Achieving more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and the transition towards a Green Economy historically have been motivated by the need to comply with regulations, driven by a growing number of accidents. However, businesses are increasingly realising the benefits they stand to gain from increasing resource efficiency, cleaner and safer production, transparency, and corporate responsibility overall. To galvanise trends toward more sustainable businesses, there is a need for public and private organisations to be engaged and supported to act upon the opportunities that resource efficient societies and markets offer.
Change requires the adoption of innovative solutions aimed at decoupling consumption and production patterns from the exploitation of ecosystems. These solutions can enable businesses to meet legal compliance, satisfy industry standards, expose themselves to fewer risks and accidents, protect customer relationships, bolster reputations, avoid higher input costs from excessive and inefficient production systems, attract and retain the best employee talent, open access to new markets and gain an overall advantage over competitors.
UNEP Business and Industry activities focus on enhancing business’ ability to apply resource efficiency (including cleaner production) and environmental innovation along value chains and to measure and disclose performance through corporate sustainability reporting. For this purpose, UNEP works with public and private partners to increase awareness and develop the ability of business (with a focus on SMEs in developing countries and emerging economies) to better understand and apply emerging science which applies life cycle thinking, and embeds sustainability in strategic decision-making and management.