Additional Resources


The Business Case for the Green Economy, produced by UNEP and with the contribution of SustainAbility and GlobeScan. The publication is available as a PDF for free download. The Executive Summary can be downloaded here.

At a Glance: The Business Case for the Green Economy

Decoupling environmental impact enables companies to position themselves for sustainable business growth. The Green Business Case Model developed in The Business Case for the Green Economy identifies actions companies can take to drive leading indicators of performance and improve financial value drivers.

Green Economy benefits to business include:

  • More resilient supply chains
  • New investment opportunities
  • Increased consumer demand for sustainable goods and services
  • Sales growth and duration of sales
  • Training and job creation
  • Reduced dependency on natural resources
  • Mitigation against the negative financial risk from environmental impact
The examples highlighted on this website and in The Business Case for the Green Economy do not imply endorsement or support by UNEP, in full or in part, of companies or the information provided.


For further information, please contact:

Business and Industry Unit,
Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch,
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
United Nations Environment Programme
15 rue de Milan
75441 Paris CEDEX 09
Tel: +33 1 44 37 14 50
Fax: +33 1 44 37 14 74

2012 UNEP's Business & Industry Dialogue at Rio+20

Inspire Invest Innovate - The UNEP-UNGC Private Sector Day

This full-day tripartite dialogue of thought leaders from business, financial institutions and governments will offer insight and vision on the opportunities and challenges of financing the transition to a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation. The business case for action, particularly addressing activities in a number of key sectors, will be highlighted. This dialogue is being underpinned by the key findings from The Business Case for the Green Economy publication. This UNEP side event at Rio+20 is being held on the 17 June 2012 within the United Nations Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum. See the Inspire Invest Innovate Agenda for more information. The Press (Huffington Post and The National) about Inspire Invest Innovate and the Business Case for the Green Economy.

The Business Case for the Green Economy

Environmental stresses increasingly affect the financial bottom line of companies globally. In a world where resources are gathered in one country, processed in another, then sold as products manufactured in yet another, there can be no doubt that protecting our planet, and the resources it provides, is imperative. The world is so interconnected that a drought or flood in one part of the globe can soon challenge supply chains or move commodity markets in another with profound implications for the poor and the vulnerable.

As we move to a more resource efficient and Green Economy - one in which economic growth, social equity and human development go hand-in-hand with environmental security-business and industry will be a driving force. From corner stores, to medium-sized enterprises and international conglomerates, there needs to be an understanding that nature provides us with valuable resources and services that must be accounted for, and that it is only by safeguarding these resources and services that we can improve our own livelihoods and those of future generations.

The publication The Business Case for the Green Economy complements UNEP's 2011 report Towards a Green Economy clearly showing that companies cannot afford to ignore the benefits that switching to a Green Economy will bring. Compelling economic and scientific data demonstrates the advantages for the financial bottom line and a wide-ranging collection of case studies, from both developed and developing countries, give real-world examples of action taken.

Making the business case

Below, interested readers may find additional information that contributed to the development of the business case. Companies from all over the world were invited to provide examples of how they are moving to a resource efficient and Green Economy. The following company case studies provide inspiring examples of how the private sector is already taking action and illustrate The Business Case for the Green Economy.

Other companies provided examples as well:

Commissioned by UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, the technical background document Sustainable Return on Investment Opportunity (RIO) - The Business Case for the Green Economy was prepared in researching The Business Case for the Green Economy. Sustainable RIO presents a Green Business Case Model that is used to highlight progress in making the business case for sustainability, considering risks and opportunities highlighted in the Green Economy research by UNEP, the OECD and others. The report provides evidence taken from a wide range of business reports, expert analyses and company case studies of recent years to illustrate different aspects of and approaches to the business case.