The international business community identified ways to accelerate green development at the Business for the Environment (B4E) Global Summit in Berlin, Germany, from 21 to 23 May 2012. Under the theme ‘Collaborate, Innovate, Act – Delivering the Green Economy’, the summit discussed moving sustainable development forward in light of the expected population rise to nine billion in 2050, the increased pressure on natural resources and the need to preserve the planet.
The corporate executives, industry experts and world leaders in attendance solidified their resolve to create business models that are not only profitable but environmentally and socially responsible by devising actions that the private sector can take in pursuit of a green economy.
Private enterprise sees itself as a frontrunner as revealed by discussions revolving around innovations during the conference in Berlin. This vantage point – by leading through operations – allows for strong influence on the market place. Turning their efforts toward the sustainable use of natural capital, some companies have begun to formulate clear standards and regulations to measure and record the impact their operations have on the environment.
“More and more companies would like to measure the value of the ecosystem services they use”, Siv Oystese, Coordinator of Economic Instruments and Innovative Finance at the Global Mechanism (GM), explained, citing Puma as an example. The sportswear group conducted an unprecedented valuation of the impact its operations and supply chain had on the environment in one year . The impact for 2010 was valued at 145 million euros, which includes GHG emissions, water consumption and land use change for the production of raw materials, air pollution and waste.
At the B4E, the GM drew attention to the importance of the economic valuation of land (EVL) – a worldwide initiative that promotes informed decision-making on the economics of land-based transactions, investments into land and natural assets, and the adoption of sustainable land management (SLM). Through a scientific consortium called Offering Sustainable Land-use Options (OSLO), the EVL initiative undertakes studies that measure the net benefits of SLM and socio-economic returns on responsible investments. Together with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the GM will host a side event at RIO+20 on the EVL approach and its contributions to the green economy.
Watch for the conclusions drawn during this year’s B4E Summit to be featured in a global media campaign under the banner ‘Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future’ in the run up to the Earth Summit in Brazil where decision makers are likely to discuss them.
For more information:
Ms Siv Øystese, Coordinator, Economic Instruments and Innovative Finance
Tel. +39 06 5459 2782
s.oystese (at) global-mechanism.org