Envisaged as a summit involving head of state, it will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. (source)The most interesting announcement I've seen so far is for a new report from the United Nations Environment Program, The Business Case for the Green Economy: Sustainable Return on Investment (PDF). Here are a few examples of case studies highlighted in the report (taken from the press release announcing it):
- Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to integrate sustainability into business models, has led to savings of over US $10 million dollars annually. At the same time, their "one rinse" washing formulas, which save an average of 30 litres per wash, are now used across 12.5 million households worldwide - a 60 per cent increase over 2010.
- AVIVA, who launched its insurance product for Low-Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services in 2011, expects the sector to grow by an estimated UK £45 billion by 2015, supported by government decisions and financial incentives.
- PUMA conducted the first Environmental Porfit and Loss Account in 2010, in collaboration with Pricewaterhousecooper and Trucost. The value of environmental impact was calculated at €145 million (seen as negative financial impact). Using the tool allows PUMA to reduce future financial loss while strengthening its operating margin by taking into account emerging risks. The company committed itself to having 50 per cent of its products made from sustainable materials by 2015.
- IGeneral Motors saved more than US $30 million in 6 years through their resource productivity programme, they also reduced waste volume by 40 per cent.
- In China, the Zhangzidao Fishery Group saw revenues grow by 40 per cent annually between 2005 and 2010 (compared to the industry's 13 per cent average) through offering an alternative to monoculture methods. The integrated Multi-Tropic Aquaculture approach employed by the company provided for a more balanced ecosystem, taking into account local conditions and environmental quality.
- The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation ensures a sustainable income for more than 27,000 coffee growers with its Rainforest Alliance certified coffee, as part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable QualityTM program