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24 Major Companies Representing $500 Billion Announce Commitments Demonstrating the Business Imperative of Valuing Nature

As world leaders and global companies descend on Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 24 major companies have come together to make a powerful statement that safeguarding Earth's natural assets is a business imperative


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | June 18, 2012

As world leaders and global companies descend on Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 24 major companies representing over $500 billion in combined revenues — Alcoa, CH2M HILL, The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Darden Restaurants, Dell, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, EKO Asset Management, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, FEMSA, General Motors, Hanesbrands, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International, Nike, Patagonia, TD Bank, Unilever, The Walt Disney Company, Weyerhaeuser and Xerox — have come together to make a powerful statement that safeguarding Earth's natural assets is a business imperative.

Through a collective effort organized by the Corporate Eco Forum and The Nature Conservancy, these companies are undertaking ambitious initiatives to safeguard critical forest, freshwater and marine systems that produce goods and services pivotal to long-term business continuity and global economic growth. While individual approaches vary, together their commitments underscore a compelling case for action by advancing core business interests, including reducing risks, controlling costs, protecting brands, and fueling growth.

“Given the role that trees and forests play in the health of the global environment, and because fiber is such an important aspect of our business, Kimberly-Clark is exploring innovative solutions to provide the high quality products customers and consumers demand, while ensuring sustainability of the world’s forests ” explained Suhas Apte, Vice President of Global Sustainability for Kimberly-Clark. “We’re proud to announce our aggressive new target to significantly reduce our Forest Fiber Footprint, including a goal to transition at least 50 percent of wood fiber sourced from natural forests to alternate fiber sources by 2025, and to join so many other leading companies who are taking steps to value nature in their business models.”

The compilation of new commitments will be launched in Rio through a dynamic open-source e-report, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital. Designed for senior business executives, The New Business Imperative illustrates the tangible value that nature provides in concise, business-friendly language. Presented in a highly readable electronic format, the report features 24 new commitments and includes 70 additional company examples across industries. It also outlines a practical action framework and highlights the best-available tools for companies wishing to incorporate ecosystems and biodiversity into business strategy.

“The companies featured in our report are united in the view that immediate leadership to safeguard well-functioning ecosystems is a business imperative, not a matter of philanthropy,” said MR Rangaswami, Founder of the Corporate Eco Forum. “Rio+20 is an extraordinary opportunity to help a critical mass of global influencers grasp the true economic value of our planet’s natural assets and infrastructure. By mobilizing the power of our membership, and providing a platform for business to lead, we hope to catalyze even more private sector action and accelerate scalable solutions that can really have an impact.”

Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy added, “For a growing number of companies, “going green” is now a core business strategy. Those companies committed to making environmental initiatives a core part of their strategy and factoring the value of nature into their business plans are the ones that will lead their industries in earnings growth, productivity, innovation and employee satisfaction. They will also help in solving global environmental and social development challenges in the decades ahead. Leading corporations recognize that smart investments in nature made now can yield positive returns for their business, local communities and the environment.”

This special initiative is the product of a 2011 Clinton Global Initiative commitment by the Corporate Eco Forum and The Nature Conservancy to catalyze a new round of private sector-led commitments to safeguard natural assets. “At risk are critical life-support systems that are also the lifeblood of our global economy,” said P.J. Simmons, Executive Director of the Corporate Eco Forum and co-author of The Green to Gold Business Playbook. “These natural systems far outcompete man-made technology in their capacity to produce goods and services vital to global economic stability and growth. The farsighted companies engaged in this initiative grasp what’s at stake, and their leadership is pointing the way to solutions.”

Download the full e-report, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital.

COMPANIES AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS IN RIO

  • CH2M HILL, Vanessa Rodrigues Puerta, Enterprise Sustainability Communications
  • Disney, Beth Stevens, Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation
  • The Dow Chemical Company, Neil Hawkins, Vice President of Sustainability
  • EKO Asset Management, Eron Bloomgarden, Partner
  • FEMSA, Vidal Garza, FEMSA Foundation Director
  • Kimberly-Clark, Suhas Apte, Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability  Marriott International, Mari Snyder, Vice President, Social Responsibility
  • Weyerhaeuser, Marvin Ray Risco, President of Weyerhaeuser Solutions and Vice President Timberlands
     

EVENTS/PRESENTATIONS IN RIO

Official Launch Events for joint CEF-TNC e-report, The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital:

  • June 18th, 2:00-2:45 pm, Press Conference for The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital, featuring commitment announcements by Disney, Kimberly-Clark and Marriott International, Corporate Sustainability Forum, Windsor Barra Hotel
    LIVE WEBCAST: http://bit.ly/CSFwebcast
  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Enhance Brand, Fuel Growth and Reduce Risks,” featuring commitment announcements by Coca-Cola, Disney, FEMSA, and The Dow Chemical Company, BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

Schedule of Company Presentations in Rio:

The Coca-Cola Company, Jeff Seabright, Vice President Environment and Water Resources
Commitment Name: Engaging Bottlers in Sustaining Global Water Systems

  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Enhance Brand, Fuel Growth and Reduce Risks,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

Disney, Beth Stevens, Senior Vice President Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation
Commitment Name: Investing in Natural Solutions

  • June 18th, 2:00-2:45 pm, Press Conference for The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital
    LIVE WEBCAST: http://bit.ly/CSFwebcast
  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Enhance Brand, Fuel Growth and Reduce Risks,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

The Dow Chemical Company, Neil Hawkins, Vice President of Sustainability
Commitment Name: Determining the Business Value of Ecosystem Services in Brazil

  • June 16th, 4:00-5:30 pm, “Corporate Action on Biodiversity,” Corporate Sustainability Forum, Windsor Barra Hotel
  • June 17th, 3:30-5:00 pm, “Valuing Nature: TNC-Dow Collaboration,” Side Event at the US Center Pavilion
  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Enhance Brand, Fuel Growth and Reduce Risks,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

FEMSA, Vidal Garza, FEMSA Foundation Director
Commitment Name: Latin American Water Funds Partnership

  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “Leveraging Natural Capital to Enhance Brand, Fuel Growth and Reduce Risks,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

Kimberly-Clark, Suhas Apte, Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability
Commitment Name: Kimberly-Clark Plans to Reduce Its Forest Fiber Footprint

  • June 18th, 2:00-2:45 pm, Press Conference for The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital
    LIVE WEBCAST: http://bit.ly/CSFwebcast
  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “The Future from Fiber: Forest Solutions for a Sustainable World,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel
  • June 19th, noon-2:15 pm, Commitment Announcement , High-Level Luncheon, BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

Marriott International, Mari Snyder, Vice President, Social Responsibility
Commitment Name: Amazon’s Juma Reserve and the Sustainable Development of Fairfield by Marriott Hotels in Brazil

  • June 18th, 2:00-2:45 pm, Press Conference for The New Business Imperative: Valuing Natural Capital
    LIVE WEBCAST: http://bit.ly/CSFwebcast

Weyerhaeuser, Marvin Ray Risco, President of Weyerhaeuser Solutions and Vice President Timberlands
Commitment Name: Driving Sustainability for Additional Value with Forest Solutions and Ecosystem Services

  • June 19th, 10:15 am-noon, “The Future from Fiber: Forest Solutions for a Sustainable World,” BASD Business Day, Windsor Barra Hotel

ABOUT THE CORPORATE ECO FORUM
The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an elite, invitation-only membership organization comprised mainly of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 20 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion.

CEF provides a year-round safe, neutral space for influential executives to exchange best practice, collaborate, and innovate. Participants are almost exclusively VP and C-level executives across multiple business functions: CEOs, CSOs, CTOs, CIOs, CFOs, CMO, VPs for Supply Chain and more. The diversity of executives, coupled with the cross-industry nature of CEF, is intended to create a world-class platform to accelerate sustainable business problem solving and innovation. The CEF Annual Meeting has been named by Catchpole as one of the "Top 10 Sustainability Forums Worldwide.” The Forum’s original research on “Why Sustainability is Now the Key Driver of Innovation” was the cover story of the September 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review. CEF’s Chair, P.J. Simmons, is co-author of The Green to Gold Business Playbook with Daniel Esty.

Members
3M, Air Products, Alcoa, American Express, ArcelorMittal, Boeing, BP, Cargill, CA Technologies, CBRE, CH2M Hill, Chevron, Cisco, The Clorox Company, Coca-Cola, Darden Restaurants, Dell, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Ecolab, Enterprise Holdings, Ernst & Young, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, Ford Motor, Gamesa, GE, General Motors, Google, Grubb & Ellis, Hanesbrands, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, The Jones Group, Kaiser Permanente, Kimberly-Clark, Kohl's, KPMG, LANXESS, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, McKinsey & Co., Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, News Corporation, Nike, Northrop Grumman, Oracle, Patagonia, PG&E, Procter & Gamble, Sabre, Sanmina-SCI, SAP, Siemens, Sony Pictures, SunGard, Sybase, Symantec, Tata Consultancy Services, Tiffany & Co., Timberland, TPG Capital, Transocean, Unilever, UPS, Veolia Water, The Walt Disney Company, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, Weyerhaeuser, and Xerox


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org

Contact information

Geraldine Henrich-Koenis
The Nature Conservancy
(703) 314-1137
ghenrich-koenis@tnc.org


Amy O’Meara
Corporate Eco Forum
(857) 222-8270
amy@corporateecoforum.com

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