Markets working to support sustainable development

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Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) is a voluntary industry-led initiative that brings together over industry partners to address sustainability in the ICT sector.

Launched in 2001 in partnership with UNEP, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative has 5 main areas of work:

Biodiversity offsets (Conservation Banking)

Biodiversity offsets are a form of conditional environmental financing. Like their more well-known cousin, carbon offsets, various parties (e.g. governments, companies or individuals) look to compensate the damage they cause in one location by benefitting bidoversity somewhere else. 

ISO 14064-9 Standards

The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.

The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:

WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) looks to limit the negative impact that some regulations and standards may have on free trade, while also allowing members the right to implement legitimate policy objectives including the protection of fauna and flora.

The overarching goal of the aggreement is therefore ensure that ‘unnecessary obstacles to trade’ are avoided. Such obstacles may  include:

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is an independent financial organisation that invests in projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. 

Ceres Coalition and Principles

The Ceres Coalition of investors, environmental organisations and other public interest groups states it’s mission as: ‘Integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and people’. The coalition includes many Fortune 500 companies and is involved in improving the dialogue between multiple stakeholders through engagement and disclosure.

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

Members of Ethical Trading Intiative (EITI) have to adopt the Base Code for ethical trading and sign up to the Principles of Implementation – these require a company to demonstrate its commitment to ethical trade, to integrate ethical trade into core business activities and drive year-on-year improvements. In addition they should support suppliers through training and capacity building and should report on their activities openly and accurately.

The ETI Base Code Principles are that:

The OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) declaration is a policy commitment by member governments to: improve the investment climate; encourage Multi National Enterprises (MNEs) contributions to social and economic development; and minimise and resolve difficulties from their operations. The guidelines are supported by a network of National Contact Points (NCP's), agencies established to help governments adhere to the guidelines.

United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact  (GC) was launched in July 2000 and is a commitment by companies to incorporating environment and development principles within their business structures. Open to any company, The UN Global Compact is a ‘practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices’.

The Carbon Trust Carbon Reduction Label

The Carbon Reduction Label uses carbon foot printing to measure and display the total greenhouse emissions of a product. Products are labelled with a gram/CO2 figure. This is designed to increase the availability of information about the product to consumers and aid their purchasing decisions.

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