Industry Leaders Improving Our World

Industry leaders will be outlined in this section to help us to understand the urgency and importance of business leaders' involvement in thinking not only of their own business but also of how it interconnects with others around the world to improve the sustainability of our world.


I was so impressed with reading an event summary done by the Toronto Sustainability Speakers Series, by Brad Zarnett, June 12, 2013, on “Innovation at BASF: Courage to Dream of a Better World,” by Carles Navarro, President.

BASF is the chemical company that produces chemicals used in industries such as agriculture, health, energy, transportation, packaging, health, etc. Navarro is an innovation person, who embraces sustainability for the good of the world. He was quoted as saying, “We make chemistry for a sustainable future.” They understand the needs of the world and that our current rate of resource consumption is not sustainable.

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 9 million people on the planet and the supply will not meet the demand. BASF's culture of innovation dates back to its roots in Germany in the nineteenth century. Its success was working internally and externally, in collaboration with private industry and academia to develop many breakthrough chemical innovations with its concept of Verbund, a German word meaning linked or integrated to the maximum degree. This philosophy is behind BASF's approach not only to research and innovation but also to manufacturing, infrastructure, and processes.

The article described how BASF applied these principles by using the by-products of one industrial plant as the starting materials for another. Their new tool, called SEEBALANCE, was developed to measure and analyze their products and processes according to three pillars of sustainability: ecology, economy, and society.

Being innovative, setting clear goals, and being willing to take risks are key to managing our unsustainable world, to thinking out of the box, and having the courage to try new opportunities.

Shell International Limited

Many companies have outlined their business principles, such as Shell International Limited, which first published them in 1976 and have updated them every four or five years.

Its eight business principles are: economic; competition; business integrity; political activities; health, safety, security, and the environment; local communities; communication and engagement; and compliance.


• Leadership

• Focus: environment – prevention of pollution

• Continual improvement

• System approach to management

• Compliance with legal and other requirements

• Performance evaluation

• Management of resources

• Operational control

• Emergency preparedness and response

  • [1] ISO does not outline principles for environmental management.
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