To meet the needs of 9 billion people in one planet in 2050, a new economy must be created, consisting of a new type of companies, driven by a new generation of business leaders”

We’re all living on one planet. And yet, the resources we’re using equate to 1.5 planets. Continuing along this road will have a devastating impact on the earth’s already scarce natural resources. Businesses both use up the world’s natural resources and have the power to create a sustainable future.

That’s why WWF have launched the One Planet Education Network (OPEN): a global movement for responsible and sustainable business practice.

Working in key areas of market transformation, water and climate, WWF aim to connect businesses together to talk about the challenges and solutions that come with being sustainable – creating a groundswell of support in this and the next generation of business practise.

Crucially to enabling likeminded businesses to connect across the generations, OPEN are using an innovative social collaboration platform to allow business leaders across the world to come together to collaborate, share challenges, and innovate around sustainability, they are also involving students.  

Enabling people who are passionate about the same thing to find and connect to each other, is the basis for every movement. But what we love most about OPEN, is the scale of this ambition – because we know that big change needs big ideas alongside a movement of people to carry it through. I caught up with Tony Cooke, CEO of One Planet Education Network to hear more about this movement and his vision for responsible business.

What is OPEN?

TC: “OPEN (short for One Planet Education Networks) was co-founded by World Wildlife Fund to create mainstream sustainable business practice through the education system. We work with our members to develop practical tools that close the execution gap between ambition and performance for educators, learners and employers.”

It’s really impressive to see you put your words into practice through your One Planet Business platform. What inspired you to create this platform and what are your hopes for its future?

TC: “One Planet Business is a global network of educators, learners and businesses supported by an open innovation platform that supports collaboration, scopes out business sustainability challenges and explore, test and validate potential solutions. One Planet Business is unique is that it puts our members totally in control of setting innovation challenges to our community; sharing their insights around the problem and facilitating the gathering of ideas and potential solutions.”

How does OPEN see itself as part of a wider movement?

TC: “All of our founders including, of course, WWF have been involved in the sustainability movement since its early days. OPEN is about making sustainable business practice the new normal.

We’re right at the frontier of the movements towards sustainable business education, working with a coalition of disruptive educators who are pushing the envelope towards a learning revolution.”

What does the future look like, if all businesses were One Planet busineses?

TC: “We’re here for the long haul. We have set ourselves 2030 goals and expect to see sustainable business practice well on the way to mainstreaming by then. A One Planet business is one that acts as a force for good in the world; good for prosperity, good for people and good for planet. We don’t see a long term future for any business that isn’t a One Planet business.”

We at The Social Change Agency are so impressed by the world WWF is doing. They’re spearheading a global movement of sustainable business using the latest tech to foster collaboration and support innovation around business practice. And, as Tony mentions, they’re in it for the long haul. To get involved in the One Planet Education Networks, take a read of their website here