More companies are engaging and innovating for sustainability within and across cities, as are cities with companies. But the potential of such engagement has only begun to be understood, much less realized. SustainAbility’s latest research, Citystates II: The Case for Corporate Leadership in Urban Sustainability, makes the case for greater corporate leadership to drive urban sustainability forward and to share in its benefits. It also considers practical challenges to such leadership and provides guidance to companies seeking to amplify their positive influence on this important agenda.

Daunting challenges – from climate change to food and water security, from nutrition and public health to inequality and social exclusion – confront global cities today. But an exciting range of solutions – from distributed power generation and multi-modal transportation networks to compact development, urban farming and smart cities – is emerging also. Bringing these and other innovations to scale will be crucial for ensuring both the future of individual cities and broader sustainable development.

Getting there will require engaged effort by city governments, the private sector,NGOs, community organizations, universities and citizens. Leaders in these groups are already collaborating with one another in key cities around the world. However, given the pace and scale of change required, what is happening so far is only the beginning.

This second report in the Citystates series explores the opportunity side of this agenda, focusing especially on the case for more companies to take a bolder leadership stance, and providing insight and tools to further accelerate activity in this arena.

Examples of companies with city programs are AkzoNobel (Human Cities Program) and Shell (Future Citiesshell_cities






Download the Citiystates II report (pdf)