PRME @ Rio+20
The 3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education on 14-15 June 2012 will be the official platform for management-related Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at both the Global Compact Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20. The events of both the Global Forum and Corporate Sustainability Forum will inform the proceedings and outcomes of this historic global summit.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Government leaders will convene the Rio+20 Earth Summit on 20-22 June to build consensus on a more sustainable course for our world, in the environmental, social and economic spheres.
The private sector has a critical role to play in this endeavour, and is increasingly putting sustainability - defined as a company's delivery of long-term value in economic, social and environmental terms - on its agenda. Through the UN Global Compact alone, over 6,000 companies have committed to conduct business in line with human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption principles.
Progressive and promising work is underway. Already, innovative business solutions are having an impact on issues such as energy access, water security and carbon emissions. But to have a truly transformative effect, a quantum leap is needed. With the right incentives and enabling environments, the private sector can make significant and lasting contributions to the sustainable development agenda - in Rio and beyond.
Business schools, management-related academic institutions, and universities have a unique role to train current and future generations to lead this process. However, as a global sector, management education must make considerable change to be at the forefront of innovation and progress for sustainable development.
Corporate Sustainability Forum
The United Nations Global Compact will organise the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want from 15-18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. The Forum is held in cooperation with the Rio+20 Secretariat, the UN System and the Global Compact Local Network Brazil. Participants of the Global Forum are highly encouraged to attend the events of the Corporate Sustainability Forum at no additional charge.
With over 2,000 expected participants, the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum will give business and investors an opportunity to meet with governments, local authorities, civil society and UN entities in dozens of highly focused workshops and thematic sessions linked to the Rio+20 agenda.
The Forum's key objective will be to bring greater scale and quality to corporate sustainability practices. As a showcase for innovation and collaboration, the Forum is designed to be a launching ground for widespread action.
Held over four days at the Windsor Barra Hotel, the Forum will consist of dozens of focused sessions held in parallel on themes related to the Rio+20 agenda:
- Energy and climate
- Agriculture and food
- Social development
- Urbanisation and cities
- Economics of sustainable development
Events will be organised by a wide range of organisations, including the UN Global Compact; UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes; and other selected partners - with over 60 sessions expected across all themes. All Forum sessions will have a common purpose and design: to spur action and stimulate greater uptake. For each theme, innovative public-private partnerships and business contributions will be showcased, with new commitments to sustainable development being announced.
On the afternoon of 15 June, an opening plenary session will kick off the Forum - outlining sustainable development challenges and the role of the private sector. On 18 June, a closing plenary session will bring together Forum participants to distil leading sustainability practices, innovations and collaborations and to announce new commitments across all themes. The closing plenary will also put forward recommendations for government actions that would help bring greater scale and quality to corporate sustainability globally.
- Read Corporate Sustainability Leadership: A Framework for Action at Rio+20 and Beyond, the UN Global Compact Office's input to the preparatory process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20 outcome document.
The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) seeks three objectives:
- Secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development,
- Assess the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments, and
- Address new and emerging challenges.
Business, as a provider of sustainable solutions, has an essential role to play in advancing this agenda. Responsible business actions based upon universal principles can underpin economies with values essential for driving sustainable and inclusive growth. Practical solutions towards global sustainability must be widely mobilised.
Rio+20 will set the sustainability agenda for the next decade, and we expect that a strong call for responsible and sustainable business practices - as covered by the Global Compact - will emerge from the conference. Business everywhere must answer the call to create a sustainable future based on a low-carbon economy - green jobs, renewable energy and energy efficiency - and global markets that can deliver benefits for all.
Objectives for Private Sector Contribution
Rio+20 should accomplish the following related to the contribution of business to sustainability:
- Scale-up and intensify the business contribution to global sustainability issues through responsible corporate practices that are based on universal principles by:
- Demonstrating the proven ability of business to strategically address and provide practical solutions to global challenges.
- Making a clear case for businesses everywhere to comprehensively embed principles into their strategies, operations and throughout their supply chain.
- Agree at all government levels - national, city, community - on the need to prioritise sustainability and develop incentives to accelerate the transformation towards low-carbon and sustainable economies and societies.
- Mobilise greater collaboration among business and industry - and in partnership with key actors including government, multilateral organisations and civil society - to identify and scale up the most promising technologies and solutions towards sustainability, particularly related to climate change, energy, water, food.