Business & UN

Economic, environmental and social innovation for green growth were focus of ICC Forum during Rio20

  • 14 June 2012
ICC in Latin America

ICC hosted the “Creativity 4 Innovation Forum” on 13 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event brought together senior corporate executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, government officials, media and other stakeholder groups.

During the Forum, held on the sidelines of the United Nations Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) gave a sneak peek of its “Green Economy Roadmap,” which lays out 10 conditions needed to drive growth in a carbon-restricted world and serves as a guide for business, policy makers and society toward achieving a green economy. The Forum provided a unique meeting opportunity to discover and discuss new and creative ideas, technologies and solutions that can help shape a green economy. Participants supported the Roadmap and linked the 10 conditions to their projects and ideas.

Two high-level dialogues in the midmorning featured topics such as “The Rio Debate: Why green growth needs to be driven by business” and “Inspiring solutions for sustainable societies” and were followed by two experts panels on “Investment and financing for green growth” and “Greening the value chain” in the afternoon.

Speakers included:

  • Rene Van Berkel, Chief, Cleaner and Sustainable Production Unit, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Hugo Bethlem, Executive Vice President, Group Pão de Açucar
  • Besaliel Botelho, President Latin America, Robert Bosch
  • Franklyn Feder, CEO Brazil and Latin America, Alcoa
  • Pedro Luiz Fernandes, President, Novozymes Latin America, Novozymes
  • Josef Fidelis Senn, Vice President, Human Resources & VW Autovisão Business Development, Volkswagen
  • Bernardo Gradin, CEO, Graal
  • Wolfram Haller, Climate Finance Expert, Siemens
  • Tom Heller, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)
  • Simon Hoiberg, Policy Researcher, Governance and Capacity Team, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
  • Jarl Krausing,Team Leader, Global Climate Change Policy, The World Bank
  • Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
  • Patrice Rollet, Managing Director, Inventec
  • Giane Zimmer, Director of Sustainability, Vale

During his presentation, Mr Fernandes provided the Novozymes vision for more efficient use of natural resources and eco-innovation, particularly biomass. He also shared examples of Novozymes’ work in sustainable development in Brazil, notably education and social projects, and in Mozambique.

“A key premise for why the green growth needs to be driven by business is the idea of a bio-based economy, where we can find sustainable solutions by plugging into the amazing power of agriculture and plants. Take the example of using sugarcane bagasse to produce Celulosic Ethanol in Brazil, an advanced biofuel. This not science fiction; it is a reality today, promoting business growth, leveraging job opportunities and energy security,” Mr Fernandes said.

Participants spoke enthusiastically about the opportunities for continued innovation while also emphasizing the need for long-term rules and policies from governments to help build business confidence to invest. All companies presented examples of their ongoing projects and plans to move ahead with new innovative ideas to develop sustainable societies as vital to remaining competitive. As Bernardo Gradin, CEO, Graalsaid: “We are asking for government support, but we are not waiting for it.”

Mr Botelho of Bosch highlighted the potential of solar energy, particularly in Brazil. “Bosch’s intention is to expand activities in South America using solar energy. The sun is a great natural resource in this country. We need to change the mindset of society to use energy properly.”

Speaking from the point of view of an SME, Mr Rollet of Inventec said that regulations are necessary, but not enough. “Regulations are good because they provide a more level playing field. But you need a vision in a company, you need some thrust, if you want to move ahead of regulation,” he said.

“We need private initiatives as well as public initiatives,” said Mr van Berkel of UNIDO. We have to scale up and mainstream initiatives like the ones we’ve heard about today to make the transition to a green economy. A green economy is not only about a bio-based economy. It is a much broader concept of minimizing emissions and more. We need multiple solutions to deal with the many challenges we face, including ICTs, deforestation, water, etc. We need these solutions faster and on a much bigger scale.”

C4I was co-hosted with ICC Brazil and Brazil’s national business confederation (CNC), supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the UN Environment Programme and the UN Industrial Development Organization, and sponsored by Bosch Brazil and Inventec.

Read the press release of the launch of the Green Economy Roadmap

Download a copy of the Green Economy Roadmap