Policy & Action
The American Sustainable Business Council works with its members to develop a vision and policy framework for a sustainable market-based economy. A truly sustainable economy requires the responsible stewardship of all types of capital – social, financial, intellectual, and natural. All of these must be tended to make the economy productive, resilient, competitive, and equitable for businesses and their communities.
Our call for a sustainable economy flows from both pragmatic and moral considerations. Morally, we recognize the fundamental rights of all people to develop their talents, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity in the workplace. Pragmatically, without sustainability, our economy will stagger under the weight of rising inequality and other externalities, such as climate change.
All people engaged in the economy are interdependent. Each is both consumer and producer, both earner and spender. These roles must be kept in balance; jobs are created when consumers have money to spend and destroyed when they don’t. Businesses cannot succeed unless consumers have the ability to spend and the confidence to spend it.
Based on these principles, we engage in a wide range of policy issues. ASBC works to explain the need for sustainability to policy makers, business leaders, and the public at large. We pursue opportunities to develop new policy alternatives and business practices that reflect the triple bottom line criteria (people, planet, and profit) and lead toward a more sustainable economy.
The ideas of stewardship and wise investment to secure future prosperity is neither conservative nor liberal, neither Democrat nor Republican. It is a fundamental tenet of successful business and a core component of the American Dream.
Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources.
Global temperature has been on the rise, with the first decade of the 21st century the warmest on record. Overwhelmingly, scientists agree that man-made climate change is occurring. Climate events are indisputably more frequent, more severe and more destructive. Yet many policymakers have avoided meaningful action to reverse these effects, sometimes claiming that addressing climate change would hamper businesses and the economy. The opposite is true.
High Road companies see their employees, the communities in which they operate and the products and services they provide as equally important to their financial success. These companies hold a long-term perspective and view the workplace as a means to create significant business and social impact. They reject low-road business models that exploit employees and disregard the environment as the basis for success.