UNEP’s Our Planet Magazine Releases Special Issue on Greening Business

UNEPApril 2014: The magazine of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ‘Our Planet,' has dedicated an issue to the theme of greening business. The magazine features stories by leaders from local and national governments, companies, and international organizations on a wide range of topics, including green growth, energy access, low-carbon development, and the conservation of water, forests and biodiversity.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, introduces the issue with a call for greening business—and the business of greening—to deliver solutions that decouple economic growth from resource use and environmental impacts. Steiner underscores the need for governments and business to work together, writing that “the key is to try to enable business to become an integral part of the solution, through seeing how an interplay between public policy, markets and entrepreneurial capacity can induce innovation and bring new opportunities to the market.”

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), highlights the need for a robust draft agreement for consideration at the 20th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in December 2014. She points to a groundswell of action by cities, companies and the financial sector that will build support for international action, such as Unilever's risk management of supply chains, fossil fuel divestments from pension funds in Europe and the US, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Action 2020 program to deliver scalable climate solutions.

Other stories in the issue offer additional ideas for advancing green partnerships between governments and business. Frans van Houten, CEO, Royal Philips, for instance, describes an approach his company developed called ‘CityTouch,' which “empowers municipalities to manage an entire city's lighting systems from a single online interface, providing real-time status reports on individual light points and allowing light to be adjusted to weather, traffic and crowd conditions.” The issue covers rural proposals as well. José Luciano Penido, Chairman, Fibria, makes the case that “sustainable development of renewable raw materials found in native forests and plantations; new processes and technologies; and new bio-engineered products for the consumer market” can play a part in a commercial planting and reforestation program that will create 400 million hectares of new forests by 2050, while also sequestering 65 billion tons of carbon and easing pressure on natural forests.

In addition to guest stories, the magazine features sections on books, eco-friendly innovations, and profiles of leaders working on micro-finance, citizen science, and good governance of extractive resources. [Publication: Our Planet: Greening Business] [UNEP Publications Webpage]