With the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development under way in Rio de Janeiro, two dozen major companies representing more than $500 billion in combined revenues have pledged to safeguard forest, freshwater, and marine systems that produce goods and services critical to long-term business continuity and global economic growth.
Through a collective effort organized by the Corporate Eco Forum and the Nature Conservancy, the companies will approach sustainability goals in their own way while working to advance core business interests, including risk reduction, cost controls, brand equity, and growth. The initiative is the product of a 2011 Clinton Global Initiative commitment made by the Nature Conservancy and Corporate Eco Forum to catalyze a new round of private sector-led investments in the conservation of natural assets.
"Given the role that trees and forest play in the health of the global environment, and because fiber is such an important aspect of our business, Kimberly-Clark is exploring innovative solutions to provide the high-quality products customers and consumers demand, while ensuring sustainability of the world's forests," said Suhas Apte, vice president of global sustainability for the company.
An e-catalog of new commitments, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital, will be launched in Rio. Designed for senior business executives, the report includes twenty-four new commitments, seventy company examples, a practical action framework, and best-of-breed tools for companies wishing to incorporate ecosystems and biodiversity into their business strategy.
"For a growing number of companies, 'going green' is now a core business strategy," said Nature Conservancy president and CEO Mark Tercek. "Those companies committed to making environmental initiatives a core part of their strategy and factoring the value of nature into their business plans are the ones that will lead their industries in earnings growth, productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction. They will also help in solving global environmental and social development challenges in the decades ahead."