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EcoSummit 2012 E-Newsletter: May 2012

The Role of the Business Community in Restoring our Ecosystems

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring took direct aim at the role of government and businesses in harming our ecosystems. Fifty years later, much has changed. Some of the nation’s largest corporations are restoring wetlands, preserving water quality and restoring nature’s carbon sequestration abilities.

“Sustainable business practices reflect smart corporate self interest,” says Jerry Tinianow, Director of the Center for Energy and Environment for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. “Some businesses recognize that the need for sustainability will always exist. They will always be dependent on water, energy and other inputs that come from natural resources. Sustainable business practices help to ensure continued availability of these inputs as the business moves forward.”

Representatives of some of the world’s largest corporations that seek to ensure the long-term viability of their resources and surroundings will discuss their sustainability strategies during the Business Leaders Forum at EcoSummit 2012. The session is designed to share best practices and to encourage more businesses to recognize that ecological sustainability should be an integral part of every business strategy.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has estimated that the world’s population will grow by 30 percent by 2050, and that shrinking resources and potential climate change “will limit the ability of all 9 billion of us to attain or maintain the consumptive lifestyle that is commensurate with wealth in today’s affluent markets.”

Faced with such dire predictions, forward thinking corporations are adopting sustainable business practices to ensure a stable supply of natural resources for their industrial processes, their employees and their customers. Sustainable practices can be utilized as an effective tool to manage these corporate risks.

“Multinational corporations, because of their size, have substantial influence when it comes to practices that ensure the resources they are using are sustainable,” according to Tinianow. “Such businesses have a special responsibility to engage in practices that maintain the ecosystem services on which they depend. It’s really in their self-interest.”

During the Business Leaders Forum, attendees will hear from the likes of Cassie Phillips of Weyerhaeuser Company, Mark Weick of The Dow Chemical Company and Diane Fitzgerald of American Electric Power. Rick Schostek, Senior Vice President of Honda America Manufacturing, Inc., will moderate the session.

See other articles in the May 2012 newsletter:

- Ecological Sustainability: Restoring the Planet’s Ecosystem Services
- Nobel Winner to Address EcoSummit 2012
- Welcome to Columbus
- Connecting a City to its Natural Treasures

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