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Speaking the business language

Representatives from major firms and top UN Environment officials have explored how deepened ties between their two organisations could lead to win-win situations for business and the environment.

High-level representatives from IKEA, Volvo, Krüger/Veolia and the World Economic Forum were among those meeting with UN Environment’s Executive Director Erik Solheim at a roundtable in Copenhagen, Denmark on 24 November to discuss existing gaps, opportunities and ways of strengthening this relationship. The event was organized in collaboration with the Government of Denmark.

In a first session, successful partnerships with the private sector were laid out in the areas of air pollution, Green Economy and green finance, oceans and seas, nature and conservation and the environmental aspects of conflict and disasters.

Ways in which UN Environment’s expertise could help address resource or ecological constraints faced by companies were then explored. The session also highlighted the importance of private sector engagement for UN Environment’s work and for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the roundtable, a frank discussion was furthermore held on greenwashing and finance. The 2030 Agenda cannot be achieved with public money alone, while the private sector also has valuable technology, innovation and networks to help tackle sustainability challenges.

The UN Environment Head meanwhile spoke on topics such as the Paris Agreement and Emissions Gap report and the contribution public-private partnerships can make to driving sustainable change in media interviews following the event.

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