THE EARTH TIMES
DECEMBER 15 1994
Business groups merging for Sustainable
By Ashali Varma
The Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Industry Council for the Environment will merge to form the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on January 1, 1995.
The organizations announced that the chairman of the organization will be Rodney Chase. He is currently both managing director of the British Petroleum Company and chairman of the World Industry Council for the Environment. The new organization will be made up of 137 representatives from leading corporations and Bjorn Stigson, executive director of WBCSD said, its aim will be to “provide business leadership as a catalyst for change towards sustainable development and to promote high standards of environmental management in business.” The two founding organizations were both created in conjunction with the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. BCSD was formed to represent the business perspective on environment and development at the Rio conference. The council was established by the International Chamber of Commerce to function as the “industry voice” in the Earth Summit follow up.
Fiona McConnell, who headed the British delegation for the Biodiversity Convention before the Earth Summit, and is now a consultant with WICE, said: “The objective of this merger is to ensure that corporate policies have a sound environmental, economic and sustainable growth built into their agenda.”
Representing WICE at the Conference of Parties in Nassau, McConnell said, “At the moment one of the major priorities for WICE is the implications of the Biodiversity Convention. What we would like to know is what are the most important priorities that the private sector should be looking at. I think our first step will be to examine how to reconcile potential conflict between international trade and the environment which includes GATT, the new World Trade Organization and environmental treaties.”