Rio+20: Pepsi, Coke, Levi Strauss to Set Water Efficiency Goals; Other Summit Business News
CEOs from The Coca-Cola Company, Pepsico, Levi Strauss & Co., Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever and 40 other international companies have agreed to set targets on their own water efficiency and wastewater management in factories and operations, and have called on governments attending the Rio+20 Earth Summit to make global water security a top priority.
The 45 CEOs — all of whom have endorsed the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate — have pledged to work with suppliers to improve their water practices, and partner with nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, governments and public authorities, investors, and other stakeholders on water-related projects and solutions.
In the communiqué, they called on governments to:
- Develop policies and incentives to improve water productivity and efficiency in all sectors, especially agriculture.
- Establish fair and appropriate valuation of water for agriculture, industry and people.
- Increase investment in infrastructure and develop policies to accelerate access to, and ensure efficient and reliable delivery of, water and sanitation services.
- Share policies, innovations and tools among governments and other stakeholders.
- Work more actively with the business community, private finance and civil society.
Signatories include: AB InBev, AkzoNobel, Allergan, Banco do Brasil, Bayer, Calvert Investments, Carlsberg Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Hellenic, De Beers Group, Diageo, Dow Chemical Company, DSM, Eskom, GDF SUEZ, GlaxoSmithKline, H&M, Heineken, Hainan Jinhai Pulp & Paper Company, Hindustan Construction Company, Indah Kiat Pulp& Paper; Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia, Levi Strauss & Co., Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industries, Merck, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Nedbank Group, Nestlé S.A., Netafim, Pepsico, Pernod Ricard, Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills, Reed Elsevier, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Philips Electronics, SABMiller, Saint-Gobain, Sasol, Sekem, Shanghai Baosteel Group, Stora Enso, Tata Steel, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Veolia Water, Woolworths and Xstrata.
The communiqué is among a host of corporate sustainability initiatives and reports coming out of the Rio+20 Earth Summit.
Seventy-nine percent of consumers worldwide have a more positive perception of brands produced with wind energy, and 50 percent of consumers worldwide would pay extra for products based on renewable energy, according to a “Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity,” a report by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact.
Accenture and the UN Global Compact interviewed more than 70 companies across 19 industries to identify business opportunities that come out of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which includes three primary objectives to be met by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Companies were primarily UN Global Compact LEAD companies and Caring for Climate signatories.
The report recommends four priority actions. Businesses should provide more energy-efficient products and services, it says. Second, it recommends increasing the energy efficiency of operations. Businesses should educate stakeholders on how to achieve energy efficiency. Finally, companies should increase the use of renewable energy in operations.
In other Rio+20 Earth Summit news:
The UN Global Compact and the Rockefeller Foundation have launched a framework for impact investing and social enterprise. The two groups say a number of large corporations and pioneering impact investors have begun investing more actively in the social enterprise sector in recent years. These include companies such as Cemex, Cisco, Intel, Nestle, Safaricom, SK and Starbucks, and investors such as Acumen Fund, Bamboo Finance Daiwa Securities, ECOM, HSBC, Mahindra Finance, Sequoia Capital, SNS Asset Management and TIAA-CREF.
The UN Global Compact Office estimates that in the coming years as much as $12 billion in early stage investment in social enterprises could be generated by large corporations and mainstream investors participating in the UN Global Compact and UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. This could potentially seed the creation of approximately 100,000 social enterprise start-ups.
Additionally, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization launched the Green Industry Platform, a partnership between government, business and civil society leaders intended to act as a forum for catalyzing, mobilizing and mainstreaming action on green industry around the world. UNIDO says some 70 organizations have already signed a statement of support, making them Platform members.
Business leaders from Novamedia, Suzlon Energy, the World Bank and others launched a three-year Clean Revolution Campaign, an initiative by the Climate Group and government and business partners calling for a step change in investment in renewable energy and clean technology to push out of global recession. Other corporate partners include CEOs and board members of Balbo Group, Pension Corporation, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Suzlon Energy, the Westly Group and Zennstrom Philanthropies.
And CEOs from major companies including Unilever, Alcatel Lucent, Coca-Cola and Anglo American have joined forces with trade unions, NGOs and scientific institutes to form the Friends of Rio with the intent of finding a new approach to solve the world’s sustainability challenges, the Guardian reports. The group, whose 26 members include the heads of WWF, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Red Cross and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, say they expect to be partners with government rather than being seen as a sideshow, the newspaper says.
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