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Business and UN team up to recognise sustainable partnerships at Earth Summit

EMBARGOED for release until Friday, 30 August 2002

Johannesburg, 30 August 2002 – The United Nations and ICC: the world business organization today named ten business partnership programmes from around the world which are making an outstanding contribution to sustainable development.

Ten of the final thirty-two recipients of the ICC/UNEP World Summit Business Award for Sustainable Development Partnerships are to be presented at the Johannesburg Earth Summit tomorrow – from four continents and representing a variety of innovative projects involving companies, environmental groups, local communities and governments - from gas exploration in the Philippines to organic spice farming in Guatemala.

From each partnership, the lead partner is identified – be it a company, NGO, government or local authority. The lead partners, and their partnership projects, are: (in no particular order)

- Alcan Inc (Canada) – for a schools-based recycling programme in Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand and USA;
- Shell (Philippines) – for a gas exploration project in The Philippines;
- Axel Springer Verlag (Germany) – for a programme promoting greater accountability in the newsprint production process;
- Kesko (Finland) – for an initiative reducing packaging waste in their retail stores;
- E7 Network (power generation companies from around the world) – for a project to provide renewable electricity to Indonesian villagers;
- ForesTrade (USA) – for the creation of an international market in organic spices, grown in Indonesia and Guatemala;
- Municipality of Calvia (Spain) – for a programme with local hoteliers to reduce waste produced by the tourism industry;
- BioRe and Coop (Switzerland) – for their efforts to build a market in organic cotton clothing products involving farmers in India and Tanzania;
- Migros (Switzerland) – for its programme to promote sustainable production of palm oil in Ghana for its consumer products;
- Business Trust South Africa (a coalition of Sth African companies and local government) – for an initiative to build the tourism industry and create jobs.

(For full details on the projects, see the ICC website:

Commenting on the awards, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Topfer said: “It is good to see that the 2002 Awards have received such wide interest. I
hope that the award winning partnerships will present inspirational examples
for others to follow and improve upon. We crucially need many more
partnerships that display multistakeholder involvement, accountability and
at the same time benefits to business, helping us to better achieve the goal
of sustainable development."

ICC Secretary-General Maria Livanos-Cattaui said: “ICC congratulates the winners and salutes their vision. It is vital that business is recognized for the constructive role it has to play in the pursuit of sustainable development. Business is not a philanthropic sector. It is interested in building strong markets. The strongest markets are those which are the most sustainable. In Johannesburg, as these companies have demonstrated, business must be recognized as part of the solution."

The final partnerships were assessed and selected by a panel of 12 experts drawn from business, labour, research, environmental groups and the United Nations. Over 120 nominations, spanning 37 countries, were received via ICC National Committees and UNEP Regional Offices.

The ICC/UNEP World Business Awards for Sustainable Development Partnerships will be handed out at a special ceremony tomorrow (Saturday August 31) at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (Hilton Hotel, Sandton,1830).

ICC is the world business organization – the largest private sector association in the world. UNEP is the environment agency of the United Nations. This is the second time they have joined forces to recognise the sustainable development achievements of companies around the world.

The award winners will be publicly announced in the Friday, August 30 edition of the International Herald Tribune.

The award ceremony will take place in the Hilton Hotel, Sandton in Johannesburg, on the evening of Saturday August 31.

For futher information, contact ICC Director of Communications, Bryce Corbett: (in Paris) + 33 6 20 47 32 52 or (in Jo’burg) + 27 83 296 0740. A comprehensive breakdown of the awards and all winners will be available on the ICC website: