A New Generation of Sustainable Investment, Trade and Development

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A New Generation of Sustainable Investment, Trade and Development

Sustainability wasn't always a hot theme, particularly in the world of finance. But looking at the new UNCTAD World Investment Report, that'
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#Sustainability wasn't always a hot theme, but the new UNCTAD World #Investment Report says that's quickly changing http://bit.ly/NHkwiB
Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 1:20pm

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Every year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) publishes the World Investment Report, which looks at "non-equity modes of international production and development." And in this year's report, the theme of sustainability was front and center.

Even though the Brundtland Commission defined the term "sustainability" in 1983, its principles had barely been integrated into the world of investment and enterprise development even a decade later. In 1992, representatives from 172 governments met in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, to discuss such pressing problems as climate change, toxic production systems, vehicle emissions and water scarcity. But the UNCTAD World Investment Report from the same year only mentioned the word "sustainable" four times.[1]

Fast forward another ten years, to 2002. The surface of sustainability was still barely scratched, as the UNCTAD report only mentions the word "sustainable" eight times.[2] Then last year, that number jumped to 62.[3] And now, the recently released UNCTAD World Investment Report 2012 mentions "sustainable" a whopping 274 times.[4] Of course, there is a strong connection between that and the fact that the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as "Rio+20" to honor its roots in the original Rio Summit, was held last month.

SUSTAINABILITY: THE NEW CORE OF DEVELOPMENT POLICY

It's a long time coming. The subtitle of the new report brandishes the change in focus regarding international trade and development: "Toward a New Generation of Investment Policies.

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Reynard is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility. A former media executive with 15 years experience in the private and non-profit sectors, Reynard is the co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio that explores transnational progressivism, neo-nomadism, post-humanism and futurism. He is also author of the blog 13.7 Billion Years, covering cosmology, biodiversity, animal welfare, conservation and ethical consumption. He is currently developing the Underground Desert Living Unit (UDLU), a sustainable single-family dwelling envisioned as a potential adaptation response to the future loss of human habitat due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Reynard is also a contributing author of "Biomes and Ecosystems," a comprehensive reference encyclopedia of the Earth's key biological and geographic classifications, to be published by Salem Press in 2013.

Keywords: Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Ban Ki-moon | FDI | Foreign Direct Investment | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Sustainable Finance | Transitional Economies | UNCTAD | United Nations Conference On Trade And Development | emerging economies | sustainable investment

CAMPAIGN: CSR Blogs

CONTENT: Blog

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