Partnership Aims to Develop Innovative Solutions for Sustainable, Low-Carbon Business Business leaders from a cross-sector group of companies joined with the World Resources Institute (WRI) today to announce a new initiative to identify and advance breakthrough sustainability solutions for businesses. The Next Practice Collaborative (Next Practice) will focus on business and finance models for low-carbon economic growth in major markets like the United States, China, Mexico, India and Brazil.

Next Practice founding members are Alcoa, AkzoNobel, CEMEX, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Staples and United Technologies Corporation.

“The Next Practice partnership is about re-imagining the bar for corporate leadership," said Manish Bapna, interim president, WRI. “While it has been encouraging to see more and more companies improving their environmental performance and reaping the business benefits, leading businesses understand that it is time for real innovation and new thinking, not just incremental improvement.”

CK Prahalad, the late business thought leader and WRI board member coined the term "next practices," to describe business strategies that generate innovation, competitive advantage, and industry transformation by seizing opportunities in tomorrow’s markets. Next Practice is founded on that vision.

“Staples is proud to be a founding member of the Next Practice Collaborative and is committed to working with others to create the next generation of low-carbon economic growth solutions,” said Mark Buckley, vice president of Environmental Affairs, Staples, Inc. “Staples is a leading provider of sustainable business solutions for customers of all sizes, and we believe this collaboration is strongly aligned with our core business values.”

Like Staples, participating companies will be collaborating to create new opportunities for low-carbon business innovation. CEMEX joined Next Practice to further its sustainable development work, including initiatives that engage low-income “base of the pyramid” consumers. The company is seeking to pioneer new financing models in rapidly urbanizing areas in Latin America and other developing countries that create sustainable housing at the lowest cost of acquisition and total ownership, through resilient and energy-efficient design and materials use.

“Through our work with Next Practice, CEMEX hopes to make a difference in our local communities while creating an important market for affordable homes,” said Dr. Luis Farias, Sr. Vice President of Energy and Sustainability at CEMEX. “By developing environmentally sound homes that are inexpensive and accessible to low-income families, we can make a breakthrough in the sustainable solutions marketplace.”

Companies will draw on insights from a group of advisors to refine and advance these next practice project ideas. This group includes individuals such as Carter F. Bales, chairman, NewWorld Capital Group LLC; David Blood, co-founder and senior partner, Generation Investment Management; Stefan Heck, Director, McKinsey & Company; Rebecca Henderson, Senator John Heinz professor of Environmental Management, Harvard Business School; Charles O. Holliday, Jr., former CEO of DuPont and Chairman, Bank of America; and Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room.

For WRI, Next Practice represents the next stage in the organization’s long history of working with the private sector to develop and advance innovations for practical, cost-effective business strategies for a sustainable future.