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Green Economy & Value of Nature

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Big business gives its Rio+20 recommendations | RTCC. By John Parnell For many, describing what the Rio+20 Summit is trying to achieve is hard enough. Finding actual solutions to achieve them is even harder, as we found out at our Rio+20 Student Workshop. Policymakers heading to Rio, in the meantime are always keen to develop actions, after all, talk is cheap. We all know that business can talk a good game when it comes to environmental protection, green growth and sustainability. So what ideas does big business have to offer the negotiators in Rio that are faced with the unenviable task of forming policies that unite economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability? While some items on the agenda in Rio+20 are complex, simpler issues such as access to clean water remain prominent.

Well as it turns out they have quite a few. Here’s a summary of the ideas: Unilever Siemens Siemens called for industrial call waste reduction and design with re-use in mind. Aviva Microsoft Virgin Atlantic Philips PepsiCo The verdict? Companies try to reduce humanity’s footprint. European Commission » Internal Market » Consultation on the EU corporate governance framework. Forget GDP And Start Measuring Inclusive Wealth. Brazil and India have paid dearly for their rapid economic growth. By conventional measures, these two countries have only grown richer: Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rose 34% and 120% respectively between 1990 and 2008. But the countries’ natural wealth has nosedived as their economic activity ballooned. But GDP is not the be all and end all of economic success. There are other ways to measure the progress of a society. One way to think about economies is as the aggregate of three sorts of capital: physical (infrastructure and the means of production), human (skills and education) and natural capital.

While the first two are renewable (some argue inexhaustible), natural resources such as fossil fuels, soil, biodiversity, and even forests may be depleted, sometimes permanently. The United Nations is now proposing the "Inclusive Wealth Indicator" as a challenge to the myopic focus on short-term profits and economic capital inherent in GDP. Green Economy Initiative - Home. About Calendar Multimedia News Publications 中文 Español Français United Nations Environment Programme environment for development Climate Change Disasters & Conflicts Ecosystem Management Environmental Governance Harmful Substances Resource Efficiency What is Green Economy?

Discover more ... Green Economy in action View latest briefing papers Read reports Mexico Building a green economy means investing in people Serbia Education and innovation are key to a green economy Morocco Generating clean energy is a priority for the country Jordan Study finds investing in conservation can create jobs Philippines Achieving a resource-efficient economy is the goal With a GDP of approximately USD 1 trillion, Mexico is ranked as the 13th largest economy in 2010.

Photo © Oxfam International Serbia’s economy has been growing continuously, except for 2009 when the financial crisis hit the country. Photo © World Bank In Morocco, green economy is presented as a source of opportunities for wealth creation and jobs. Photo © Partnerships. Green economy or greedy economy? | World Development Movement. What is a green economy? A true green economy would embrace economic justice - the right of poor communities to determine their own path out of poverty, and an end to harmful policies which put profit before people and the environment.

It would end our obsession with economic growth and unsustainable consumption and replace these with a focus on how everyone’s needs can be met in a truly sustainable manner. However, industrialised countries like the UK, alongside banks and multinational companies, are using the phrase 'green economy' as a smokescreen to hide their plan to further privatise the global commons and create new markets in the functions nature provides for free.

Out of this Trojan horse will spring new market-based mechanisms that will allow the financial sector to gain more control of the management of the global commons. Subject the natural world to cost-benefit analysis and accountants and statisticians will decide which parts of it we can do without. Hermes, Aviva Urge Stock Exchanges on Sustainability Reports. Aviva Plc (AV/) and Hermes Asset Management Ltd. are urging stock exchanges to improve the way companies report on sustainability issues, leading calls from investors to introduce common international standards. They’ll be joined by non-governmental groups at a United Nations forum in Rio de Janeiro to debate ways to make the financial industry focus on longer-term concerns such as environmental degradation and energy efficiency.

The organizations are seeking to standardize and improve sustainability reports, covering water use to emissions, after different rules emerged on world stock exchanges over the past decade. Today’s meeting also is designed to guide talks at this week’s Rio+20 summit in the same city, where delegates from 190 nations will discuss steps to eradicate poverty while stemming environmental degradation. Five Exchanges Two of those, in Sao Paulo and Johannesburg, announced today with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. Social Metrics Denmark Compliance No Mandates. Imagining Sustainability. Listed companies welcome mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting | Energy and Environmental Management (EAEM) Magazine. Stock Exchange-listed companies are to be forced to publish data on their greenhouse gas emissions form next year, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced.

This will link their share prices of the 1,800 or so firms listed on the main UK stock market to the cost of emitting climate-warming gases. They will have to include the data, in a universally consistent format, in their corporate earnings reports from next April. Two years later, the rules will be extended to include all large companies. The intention is to encourage them to improve their impact on the environment, their energy consumption, and to make public the link between profitability and greenhouse gas emissions growth. "Using resources responsibly is in business's own interests too.

Pepsi depends on water, Unilever depends on fish stocks and agricultural land, and every firm relies on a stable fuel supply," Clegg wrote. The move was quickly applauded by the British Council of Shopping Centres. Memo to Rio+20: 'green economy' doesn't mean monetising nature | Global development. A lone green tree amid deforested land near Mae Chaem, Thailand. Would ascribing a monetary value to the area have made a difference? Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA The 1992 Rio Earth summit established "sustainable development" firmly in the global political lexicon – even though the term meant, and continues to mean, different things to different people. For Stephan Schmidheiny, a CEO who was appointed chief adviser for business and industry at the summit and subsequently set up the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, it apparently means continuing with business as usual: in February, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the deaths of thousands of workers at his asbestos-cement factory.

As the Rio+20 anniversary conference approaches, a battle rages over the definition of another term: "green economy". The jargon masks some diametrically opposing views. A market-based approach to dealing with natural resources is not an entirely new concept. Natural Capital Accounting – English version. Natural Environment White Paper. Over 15,000 people and organisations sent responses to a call for ideas on the Natural Environment White Paper, a record number for a Defra consultation, proving that people want to see a real positive change in the future of our natural environment.

The natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, health and wellbeing. The aim of the White Paper is to set out a clear framework for protecting and enhancing the things that nature gives us for free, which are too often taken for granted. Thanking everyone for their responses, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “I’m delighted with the overwhelming response that we have had to our call for ideas on the Natural Environment White Paper.

We’ve received over 15,000 replies from individuals, NGOs and businesses, which goes to show that people really care about the natural environment and want a say in how it is managed. “This is exactly the kind of debate that we had hoped to stimulate. Caroline Spelman continued: Plc - Earth Summit 2012: Towards a convention on corporate sustainability reporting at Rio+20. 21 Mar 2013 In September 2011 Aviva convened the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition (CSRC.) The CSRC represents financial institutions, professional bodies, NGOs and investors with assets under management of approximately US$2 trillion. We believe progressive companies understand that long-term value is enhanced by embedding long-term sustainability considerations into their business strategy and by fully disclosing their progress to investors. This will help capital to be allocated to more sustainable, responsible companies and strengthen the long term sustainability of the financial system.

In 2012 at the Rio + 20 Earth Summit the CSRC led calls for nations to commit to developing an international framework on non-financial reporting. This culminated in the formal recognition of the importance of corporate sustainability reporting by the UN. (Paragraph 47) The seven tests: Download the question and answer document of the European work the CSRC is undertaking PDF (104KB) Proposal. Rio+20 Business Focus: Protecting investments in a sustainable future from corruption | RTCC. Politicians make the policy. But it’s often left to business to implement it. For this reason RTCC is featuring submissions from business across the globe in the lead up to Rio+20. The aim is to demonstrate how Sustainable Development is becoming a reality in every continent, country and city. With billions of dollars in climate finance being mobilised to enable sustainable development projects around the world, the private sector will play a crucial role in ensuring that it is effective.

Low carbon development is not only an existential necessity; given the ambitious transformations in infrastructure and technology required it also offers a huge market with substantial returns. Huge infrastructure projects are on the horizon as we pursue sustainable development, creating huge opportunities for corruption. Despite this, many businesses are hesitant to invest. Corruption risks Where do the biggest risks lie? How do we mitigate those risks? Integrity in action Benefits of cutting corruption. Rio+20 has Unilever but not Cameron – a sign of our unsustainable times | Jonathon Porritt. A host of national flags fly in Rio ahead of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Photograph: Antonio Lacerda/EPA More than 100 world leaders will have descended on Rio this week to sign up to some kind of high-level communique currently being cobbled together by droves of "sherpas" grinding their way through the most God-forsakenly inadequate draft statement I've ever seen.

David Cameron will not be among those leaders – Nick Clegg and Caroline Spelman are flying the UK's increasingly tattered sustainable development flag. I rather doubt that anyone will be listening to either of them, but they might be struck by the fact that the UK delegation in Rio is made up not just of ministers and officials but of representatives both of civil society (in the shape of Oxfam and WWF) and of big business (Unilever and Aviva). I see this as a sign of our unsustainable times. That's not necessarily seen as a good thing by most people in the NGO community. Not that the EU counts for as much as it once did. Rio+20 Update: Brazil, Denmark, France And South Africa Lead Call For Sustainability Reporting. Rio+20 concludes today Sustainability reporting may be a big winner of this week’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.

Paragraph 47 of Rio+20’s outcome document outlines the importance of organizations’ commitment to sustainability reporting, and now four governments are leading this charge. The governments of Brazil , Denmark, France and South Africa have formed a group, “Friends of Paragraph 47,” to advance sustainability, or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. The group invited Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to support this effort. This collaboration could give a boost to integrated reporting, which combines financial data with information on organizations’ performance on environmental, social and governance issues. Each of these countries has had a unique role in supporting the cause for integrated reporting, or “One Report.”

GRI has responded to Paragraph 47 with cautious optimism . Rio+20: Unilever CEO on the need to battle on to save the world | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional. In the inter-dependent world in which we live, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the language of NGOs and the top tier of progressive business leaders. Just listen to what Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, one of the world's biggest companies, had to say when I caught up with him after he took part in the launch of the Natural Capital Declaration at the Rio+20 convention centre: "The very essence of capitalism is under threat as business is now seen as a personal wealth accumulator.

"We have to bring this world back to sanity and put the greater good ahead of self-interest. "We need to fight very hard to create an environment out there that is more long term focussed and move away from short termism. " Polman is clearly on a mission and says the lack of ambition shown by politicians at Rio +20 will lead to him redoubling his efforts to work with other business leaders and NGOs to seek change on a global level. "Criticising never leads to anything. Sustainability rises up corporate agenda. Sustainable Development .:. United Nations. A Guidebook to the Green Economy Issue 1: Green Economy, Green Growth, and Low-Carbon Development - history, definitions and a guide to recent publications Sustainable development has been the overarching goal of the international community since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992.

Amongst numerous commitments, the Conference called upon governments to develop national strategies for sustainable development, incorporating policy measures outlined in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21. Despite the efforts of many governments around the world to implement such strategies as well as international cooperation to support national governments, there are continuing concerns over global economic and environmental developments in many countries. U.K. to Require Companies to Report Emissions. The U.K. will make publicly listed companies report their greenhouse-gas output, the first country to do so as it calls on big business to clean up its act. All companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange will have to include emissions data in their annual reports starting in April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said today in a website statement.

Large public- and private-sector organizations account for about 10 percent of Britain’s emissions. Tackling the pollutants pumped out by factories, utilities and other big companies may help the U.K. meet a European Union target to cut carbon output to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2025, a goal that’s also driven the growth of renewables from wind and biomass to solar power. The requirement on companies to report the data could save 4 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2021, according to Defra. Good Business Guide Investment Catch All. Will Rio+20 Spark a Green Revolution? ‘Green Economy’ - New Disguise for Old Tricks?