Business Gears Up for Rio+20 Conference

Oct 29, 2010, 08:00 ET from World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Chad Holliday to chair temporary business coalition

PARIS, GENEVA, and NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In May 2012, 20 years after the Earth Summit, government, business and civil society leaders from all over the world will gather again in Rio de Janeiro to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – commonly referred to as Rio+20. This time the meeting is aimed to assess progress made towards creating a more sustainable world and to discuss approaches for the next 20 years.

Today the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), joined by the UN Global Compact, announced the creation of Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012 (BASD 2012).

BASD 2012 is a temporary coalition of business groups aimed at providing positive and constructive business input to the Rio+20 process. BASD 2012 aims to be an inclusive partnership and a platform for business at large. In the coming months additional partners will be added to further build the network.

Chad Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America and former Chief Executive Officer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, has agreed to chair the BASD 2012 Steering Committee. The coalition pursues three goals:

  • To ensure that the voice of business is heard in the preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012;
  • To demonstrate that business is already actively engaged in initiatives and partnerships to promote sustainable development;
  • To identify where business can play a constructive role in the development and delivery of a sustainable future. BASD 2012 will emphasize business solutions to sustainable development that focus on concrete actions and deliverable results.

"The aim of BASD 2012 is to ensure that the business voice is heard and that business is recognized as an important ally in the goal of building a more sustainable world," Mr. Holliday said.  "While BASD will not try to formulate one all-encompassing business message, it will advocate to ensure that business is recognized as a solutions provider in the sustainability space, and as such must be fully engaged in the process."

He continued: "Since the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio in 1992 the role of business in sustainable development has changed considerably. While acknowledging that progress is not evenly spread across businesses and geographies, it can be concluded that in general business has made tremendous progress internalizing the concept of sustainable development and has started addressing its role in the larger society through collaboration."

Bjorn Stigson, President of the WBCSD and member of the BASD 2010 Steering Committee, emphasized that business comes to Rio as a partner willing to work with governments and other stakeholders to address the challenges. "After all, business is an important member of society. Any outcomes reached or decisions made in Rio will need to include business. We are a crucial part of the sustainable development process. Sustainable and healthy business is a key success factor for real progress. Business is the source for the needed innovations and it is the largest investor in sustainable technologies."

Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Acting Secretary General stated:  "The private sector is a crucial partner in creating solutions to today's pressing development and environmental challenges and is already actively engaged on many fronts.  At the same time, there is still much to be done in ramping up business's contributions to advancing Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals as we head towards Rio 2012.  Today's global challenges require that environmental policies and practices be integrated with economic and social approaches, ICC is committed to bringing its cross-cutting business expertise to help tackle the sustainability challenges that will be tabled in Rio."

"Business is a critical force in driving sustainable development," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "Working with thousands of companies from around the world, the ICC, UN Global Compact and the WBCSD are uniquely positioned to join forces and bring the innovations, solutions and resources of business to bear for Rio +20."

About BASD 2010

www.BASD2012.org

Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012 (BASD) is a comprehensive network of business organizations that have come together under one banner in the interests of sustainable development. BASD is a joint initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the United Nations Global Compact. Guidance is provided by a small international Steering Committee under the leadership of Chad Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America and former Chief Executive Officer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

About the WBCSD

www.wbcsd.org

The WBCSD is a CEO-led, global coalition of some 200 companies advocating for progress on sustainable development.  Its mission is to be a catalyst for innovation and sustainable growth in a world where resources are increasingly limited. The Council provides a platform for companies to share experiences and best practices on sustainable development issues and advocate for their implementation, working with governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. The membership has annual revenues of USD 7 trillion, spans more than 35 countries and represents 20 major industrial sectors. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Paul van de Wijs, Managing Director, Communications; vandewijs@wbcsd.org; +41 (0) 22 839 3141

About the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

www.iccwbo.org

The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 120 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise. A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business priorities. More than 2,000 experts drawn from ICC's member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues. The United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G20 and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in touch with the views of international business through ICC.

For more information, please contact:

Alba Rooney, ICC Communications; alba.rooney@iccwbo.org; +33 (0)1 49 53 28 22

About the United Nations Global Compact

www.unglobalcompact.org

Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their  operations  and  strategies  with  ten  universally  accepted  principles  in  the  areas  of  human rights,  labour,  environment  and  anti-corruption,  and  to  take  actions  in  support  of  UN  goals, including  the  Millennium  Development  Goals.  Through  the  development,  implementation,  and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices, business can help ensure that markets advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere. With over 8,000 signatories in more than 135 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative.

For more information, please contact:

Matthias Stausberg, Head of Media Relations & Public Affairs; stausberg@un.org; +1-917-367-

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SOURCE World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)



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