(Berlin) – The Federal Government of Germany today released policy recommendations in connection with its “Water, Energy, and Food Security Nexus” initiative. The broad recommendations include an emphasis on the importance of corporate sustainability and responsible investment in developing solutions to meet the nexus challenge and moving the world towards the realization of a green economy.
The policy recommendations – announced by the Germany Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU); and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – constitute the primary output of the Bonn2011 Conference, which took place on 16-18 November 2011. The recommendations will be fed into the preparations around the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20″), scheduled to take place on 20-22 June.
“Global demand and supply assessments predict significant shortfalls in water and food in the future, but this should not mask the reality that universal access to minimum standards of water, energy and food can be achieved and sustained within planetary boundaries provided there is political commitment and an appropriate enabling environment”, the policy document states.
The document calls on the international business community to contribute more actively to the nexus challenges, through initiatives such as the UN Global Compact. “There is a sound business case that is at the same time consistent with principles of corporate sustainability encompassing a company’s delivery of long-term value in financial, social, environmental and ethical terms”.
The recommendations call on companies to pursue a number of actions including: i) incorporating a nexus perspective in business planning; ii) broadening water and energy stewardship and the application of corporate sustainability principles; iii) maximizing resource efficiency and productivity gains; iv) recognizing the rights and needs of workers and the contributions they can make to productivity gains; and v) including a nexus perspective in corporate sustainability reporting.
In addition, the policy recommendations recognize the need to increase private sector capital and leverage innovative financing models from responsible investors, especially through initiatives such as the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment; the UNEP Finance Initiative; and the Water Disclosure Project.