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The Business Case for the Green Economy: Sustainable Return on Investment

The Business Case for the Green Economy: Sustainable Return on Investment

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Environmental stresses are increasingly affecting the financial bottom line of companies all over the world. It makes sense that as we switch to a more resource efficient and Green Economy - one in which economic growth, social equity and human development go hand-in-hand with environmental security - business and industry will be a key driving force. From corner stores, to medium-sized enterprises and international conglomerates, there needs to be an understanding that nature provides us with valuable resources and services that must be accounted for, and that it is only by safeguarding these resources and services that we can improve our own livelihoods and those of future generations. This publication makes the business case showing the tremendous opportunities that business can capitalize on by transitioning to a more resource efficient Green Economy.
Environmental stresses are increasingly affecting the financial bottom line of companies all over the world. It makes sense that as we switch to a more resource efficient and Green Economy - one in which economic growth, social equity and human development go hand-in-hand with environmental security - business and industry will be a key driving force. From corner stores, to medium-sized enterprises and international conglomerates, there needs to be an understanding that nature provides us with valuable resources and services that must be accounted for, and that it is only by safeguarding these resources and services that we can improve our own livelihoods and those of future generations. This publication makes the business case showing the tremendous opportunities that business can capitalize on by transitioning to a more resource efficient Green Economy.

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Published by: United Nations Environment Programme on Aug 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/30/2013

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 Acknwledgements
 This document reects the vision and insights of many people. The publication has drawn heavily on the research carried out byCornis Van Der Lugt, independent consultant, in his paper ‘Sustainable Return on Investment Opportunity (RIO): The BusinessCase for the Green Economy’. It was drafted by Dave Knight and Louise Ayling (Two Tomorrows) with contributions from Jeff Erikson (SustainAbility), Chris Coulter (GlobeScan) and Elisa Tonda, Garrette Clark, Katie Tuck and Lukas Hach (UNEP). Reviewsand comments were received from: Paul Hohnen, Sustainability Strategies, Amsterdam. In addition comments were providedby UNEP staff: Sylvie Lemmet, Moira O’Brien-Malone, Arab Hoballah, Steven Stone, Benjamin Simmons, Careen Abb, StefanosFotiou, Lowri Rees, Djaheezah Subratty, Claudia Assmann, James Lomax, Maite Aldaya, Helena Rey de Assis, Adriana Zacariasand Curt Garrigan.Furthermore, special thanks go to the following persons for providing additional information in researching the Business Casefor the Green Economy in the form of interviews: Jim Fava (Five Winds International and UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative),Marcelo Vespoli Takaoka (UNEP-SBC and Brazilian Sustainable Construction Council) and Guy Hogge (Global Sustainability,Louis Dreyfus Commodities and Sustainable Rice Platform).In addition UNEP would like to thank the following companies that provided information for this publication: Anglo American, Aurecon, Aviva, Backsberg, BASF, Elion Resources Group, Equity Bank, Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, FEMSA,Grupo Bimbo, Managem, MAPFRE, Mogalakwena, Natura, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, PUMA, Rainforest Alliance, Sekem Group,Shree Cement, Siemens, Sompo Japan Insurance, Unilever, Veolia, Woolworths, Xerox. Their input was a valuable part of theresearch that went into the development of the Business Case for the Green Economy. The research paper and complete casestudies are available on the UNEP website: www.unep.org.We gratefully acknowledge the support of Unilever in the publication production and the French Ministry of Ecology and SustainableDevelopment for their on-going support to UNEP’s private sector activities.
Copyright © United Nations Environment Programme, 2012
 This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational or non-prot purposes without specialpermission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement of the source is made. UNEP would appreciate receiving acopy of any publication that uses this publication as a source. No use of this publication may be made for resale or for any othercommercial purpose whatsoever without prior permission from the United Nations Environment Programme.
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UNEP, 2012, The Business Case for the Green Economy. Sustainable Return on Investment.
Disclaimer
 The designations employed and the presentations of the material of this publication do not imply the expression of any opinionwhatsoever on the part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concerning the legal status of any country,territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Moreover, the views expressed donot necessarily represent the decision or the stated policy of UNEP, nor does citing of trade names or commercial processesconstitute endorsement.In researching the Business Case for the Green Economy, companies from all overthe world were asked to provide inputs to illustrate the nancial, social andenvironmental benets of a sustainability based business model. Theexamples highlighted in this publication and on UNEP’s website donot imply endorsement or support, in full or in part, of companiesor the information provided.ISBN number: 978-92-807-3280-1Job number: DTI/1553/PA 
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