposals to support the transition to sustainability, aiming to change the way business and finance operate, and the way products are produced and consumed. We aim to make it possible and easy for business and finance to create value in a sustainable manner, and for products to be produced and consumed in a way that contributes to securing a safe and just space for humanity within planetary boundaries. Our reform proposals concern the EU as a global actor, and the EU as a legislator and policymaker.
Working with business to create change
SMART has had an extensive stakeholder engagement, notably through our Business and Investor Forums, as our main platforms for industry engagement. The Investor and Business Forums provide a space for mutual learning and exchange of knowledge in an inclusive and friendly environment where people can feel free to speak their mind.
In our interdisciplinary work, we have developed a Sustainable Governance Model including a Sustainability Assessment Guide, positioned within an analytical framework that integrates the groundbreaking research on planetary boundaries and the social foundation. This is a systematic approach for businesses to commit to creating sustainable value within planetary boundaries, and integrate that commitment throughout the business. This gives businesses the possibility of a research-based and stringent assessment of the business’ sustainability impacts, based on a life-cycle approach.
The Sustainable Governance Model and the Sustainability Assessment Guide provide businesses with a basis for continuous improvement processes and better internal and external communication about their sustainability impact. As a part of our SMART legacy, we will offer training through our Sustainable Corporate Governance Programme. We are also open to setting up Pilot Projects with individual businesses who wish to implement our Sustainable Governance Model.
The Business Roundtable on 23 April is the next step forward. The core SMART team will continue the outreach through the Business and Investor Forum under the auspices of our Research Group. Wish to become a member of our Forums? You will then receive invitations to future events and other information.