The Business Case for a Green Economy,
complements and extends the UNEP Green Economy Report.¹ Written for a corporate audience, it illuminates and clarifies the business benefits to companies that pro-actively participate in – perhaps even lead – the transition to a resource efficient and Green Economy. Numerous examples and compelling empirical data demonstrate that business strategies that reflect the attributes of a resource efficient and Green Economy can positively impact the fi-nancial metrics of companies of all sizes.
These examples, from both developed and developing countries, from small-size companies to large multinationals, demonstrate how integrating sustainability into core business activities can generate a positive return on investment. Returns that go beyond the financial component and contribute to the socio-economic and envi-ronmental framework conditions necessary for business to grow and operate suc-cessfully.
As this report makes evident, the benefits to business of adopting greener and more resource efficient practices are obvious, and the consequences to business of ecosystem collapse are disastrous. So, why are sustainability strategies not more widely adopted? Significant barriers remain, most notably the deep-seated financial short-termism that exists in businesses, markets and governments. In addition, many policies, subsidies and incentives offered by governments and markets reward or encourage behaviours and decisions that increase, rather than decrease, environmental impacts.