Global environmental trends are creating new risks and new opportunities for businesses in every industry. Indeed the transition to a green economy, now in its early stages, will open up great opportunities for companies that understand the implications of these trends and account for them in their planning and business strategy. Conversely, companies that fail to understand the changes, or that act too slowly, will put value at risk. GEO-5 for Business is written for business leaders who are responsible for ensuring that risks and opportunities are understood, addressed, and turned into long-term competitive advantage for their companies. The report assesses the operational, market, reputational, and policy implications of environmental trends on ten business sectors:
The report describes business risks and opportunities based on information derived from existing science, business, policy, and other literature. It also includes brief real-world examples that illustrate the nature of some of these risks and opportunities. The report contains extensive citations throughout, allowing readers to easily access source documents that provide further details on specific trends and impacts.
GEO-5 for Business builds on the findings of UNEP’s fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) report, released in June 2012. GEO-5 assessed the current state and trends of the global environment, in which population growth, economic development, urbanization, and globalization are driving degradation across numerous environmental indicators. Out of 90 environmental goals and objectives assessed in GEO-5, significant progress could only be shown for four. Chapter 2 of the report briefly summarizes the drivers and trends described in GEO-5. Both the specific trends in GEO-5 and the broader picture of decline have significant implications for companies around the world, regardless of size or sector, some of which are reflected in the following table.