United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Business & Industry

Working for Sustainable Solutions
A joint initiative for CSD 14 and 15 by the: Page 1 of 2
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) www.iccwbo.org
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) www.wbcsd.org
World Energy Council (WEC) www.worldenergy.org
4 May 2006
Business and Industry Major Group Intervention
14th Session of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD14)
Thematic Discussion: Sustainable Industrial Development for poverty eradication
Compiled by Norine Kennedy, USCIB (not delivered due to time constrains)
Thank you Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, major group colleagues. My name is Norine
Kennedy, and I am speaking on behalf of business groups attending CSD14.
I wish to thank the panelists for their helpful presentations. The challenge ahead is to support
and promote the growth of sustainable businesses, particularly in developing countries.
Industrial development makes pivotal contributions to economic growth, environmental
management and social development ? sustainable development.
Three key areas of required domestic legal and regulatory frameworks to grow sustainable
businesses are set out in a report of the Secretary-General on Strengthening the Role of the
Private Sector and Entrepreneurship in Financing for Development:
· Opening and closing a business?bureaucratic requirements to start up a business are
excessive and time-consuming in many countries and laws and regulations often restrict the
ability of enterprises to restructure or shut down.
· Property rights?in many developing countries a large part of land property is not formally
registered, limiting access to credit and improved land values, especially for small enterprises
and the informal sector; reducing the size of the informal sector should be a prime objective
of public policy.
· Effective enforcement of contracts and protection of creditor rights, which needs a well
functioning court system backed by effective enforcement.
Industrial development and society?s economic, social and environmental goals should be
pursued in a harmonious manner, and there need be no contradiction among them. In this way, a
successful industrial base strengthens society. Many parts of the business community are
engaged in the process of industrial development, and many more depend upon it. As such,
industrial development is clearly an essential component of job creation and other activities of
society as a whole.
Any ?one size fits all? approach to sustainable industrial development is incompatible with the
great diversity that exists within business. The great variety of policies, practices and skillsets of
Working for Sustainable Solutions
A joint initiative for CSD 14 and 15 by the: Page 2 of 2
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) www.iccwbo.org
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) www.wbcsd.org
World Energy Council (WEC) www.worldenergy.org
individual companies attest to this diversity, are a resource of successful approaches, and should
be encouraged. I might say here, that although many have referred to difficulties and hurdles
faced by many SMEs, we also know of SMEs that are innovating and making real efforts to push
the envelope on sustainability and share their ability with others. We should not see them only
as recipients of assistance but also as sources of solutions.
Industrial development enables business-to-business and cross-sectoral cooperation towards
sustainability. The internationalization of industry through supply chain relations, joint ventures
and FDI as well as through locally grown businesses offers new opportunities to developing
countries to participate in cross-border production networks and partnerships. The roles and
activities of businesses often go well beyond the immediate workplace, marketplace and supply
chain. Sustainability is often not limited to areas within a company?s boundaries, such as
manufacturing and plant management, and can be valid for activities upstream and downstream
of a manufacturer?s plant.
Companies spread good practices among customers and employees, suppliers and business
associates in the countries where they operate. In this regard, businesses regard economic,
environmental and social reporting as one element of a continuous dialogue with stakeholders
rather than as a stand-alone exercise, and in the framework of societal transparency more
Industrial development, good environmental practice and technological cooperation work hand
in hand. The use of environmental management systems and other management tools is well
under way in many companies. Waste minimization, pollution prevention and cleaner industrial
production are key elements of continuous improvement and increased eco-efficiency in
industrial operations.
The capacity and willingness of the private sector in developed and developing countries, in
companies of all sizes and sectors, to advance sustainable development is immense and
progress is being made. Yet ultimately, success will depend on the will of local and national
governments to implement the appropriate policy and governance frameworks. Successful
and sustainable industrial development is largely a function of both local private sector and FDI
operating in a conducive market-oriented framework of enforced, science-based, market-oriented
regulations and strong institutions. Protection of intellectual property rights will support
technological, innovation, cooperation and dissemination that is an essential part of these
enabling frameworks. The fight against bribery and corruption must be intensified in Public and
private sectors.