Business & Industry Forum

Leading companies and business networks are introducing new technologies and strategies, such as eco-design, life-cycle assessment, and closed-loop production. They are involved in ongoing efforts to exploit renewable energies, improve resource management, and develop and manage their supply chains in accordance with codes of conduct on social and environmental responsibility and accountability. Some of them are pro-active and seeking to address the global challenges of SCP and climate change by working to measure and progressively shrink their carbon footprints and their impacts on other dimensions of the global environment.

During the Third International Expert Meeting on the Marrakech Process (Stockholm , June 2007) the Business and Industry Forum was launched. It was organised and co-facilitated by the International Chamber Commerce (ICC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The forum offered a platform to discussed the role of business in promoting SCP and to broaden business engagement in Marrakech Process.

As a result, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the International Chamber Commerce (ICC) have offered to serve as a platform to broaden business engagement in Marrakech Process. They expressed their interest to:

  1. Engage in the regional meetings and implementation of projects
  2. Share their business cases for SCP and best practices
  3. Identify business experts to participate in Task Forces
  4. Participate in a new waste and resource management task force if established
  5. Develop work in support of SMEs to enable them to benefit from SCP measures
  6. Business proposed to include SCP as an agenda item at 2008 UNEP Annual Consultative Meeting with Business and Industry

Business were invited to

  • Host a "Business Day" at the next International Expert Meeting of the Marrakech Process in 2009
  • Participate as a member in the Steering Committee for the Marrakech Process

    See
    FAQ business role in the Marrakech Process. For more information on UNEP's Business Dialogue and the Marrakech Process Business Forum, please click here.

Challenges and opportunities

Significant challenges to a better engagement of business and industry in SCP include:

  • Business and industry require an enabling environment in order to help shift markets towards SCP. This includes a rational mix of legislation, regulation, voluntary agreements, economic instruments, integrated product policies, stakeholder engagement

  • Currently early movers in business and industry have invested in development of sustainable products, but consumer preferences do not always match corporate aspirations. Education and information tools are important for enhancing the SCP awareness of consumers

  • SMEs especially have constraints in resources and capacity to incorporate international standards in their business operations

  • Effective communication channels must be opened for business and industry to have meaningful dialogues with governments and other stakeholders

  • Business and industry have very sector-specific priorities, activities and perspectives on SCP. There is no one-size-fits-all policy solution for all sectors, groups and companies. A partnership mechanism cutting across sectors and identifying common concerns and issues can make the related SCP policies for business and industry more consistent and coherent. This cooperation will also benefit the Marrakech Process in both programme planning and policy implementation