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Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Calls for Business Involvement in the SDG Process

18 June 2012: Held from 15-18 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation and Collaboration for the Future compiled voluntary commitments and agreed on a set of recommendations for the Rio+20 process, to be presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The final compilation of voluntary private sector commitments reached 200, covering areas ranging from low- or no-carbon footprints to reforestation, business plans for subsistence farmers and renewal of freshwater sources. In addition, in a wrap-up statement participants endorsed the potential of multi-stakeholder collaboration in making transformational changes on energy, water, food, women's empowerment and other global issues, and the power of private sector innovation to scale up and sustain progress.

Other outcomes included: the launch of a new corporate policy framework to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of policies and practices related to ecosystems and biodiversity; the launch of a social enterprise investment framework; a commitment to develop global voluntary business principles of good practice and policy for sustainable agriculture; a commitment by five stock exchanges to promote sustainable investment; and commitments by over 60 higher education institutions in the Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative. Finally, participants approved via a show of hands a proposal calling for business involvement in the process for establishing the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Held on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the Corporate Sustainability Forum brought together over 1,000 private sector representatives. The Forum was organized by the UN Global Compact, in cooperation with the Rio+20 Secretariat, the UN System and the Global Compact Local Network Brazil. Focusing on the role of business in building a sustainable world, it aimed to promote responsible corporate practices, foster innovation, and encourage collaboration between companies, governments, civil society and the UN. [Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Website] [Global Compact Press Release on Commitments] [Global Compact Press Release on Outcomes] [Global Compact Press Release on SDGs]