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.
Over the past few years, it has become clear that the role of businesses, large and small, in supporting inclusive democracy is increasingly pertinent. ASBC has long championed inclusivity and equity as enduring principles on which a healthy economy is founded. And a functioning free and fair democracy is an incomparable tool to achieving such a landscape. We believe bold changes must be made to protect American democracy, and businesses can lead the way.
Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimizing 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.
ASBC’s Race and Equity Working Group was created to address the inequities prevalent and pervasive in the economic and social construct of the United States and to hold our legislators accountable to social and economic justice. We ensure that the dignity and respect of diverse perspectives, voices and values of a multicultural America are heard and reflected in ASBC’s policy work toward creating an equitable and compassionate economy for all.
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.