Climate change

ICC champions green economy business priorities in South Africa

  • 31 October 2012
ICC sustainable cities

ICC experts underscored the crucial role played by business in tackling the challenges of climate change, at the 15th annual meeting of the International Business Forum (IBF) in Pretoria earlier this month.

Around 260 participants, mainly from the private sector and government, took part in the conference organized on behalf of the German government by the German Agency for International Cooperation, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce.

The event offered the opportunity for large companies to connect with SMEs and discuss business models for a changing climate.

“Companies build a green future every day by delivering and deploying their innovations, products and services,” said Andrea Bacher, Policy Manager of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy, in her opening remarks. “However, more effort is required to scale up and implement green solutions in today’s globalized world.”

The guiding framework for the discussion was the ICC Green Economy Roadmap, a widely acclaimed set of business recommendations outlining how economic growth, environmental sustainability and social progress have to work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion.

Martina Bianchini, Chair of the ICC Green Economy Task Force and Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Environment and Energy, expanded on this topic by moderating a high-level plenary session dealing with solutions for a green economy.

Aimed at strengthening the business response to economic, social and environmental interdependence, the Roadmap provides guidelines for green business strategies and policy development in a globalized world.

“We have to combine short-term profit requirements with longer-term strategies for shared value, bottom-up green growth and top-down green economy strategies – no one can do this alone,” Ms Bianchini said.

The need for business, government and academic collaboration was central to the forum.

Back-to-back with the Pretoria conference, ICC convened a meeting of its Commission on Environment and Energy and the Green Economy Task Force. At the meeting, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier stressed the importance of ICC being present in all parts of the world.

“We need to get out into the field to see what’s happening at the country level and to spread the message that developing a green economy is essential in an interdependent world,” Mr Carrier said.

The outgoing Chairman of the commission, Laurent Corbier, then turned the reins over to his successor, Kersten-Karl Barth, Sustainability Director at Siemens AG, who has had a long and distinguished career at the company.

Download the ICC Green Economy Roadmap.

For more information on the work of the commission visit ICC Commission on Environment and Energy.