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Businesses must get real about environmental threat says UN

June 24, 2013

Businesses must get real about environmental threat says UN

The future of existing private sector companies will increasingly hinge on the ability of businesses to adapt to the world’s rapidly changing environment, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). To stay ahead of competitors, it says, they need to develop goods and services that reduce impacts of climate change, water scarcity, emissions of harmful chemicals, and other environmental concerns. Jointly produced by the UNEP and independent think tank SustainAbility, the new report entitled GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector, is based on UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5), which is its most comprehensive assessment to-date of the state of the global environment.

The report documents how changes in the global environment will increasingly impact operating costs, markets for products, the availability of raw materials and the reputation of businesses, from finance and tourism, to healthcare and transport. While the risks are significant, the report’s authors also point out that such environmental changes also represent major opportunities for businesses that successfully manage them, and seize the demand for sustainable technologies, investments and services.

“The report speaks to the reality of climate change and natural resource scarcities and outlines how more creative decisions by the private sector with longer term horizons ma assist in meeting these challenges. It makes the case that whether it be in water saving, or climate-proofing infrastructure, the world is going to look for solutions that, in turn, will drive corporate competitiveness, reputational risk and a transition to an inclusive green economy,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Read more at CleanBiz Asia.

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