City leaders need to work closer with businesses to meet sustainability goals, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) says in a new report that highlights findings of the Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII).
WBCSD says the UII is one of the most groundbreaking global urban sustainability initiatives to date and aims to show the critical role that business can play in identifying solutions to complex urban sustainability challenges early in the planning process.
The initiative was co-chaired by Cemex, GDF SUEZ and Siemens and occurred over three years and saw 14 leading global companies work collaboratively with 10 cities around the world to identify sustainable infrastructure solutions. The cities spanned Europe, Asia, the United States and South America.
Cities already consume up to 80 percent of the global energy supply and produce around 75 percent of carbon emissions, so sustainability battles will be won or lost there, according to the WBCSD.
UII cities are already moving forward with recommendations from the project including:
- Yixing has fast-tracked a detailed feasibility study for establishing a green transport network for the city.
- Tilburg has adopted the UII dialogue model as part of its planning process for sustainability.
- Philadelphia is acting on the UII recommendations to enhance the environmental efficiency of the city’s 6000 vehicles in efforts to become the “greenest city in America” by 2015.