(Singapore, 4 February 2008) – Following a highly successful event in 2007, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Global Compact today announced the second B4E – Business for the Environment Global Summit to be held in Singapore from 22 to 23 April 2008.
“If the world is to successfully navigate the Bali Road Map to the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, ways and means need to be found to mobilise and focus the trillions of dollars in the world’s financial and capital markets on the greening of the global economy,” said Mr. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP.
“This ‘greening’ is already underway driven by the existing emissions reduction treaty – the Kyoto Protocol – and the anticipation of even deeper cuts from a post-2012 climate regime. I look forward to the B4E conference playing its part in stepping up, accelerating and mainstreaming these real, tangible but currently fledgling transitions. Ones that promise a more resource efficient world and a new way of doing business in the 21st century,” he added.
Held over two days, the B4E Global Summit will focus on the global economic and financial impact environmental concerns in the areas of resource efficiencies, renewable energies, new business models and climate strategies. Through high-level discussion, delegates will learn the best practices for identifying and managing the risks posed by climate change, and explore practical solutions that are available today for enterprises to adopt greener corporate practices that make solid business sense and are a source of competitive advantage.
“Caring about the environment and going green is not only about reducing pollution levels. It is about resource efficiency through sustainable consumption and production patterns; it is about responsible change, policy reforms, innovation and business opportunities versus risks,” said Mr. Arab Hoballah, Chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch in the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics of UNEP.
The B4E Global Summit 2008 will feature roundtables and panel discussions with leaders from global companies, governments, non-governmental organisations and civil societies. It is expected to attract 1,000 participants, reflecting growing interest in the event from 2007, which involved about 840 participants from over 20 industry sectors across 38 countries.
“What we are calling for this year is for companies everywhere to take the first step to find a green solution and not wait for government policies and incentives. By galvanising the business community for an on-going dialogue around environmental stewardship, the B4E Summit has the power to make an immediate and significant change in the way we do business,” said Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
This year’s event is also held in conjunction with the UNEP Champions of the Earth 2008 awards presentation at a gala dinner on 22 April 2008. The laureates of this award have spearheaded outstanding initiatives in many different areas from environmental policy to cutting-edge research, with a particular focus on sustainable development and the fight against climate change.
This year’s laureates, which UNEP announced last week, are Prince Albert II of Monaco; New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen Clark; US Senator Timothy E. Wirth; Balgis Osman-Elasha, a senior researcher at Sudan’s Higher Council for Environment & Natural Resources; Atiq Rahman, the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies; Liz Thompson, the former energy and Environment Minister of Barbados; and Abdul-Qader Ba-Jammal, the Secretary General of the Yemen People’s General Congress.
The B4E Summit is organised by Global Initiatives and supported by Business for Social Responsibility; strategic partner Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL); corporate partners The Dow Chemical Company, OSRAM and Siemens; and Singapore government partners Ministry of Environment & Water Resources and the Singapore Tourism Board. The event’s international public relations partner is Edelman, and its global media partners are CNN and TIME.
More information on the B4E Summit agenda, participants and topics covered is available at www.B4Esummit.com.
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About the United Nations Environment Programme (www.unep.org)
Established in 1972, UNEP is the recognised authority of the United Nations system in environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. Together with the World Meteorological Organisation of the United Nations, UNEP also established the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize 2007.
About the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.org)
Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings business together with UN agencies, labour, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities around the world and to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals. With over 3,700 participating companies and hundreds of other stakeholders from more than 120 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative.