(New York) – The UN Global Compact, in partnership with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), announced today a worldwide call for commitments to actions and partnerships that advance progress along the six core themes of the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, to be held on 15-18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. The call urges companies to help address the global challenges highlighted by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
In a special video address posted on the Global Compact website, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged companies globally to step up their commitment to sustainability in the lead-up to Rio+20: “We need to put our world on a more sustainable path: economically, socially, and environmentally…Solutions exist that can have profound impacts. But we need many more companies to awaken to this agenda.”
By making a commitment to action, companies can demonstrate leadership in advancing sustainable development objectives. Companies are asked to submit their commitments through the UN-business partnership gateway at www.business.un.org/commitments.
The Global Compact Office and the WBCSD will recognize and highlight corporate commitments onbusiness.un.org website and on a mobile device available to the nearly 2,000 participants of the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum. Commitments will further be listed in the Forum outcome document and in the overall Rio+20 compendium of commitments. Select commitments will also be showcased in publications, media materials, and during speaking and video opportunities at the Forum. In order to be considered for recognition opportunities, commitments must be submitted by 1 June.
To ensure the quality and impact of these commitments, each must meet the following criteria:
Advance one or more UN goal/issue;
Include time-bound target(s) that can be measured for success; and
Include an agreement to publicly disclose, on an annual basis, progress made to realize the commitment, throughout its duration.
Commitments may take various forms, including new projects or partnerships; existing activities that are scaled up or accelerated; adding partners to existing projects; or renewal of ongoing commitments. While businesses can make significant contributions independently, collaboration – whether in a public-private arrangement, with local governments, civil society organizations or the United Nations – is encouraged as it can often lead to greater impact. Commitments that are closely tied to the core business, development plan or mission of a company are also often more durable, sustainable and likely to drive real impact and change.
Examples of commitments include the following:
Energy & Climate: Reduce emissions from operations or improve the energy efficiency of products and services
Water & Ecosystems: Eliminate wastewater runoff in production or develop water-use regulations in partnership with local governments
Agriculture & Food: Collaborate across a supply chain to build an affordable food distribution system to underserved populations or improve the efficiency of farming operations
Social Development: Expand business relationships with women-owned enterprises, including small businesses and women entrepreneurs.
Urbanization & Cities: Create a high quality, low impact sewer system in a developing market or partner with local governments to create more reliable public transportation options
Economics & Finance of Sustainable Development: Provide financing for an innovative development venture or build an international market for the exchange of development funds