On 15 February, the Green Economy Coalition held the first of five Green Economy Debates, focused on 'Measuring What Matters', in preparation for Rio+20. The debate picked up on the three propoals for alternative metrics in the Rio+20 negotiating text: 1) the call for more integrated corporate reporting; 2) the propoals for metrics that go beyond GDP; 3) the momentum for a series of Sustainable Development Goals.
Our proposition is that in order for these proposed metrics to be transformational then these conversations at the corporate, national and international level need to be aligned. We brought together a panel of experts to gather their insights and perspectives:
- Richard Mattison, CEO, Trucost
- Teresa Fogelberg, CEO, Global Reporting Initiative
- Farooq Ullah, Head of Policy & Advocacy, Stakeholder Forum
- Camilla Toulmin, Director, IIED
The proposition prompted some energetic discussion from the panel and the audience. Here's a quick snapshot of the conclusions but do read the full report from the evening, which we will be taking forward into our preparations for Rio+20.
- There is huge momentum behind each of these different agendas from North and South, and from NGOs and businesses.
- Linkages, particulary between the corporate and the national level, have begun to emerge but a much stronger government framework is required to catalyse transformation.
- Corporate reporting is an important step in the transition to a green economy. However, all too often businesses lack the tools or the insight to make connections to the wider environmental and social context in which they operate. So, corporate reporting needs to be accompanied by a clearer national framework to guide their operations.
- Alternative GDP indicators already exist so we need to begin a timebound process for moving forward. Support is coming from all quarters of the world including USA, EU, Botswana, Brazil, Ghana and Australia.
- Sustainable Development Goals can only be successful if they are underpinned by sound, tangible and scientific indicators and information from corporations and governments.
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