The reports highlight that improving energy efficiency in operations, products and services, and the increased use of renewable energy are key priority action areas for business to support the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, while they also emphasize that industry-wide standards should be developed as well as new financing mechanisms to overcome risks associated with the suggested action areas.
8 November 2012: The UN Global Compact and Accenture have released 19 sectoral reports within the theme of “Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity.” The reports identify priority activities and challenges for businesses to support the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.
The reports are based on research and interviews with more than 70 companies and cover 19 industries, including: automotive; chemicals; construction; consumer packaged goods; financial services and insurance; food and agriculture; forest products; health care; industrial manufacturing; information and communications technology; metals and mining; oil and gas; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; professional services; renewable energy; retail; transportation and logistics; travel and leisure; and utilities.
Key priority areas for action identified in the reports include: improving energy efficiency in operations, products and services; increasing the use of renewable energy; reusing waste streams; and increasing in stakeholder engagement and advocacy. The reports also point to ways for business to create value from their support of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, such as by reducing costs, mitigating risks, generating new revenue, and enhancing brand reputation.
The reports emphasize that the lack of global policy and regulatory action should encourage industry to develop industry-wide standards that governments can support, while both public and private actors will need to develope new financing mechanisms to mitigate the risks associated with the recommended action areas. “While government incentives are critical,” notes Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, “sector-wide initiatives will be key to make progress without compromising healthy competition. The business case for action is compelling.” [UN Global Compact Press Release] [IISD RS Summary of the “Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity” Summary Report] [Publication: Sustainable Energy for All: The Business Opportunity– A comprehensive analysis of priority actions across 19 industry sectors] [Publication: 19 Individual Reports]