By Laurence Schwesinger Berlie
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Additional resources for Alliances for Sustainable Development: Business and NGO Partnerships
The companies questioned in a survey conducted among members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in France, Great Britain and Mexico96 expressed clear preferences when it came to identifying the areas of expertise they most looked for in NGOs. They voted overwhelmingly for three areas of NGO knowledge: working with local communities (70%), their function as ‘barometers of society’97 (70%) and ecosystem management (60% of all companies, but 100% of companies whose activities are related to natural resource management).
Managing a natural resource of common interest: [The] Nature Conservancy and Georgia-Pacific, in the USA, set up a partnership in 1994 to jointly manage the land and forests belonging to the forestry company Georgia-Pacific (for further details, see Austin, 1999). , Program of Poverty and Environment in the Amazon] and DaimlerChrysler went into partnership in 1991, to develop a research project on substituting synthetic fibres for natural fibres in car interiors. Their collaboration led to the development and production of headrests using coconut fibres.
The stakeholder approach, although it has had an influence on businesses, is not yet generalised. Businesses focus on customer satisfaction but not yet on society in a wider sense. • Sustainable development and the stakeholder approach imply significant changes in the ways companies conduct their business and their strategies. It is normal that these changes are slowmoving. • Most companies, although aware of the power of NGOs and the impact NGOs may have on their operations, still do not think of changing their practices.
Alliances for Sustainable Development: Business and NGO Partnerships by Laurence Schwesinger Berlie