The third United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, "Rio+20", will take place from June 20 to 22, 2012, in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
Rio+20: context and challenges
One of the two themes of the conference will be "green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication."
- Data gathered by UN experts show that the world's current growth model is contributing to scarcity of natural resources, making it untenable in the long term, both for the planet and for its people. The transition to a green economy that fully integrates economic, environmental and social issues is therefore vital.
- A green economy makes sustainable development an effective part of economics, based on two principles: reducing strain on the natural environment caused by human activity and improving individual well-being and social equity. Decoupling growth from natural resource use and addressing climate change are crucial challenges.
Veolia and the green economy
In its recommendations on the transition to a green economy, the UN highlights the linchpin role of business, based on companies' capacity for investment and innovation, especially in water, waste management, energy efficiency and transportation, with a focus on the development of public-private partnerships.
As a world leader in environmental services, Veolia Environnement plays a crucial part in the drive towards a green economy:
- through its commitment "to improve people's lives and preserve the environment";
- by offering solutions that promote concomitant values:
- Environmental values through technological innovation in areas central to the green economy, such as water, waste management and energy services, in which it supports customers by supplying efficient solutions to reduce use of natural resources and carbon emissions while better protecting biodiversity;
- Social values through policies that promote universal access to essential resources while helping people find work, developing local employment, and pursuing outreach initiatives;
- Economic values through participation in the development of local communities via partnerships and the growth of sustainable cities, through its involvement in promoting sustainable industry, and its contribution to creating new contractual arrangements such as compensation agreements linked to environmental performance—all vital to the green economy.
- Read our special report on RIO+20
- "Green Economy and resource efficiency, which models for tomorrow?", an article written by Antoine Frérot for Fondation Robert Schuman.
- "Reconciling poverty eradication and quality of the environment", a conference jointly organized in June 2011 by the French Development Agency and the Institut Veolia Environnement.
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Green Economy Roadmap, its Executive Summary and the document sharing Best Practices (including Veolia examples).
- OECD Work of Relevance to RIO+20 - "Inclusive Green Growth: For the future we want"
- Veolia Reply to UE Consultation on RIO+20
- UNEP Decoupling Report 2011
- Resource Revolution: Meeting the World's energy, materials, food, and water needs. A McKinsey & Company study, November 2011.