The Rio Declaration, the key outcome of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), outlines a set of principles with the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through respecting the interest of people and development while protecting the integrity of the global environment. Within this context, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) works to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment. Its work is based on the tenets of precaution, prevention, sound management, responsibility, accountability and equity. UNEP advocates the creation and implementation of innovative environmental policies at the international level while encouraging the sound environmental management of business activities.
UNEP works closely with the private sector to ensure that it is fully involved in the preparation and implementation of international conventions such as the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent and others. UNEP also works with business to develop a life-cycle approach to their activities, addressing in a comprehensive manner all issues related to resource extraction and use, production processes, product use and disposal.
They guide the work of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), which develops voluntary initiatives and partnerships with business leaders designed to ensure their policies, strategies, practices and technologies:
UNEP's goal is to bring its experience and strong relationship with business on environmental issues to the broader and increasingly important issues of social equity and global citizenship addressed in the Global Compact.
Attention to the 'triple bottom line' of sustainable development – that is balancing three types of capital – social, economic, environmental – is key if companies want to succeed in a globalizing economy and maintain long-term financial performance. Companies therefore need to redefine their policies, strategies, and practices t result in an efficient use of economic capital while simultaneously building and effectively using social and natural capital.
For further information, contact:
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
Tour Miraneau, 39-43 quai Andre Citroen
75739 Paris – Cedex 15