News & Updates


Innovative collaboration critical to advance sustainability globally says Private Sector

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New York, 2 May 2012 – Building on the results of a consultation held in the Hague last month, Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD 2012) today presented constructive global private sector key messages to government and civil society representatives on the role of business and industry in delivering solutions to promote inclusive and green economies. These results will be fed into the negotiation process for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June.

Held on 11-12 April 2012 and organized by the Government of the Netherlands, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and BASD, the Hague Consultation provided an opportunity to discuss critical private sector issues for Rio+20 and the role for business in realising inclusive green growth. More than 300 business representatives, government officials and other stakeholders participated in the consultation, “Realizing Inclusive and Green Growth”, which showcased how business’ strengths in innovation, adaptation and implementation can best be leveraged to facilitate the transition to a green economy.
Today’s side event was the latest in a series of dialogues with the Business and Industry Major Group, and was co-hosted by Barbados, Benin, Netherlands, Vietnam and BASD 2012.

The following concluding messages around the role of business and its expectations of governments to the Rio+20 Conference were delivered:

  • Strong and renewed leadership is urgently required from policy makers. Rio+20 must highlight the essential role of the private sector in sustainable development, as investors, employers, customers, and producers.
  • Business commits to continue developing sustainable, inclusive, and innovative business models, including metrics, accounting, and reporting measures, both independently and through partnerships. Increasingly, global businesses are working to ensure sustainable production, resource efficiency, and the sustainable use of natural resources, while providing decent working conditions for all stakeholders in their supply chains.
  • To multiply the contribution of the private sector to inclusive and green growth, business calls upon governments to promote free trade of sustainable goods and services, encourage private investment in sustainable development, by establishing enabling policy frameworks.
  • A timely transition towards inclusive green growth strongly relies on closer collaboration among governments at all levels, business and all other actors of society. Business cannot succeed in a society that fails, and society cannot achieve sustainability without business providing solutions and without governments providing consistent and persistent policy environments.

The Consultation discussion also highlighted three areas that require immediate attention in order to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future: innovation, collaboration and governance. Participants determined that “new combinations” of innovation that address the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, environment), as well as evolving models for multi-stakeholder partnerships, will drive the transition to an inclusive green economy. Further, governance models and institutional frameworks are needed to support all stakeholders to integrate sustainability into their operations.

“It is clear that effective engagement of the private sector is critical in helping to achieve the goals of sustainable development,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of the BASD. “Despite the complexity of the challenges and the solutions, sufficient progress can be achieved at Rio+20 if we promote innovative collaboration among the broad range of actors needed to advance sustainability globally.”

The summary of discussions, along with speeches, presentations and other documents, is now available on the consultation website.