22. There was recognition that industrial development was crucial for economic growth, eradicating poverty and employment creation, as well as the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. Managing the natural resource base in a sustainable and integrated manner was essential for sustainable development. Increasing resource-use efficiency and enhancing technological innovation offered opportunities to reduce costs and increase competitiveness and employment, as well as to delink economic growth and environmental degradation. In that regard, the role of business and industry was important. International financing and technology cooperation and transfer were important to developing countries and their businesses and industries to facilitate adoption of cleaner, more efficient technologies. Industrial development was closely linked to the further integration of developing countries and countries with economies in transition into the global economy.
23. The Chairperson?s proposed decision text includes actions on issues on which delegations agreed ad referendum, such as creating an enabling environment for sustainable industrial development; enhancing domestic environmental governance; adopting improved environmental management practices and environmentally sound technologies; enhancing the mobilization of technical and financial resources for basic infrastructure; supporting technological upgrading for sustainable industrial development; enhancing efficient and sustainable use by industry of natural resources and energy; strengthening business capacity for small and medium-sized enterprises; promoting sustainable tourism, including ecotourism; improving social and environmental performance through voluntary innovative management and reporting practices; enhancing voluntary public-private corporate environmental and social responsibility and accountability; promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production by all countries, and promoting effective voluntary business and consumer actions in order to enhance sustainable consumption and production.
24. Discussion on subregional, regional and international cooperation included consideration of actions, agreed ad referendum, on the need to encourage continued international efforts to support developing countries in building capacities for environmental impact assessments; pursue progress in the field of sustainable consumption and production patterns through full commitment to the Marrakech process; improve market access for products of importance to developing countries by reducing or, as appropriate, eliminating tariffs, including the reduction or elimination of tariff peaks and tariff escalation as well as non-tariff barriers; work towards the successful completion of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations; support trade-related capacity-building in developing countries; support technology transfer on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed; strengthen North-South, South-South and triangular technology cooperation, and promote and disseminate activities relating to trade and investment opportunities in developing countries, including small island developing States.
37. Many countries stressed the importance of taking an integrated approach to the four thematic issues, addressing in a balanced way the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development to enhance effectiveness, influence lifestyle changes and assist in the realization of complementary and mutually reinforcing policy options and actions. Cross-cutting issues needed to be mainstreamed into policy approaches, programmes and development cooperation activities, including through public participation and in particular a strong role of women in decision-making. The means of implementation were critical to turning commitments into actions.
38. The Chairperson?s proposed decision text includes actions on a number of issues on which delegations agreed ad referendum, such as ensuring that energy, industry, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change plans and policies are integrated into national sustainable development strategies, and other policy frameworks; strengthening good governance at all levels, in both the public and private sectors; implementing the global partnership for development and enhancing the momentum generated by the 2005 World Summit; promoting North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation; building partnerships and voluntary initiatives with all relevant stakeholders and major groups; creating an enabling environment for investment; encouraging private international financial flows and public-private partnerships; facilitating greater flows of foreign direct investment; ensuring that investment and trade policies are non-discriminatory; working towards an early conclusion and development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round of trade negotiations; advancing and fully implementing the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building; reaffirming the importance of achieving the goal of universal primary education by 2015; enhancing gender mainstreaming in all areas of sustainable development; integrating health concerns including those of the most vulnerable populations into strategies, policies and programmes and recognizing and utilizing as appropriate the knowledge and experience of the nine major groups identified in Agenda 21.
39. While the meeting was unable to reach a full consensus on all the means of implementation, critical elements in all four thematic areas included the need to mobilize financial resources, from both the public and private sectors, increase official development assistance (ODA), microcredit and innovative funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency, cleaner fossil fuels and other energy; create a positive investment climate at all levels to attract private capital; encourage transfer and dissemination of cleaner energy technologies, including advanced, cleaner fossil fuel technologies; increase investments and strengthen public/private partnerships in research and development (R and D); promote foreign direct investment (FDI) for the development of the resource base; encourage international financial institutions to increase their funding in developing countries; encourage investment in new and more efficient production facilities and products; strengthen investment in capacity-building; enhance access to credit, including microfinancing, by small-scale entrepreneurs; build capacity for monitoring, construction and updating of emissions inventories; promote the development, demonstration and deployment of technologies for adaptation and mitigation, and build capacity for research on climate change impacts and training for technical capabilities, particularly in developing countries.
Decision 6/2. Industry and sustainable development*
1. The Commission on Sustainable Development reaffirmed that in order to achieve
sustainable development, Governments, in cooperation with non-State actors, need to
undertake greater efforts to integrate economic, social and environmental goals into industrial
policy and decision-making. Towards this end, Governments need to expand and intensify
cooperation with industry, trade unions and other groups of civil society. The Commission
took note of the Chairman?s summary of the industry segment of its sixth session. The
following recommendations of the Commission are based on the report of the Secretary-
General on industry and sustainable development15 and the report of the Inter-sessional Ad
Hoc Working Group on Industry and Sustainable Development (see annex).
A. Industry and economic development
2. The Commission recognized that industrial policy and responsible entrepreneurship
are vital to sustainable development strategies and should encompass a variety of interrelated
economic, social and environmental objectives, such as the encouragement of an open,
competitive economy, the creation of productive employment and the protection of the
3. The Commission emphasized that in order to achieve the objectives of sustainable
development, Governments need to integrate economic, social and environmental concerns
in their policy-making and to promote economic growth and international competitiveness
of industry through macroeconomic policies. The Commission agreed that, in order to
stimulate domestic private enterprise, boost economy-wide competitiveness and attract foreign
direct investment, policy reforms should aim at creating an enabling policy environment, inter
alia, through improvements in infrastructure and education, encouragement of research and
development, facilitation of exports and liberalization of domestic markets. In this regard,
the development of small and medium-sized enterprises should receive special attention.
4. The Commission stressed that for developing countries and economies in transition,
foreign direct investment is often an important source of capital, new technologies,
organization and management methods, and access to markets. The Commission also stressed
that to promote foreign direct investment flows to developing countries, in particular to the
least developed among them, greater emphasis should be placed by the United Nations system
on promotional and information-dissemination activities relating to investment opportunities
in the developing countries. In this respect, the programme of the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization on investment promotion has proved to be an effective instrument
for facilitating investment in developing countries and therefore should be strengthened.
5. The Commission emphasized that official development assistance remains a main source
of external funding, particularly for countries in Africa and the least developed countries, and
plays a significant role, inter alia, in capacity-building, infrastructure, poverty eradication
and environmental protection in developing countries, and a crucial role in the least developed
6. The Commission recognized that industry plays a critical role in technological
innovations and research and development activities, which are crucial for the economic and
social development of any country, as well as in the development, diffusion and transfer of
16 Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6?12 March 1995 (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.8), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.
environmentally sound technologies and management techniques, which constitute a key
element of sustainable development.
7. The Commission emphasized that it was important for the achievement of sustainable
development for Governments to develop and maintain an enabling policy framework based
on a sound regulatory foundation complemented with a judicious mix of economic instruments,
voluntary initiatives and agreements and public-private partnerships.
B. Industry and social development
8. The Commission recognized that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between
social and industrial development, and that industrialization has the potential to promote,
directly and indirectly, a variety of social objectives such as employment creation, poverty
eradication, gender equality, labour standards, and greater access to education and health care.
In this regard, the overriding policy challenge is to promote the positive impacts while limiting
or eliminating the negative impacts of industrial activities on social development. The
Commission noted that improved access to education and health care has, in general, been
associated with the pace of industrialization and recommended that Governments continue
to give them priority.
9. The Commission recognized that industry contributes to social development objectives
through, inter alia, the creation of productive employment, compliance with labour standards,
corporate social initiatives and attention to human resources development and worker welfare.
Industry continues to face such challenges, which can be addressed through better dialogue
with trade unions and Governments.
10. The Commission acknowledged that, in dealing with the problems of industrialization,
social policy has not always been gender neutral. In view of persistent gender disparities in
areas such as income, employment, education and health, Governments, industry, trade unions,
women?s organizations and other organizations of civil society should work together towards
the elimination of discrimination against women.
11. The Commission emphasized that among the central concerns of the international
community should be the growing international income disparities among and within countries
and the risk that some countries and groups might fall deeper into poverty and exclusion. The
World Summit for Social Development provided a strong basis for international cooperation,
including with the business community. In this regard, policies should build on the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development.16
C. Industry and environmental protection
12. The Commission noted that, as the world has become more industrialized, there have
been increasing environmental pressures such as harmful emissions and waste, which have
had global, regional or local impacts. These include, at the local level, urban air pollution,
contamination of soils and rivers and land degradation; regionally, acid rain and water and
coastal zone contamination; and globally, climate change, ozone layer depletion, loss of
biodiversity, increased movement of hazardous waste and increased land-based marine
13. The Commission acknowledged that environmental sustainability and industrial
development are mutually supportive, given appropriate technology, institutions, policies
and systems of incentives.
14. The Commission stressed that the overriding task facing Governments is to maximize
the positive influence of industrial activities on economic and social development, while
minimizing the negative impact of production and consumption on the environment. To this
end, Governments should review their regulatory policies and systems of economic incentives
and disincentives and undertake other actions such as capacity-building, environmental data
collection and enforcement that support the environmental protection efforts of industry and
civil society. Governments should encourage the wider dispersion and implementation of
industry?s voluntary initiatives and agreements and sharing of best practices.
15. The Commission called upon industry to increase its efforts, as appropriate, in the areas
of responsible entrepreneurship and employment of various corporate management tools,
including environmental management systems and environmental reporting, to improve its
environmental performance. Governments and industry must work together to develop policies
to ensure that conformance with standards is not too costly or difficult to achieve for
companies in developing countries and for small and medium-sized enterprises.
16. The Commission recognized that eco-efficiency, cost internalization and product policies
are also important tools for making consumption and production patterns more sustainable.
In this regard, attention should be given to studies that propose to improve the efficiency of
resource use, including consideration of a tenfold improvement in resource productivity in
industrialized countries in the long term and a possible factor of four increase in industrialized
countries in the next two or three decades. United Nations Environment Programme/United
Nations Industrial Development Organization Cleaner Production Centres have demonstrated
the compatibility between environmental protection and increased resource productivity, and
the lessons learned in these activities should be implemented as broadly as possible.
D. Future work
17. The Commission recognized the value of the interactive dialogue between
representatives of Governments, industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and
international organizations in the industry segment of its sixth session, which focused on four
themes: responsible entrepreneurship, corporate management tools, technology cooperation
and assessment, and industry and freshwater. Similar dialogues should be held in the future,
taking into account that their preparation must take place in the intergovernmental process
and with balanced representation of all major groups from developed and developing
18. The Commission noted the potential value of a review of voluntary initiatives and
agreements to give content and direction to the dialogue between Governments and the
representatives of industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and international
organizations. As a first step, representatives of industry, trade unions and non-governmental
organizations should examine voluntary initiatives and agreements to identify those elements
that can be considered for this review. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of
the United Nations Secretariat could provide assistance in this process. Special attention
should be given to the balanced involvement in the process of representatives from all major
groups from developed and developing countries. The Secretariat should make the results
of this review available to Governments. The Commission invited the Department, in
cooperation with the United Nations Environment Agency and the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization to examine how voluntary initiatives and agreements could
17 Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3?14
June 1992 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: Resolutions
adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.
18 Ibid., annex I.
contribute to the future work of the Commission and to report on the result of this work to
the Commission at its seventh session.
19. The United Nations Environment Programme is currently undertaking work on the
voluntary commitments and initiatives taken by the financial sector that promote sustainable
development. The work of the financial sector should be further developed. The Commission
underlined the importance of such voluntary commitments and initiatives and invited the
United Nations Environment Programme to report on its work in this area.
Report of the Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on
Industry and Sustainable Development
1. The Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Industry and Sustainable Development
met in New York from 2 to 6 March 1998 in preparation for consideration of the issue of
industry and sustainable development by the Commission on Sustainable Development at
its sixth session (New York, 20 April?1 May 1998). Its discussions were based on the
recommendations and proposals for action contained in the relevant reports of the Secretary-
2. The outcome of the Working Group meeting is not a negotiated text, although its
contents were thoroughly discussed. In accordance with the expert nature of the Working
Group and the functions assigned to it, the present report focuses on key issues and
conclusions and suggests elements and policy options for further consideration and negotiation
during the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
II. Industry and sustainable development
3. Agenda 2117 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 18provide the
fundamental framework for further policy discussion and action on matters related to industry
and sustainable development. Although the role of business and industry, as a major group,
is specifically addressed in chapter 30, issues related to industry and economic development,
consumption and production patterns, social development and environmental protection cut
across the entirety of Agenda 21, including its section 4, Means of implementation.
4. Poverty eradication is central to sustainable development strategies, and industry has
a key role to play in this respect. Sustainable industrial policy encompasses a variety of
interrelated economic, social and environmental objectives, including the encouragement of
an open, competitive economy, the creation of productive employment in order to provide
sustained increases in household income and social development, and the protection of the
natural environment through the efficient use of resources. In order to achieve the objectives
of sustainable development, Governments need to integrate economic, social and
environmental concerns into their policy and regulatory frameworks, and industry needs to
promote sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production and
responsible entrepreneurship, in accordance with country-specific conditions.
5. Increasing industrialization and per capita levels of production have led to a
corresponding increase in the impact of industrial activities on the environment and health.
At the local level, industrial emissions contribute to urban air pollution and the contamination
of soil and water. At the regional level, the impact of such emissions includes acid rain, water
contamination and the contamination of coastal zones. The major impact at the global level
includes climate change, depletion of the ozone layer and the loss of biological diversity.
These environmental challenges will be more and more shaped by growing resource and
energy demands, and the issues (like climate change) cannot be dealt with by end-of-pipe
regulation alone. Hence, the promotion of cleaner production and improvements in
environmental performance and environmentally sound technologies and products are
becoming increasingly important. Some businesses and industries have taken significant first
steps to develop, implement and improve their policies and practices to promote sustainable
development. The implementation of environmental management systems and practices in
industry are, therefore, important. The way in which companies are able to respond efficiently
and effectively to these challenges is seen as a cornerstone in the necessary innovation process.
B. General recommendations
6. Further action is needed to adjust policy approaches that have unintended adverse
environmental or social effects and to establish a policy framework that fosters sustainability,
including encouragement to companies of all sizes and in all sectors to integrate sustainable
development into their business strategies, planning and operations. At the macroeconomic
level environmental protection and ?eco-management? can contribute to the modernization
of the economy and to creating and securing jobs in industry.
7. Governments are encouraged to develop enabling policy environments and undertake
reforms that provide more consistent economic and other incentives and disincentives to make
markets work better and encourage business and industry to move faster towards sustainable
development. Some policy instruments used in developed countries might be useful for the
more advanced developing countries. For others at the early stages of industrialization, there
are opportunities to integrate sustainability from the outset. For developing countries,
particularly the least developed countries, further efforts, supported by international
cooperation, will need to be made in order to encourage capacity-building and investment
in sustainable industrial development.
8. Since the role of the private sector has expanded in most economies, effective
sustainable development policies require constructive dialogue and partnerships between
Government at all levels, industry, trade unions and civil society, including women?s
organizations. There is a need to build and extend this dialogue. There are many good
examples of the new partnerships that are required. They include partnerships between
Government and industry to tackle global challenges like climate change, partnerships
between companies in developed and developing countries to create and spread cleaner
technologies and improved environmental management, partnerships at national and local
levels between companies and all of their stakeholders, and increased dialogue between
industry and the United Nations system.
9. Consistent with Agenda 21, the development and further elaboration of national policies
and strategies and integrated approaches, particularly in industrialized countries, are needed
to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption and production patterns, while
strengthening, as appropriate, international approaches and policies that promote sustainable
consumption patterns on the basis of the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities, applying the ?polluter pays? principle and encouraging producer
responsibility and greater consumer awareness.
10. Governments, industry and organizations of civil society should, as appropriate, use
the media, advertising, marketing and other means to promote greater producer and consumer
awareness of sustainable development in order to encourage a shift to more sustainable
consumption and production patterns. Industrialized countries should take the lead in this
11. Sustainable development should be encouraged with continuous innovation and the
adoption of environmentally sound technologies to change current production and
consumption patterns. The challenge is to implement measures that will have a significant
long-term impact on preventing and mitigating pollution and resource consumption alongside
continued growth in gross domestic product. Eco-efficiency, cost internalization and policies
for products and services are important tools for making consumption and production patterns
12. Foreign investment can play a significant and positive role in achieving sustainable
development ? for example, through the diffusion of environmentally sound technologies,
including environmental management techniques and tools, and in capacity-building and
poverty alleviation through employment generation. It can, however, contribute to
environmental problems when undertaken with inadequate regard to environmental, economic
and social consequences. Consideration should be given to an assessment of the implications
for sustainable development of foreign investment.
13. Business and industry should be encouraged to develop and implement voluntary
guidelines and codes of conduct which can help to promote and disseminate best practices
in environmentally and socially responsible entrepreneurship, and to develop further those
that already exist. To be effective, business and industry need to develop and implement such
codes by themselves, for that will ensure their commitment to the process. Equally important,
their credibility with stakeholders requires that the codes stimulate positive action that goes
well beyond ?business as usual?. Therefore, an essential element is transparency in monitoring
and public reporting of progress.
14. Governments at all levels, industry, trade unions and other organizations of civil society,
in particular women?s organizations, should work together towards the elimination of
discrimination against women in employment, education, property ownership and access to
credit and to ensure that women have effective equal access to economic opportunities and
social participation. Governments should ensure that their social and industrial policies are
15. Particular efforts are needed to promote small and medium-sized enterprises and
entrepreneurial potential, in, inter alia, the informal sector in developing countries.
Sustainable development requirements need to be translated into concrete action for small
and medium-sized enterprises. Governments, with the support of the international community,
as appropriate, can develop policy frameworks to support investment, including the provision
of micro-credit, and access to technology know-how and training. Large companies and
transnational corporations can provide support by working through the supply chain, including
16. Training should be utilized by all sectors and societies to promote cleaner production.
The training should stress the integration of economic, social and environmental matters as
Government, industry and civil society implement the policies and programmes.
C. Recommendations for Governments
17. Within a supportive international environment, Governments should create an enabling
policy environment in order to encourage domestic private enterprise and economy-wide
competitiveness through improvements in infrastructure and educational, financial and legal
institutions; encourage research and development; and facilitate exports and the liberalization
of domestic markets. These reforms can encourage investment, innovation, diffusion of
technology and more efficient use of resources.
18. Governments should continue to promote the integration of environmental and industrial
policies, with emphasis on the preventive approach. Governments need to adopt policies and
regulations that set clear environmental goals and objectives for industry through strategic
environmental policies at the national and subnational levels. They also need to develop and
promote appropriate policy frameworks to help mobilize the full range of domestic and foreign
resources from all sectors, including industry, in support of sustainable development.
19. Since not all developing countries can attract adequate levels of foreign direct
investment for their industrial development, official development assistance remains a main
source of external funding for them, particularly in Africa and in the least developed countries.
Official development assistance plays a significant role, inter alia, in capacity-building,
infrastructure, poverty alleviation and environmental protection in developing countries, and
a crucial role in the least developed countries.
20. Development strategies should encompass official development assistance and should
include the effective use of all possible means of promoting sustainable development and the
facilitation of private investment, trade, technology transfer, and utilization of science and
technology, tailored to the specific conditions and needs of each country. It is urgent that
measures be taken to foster and improve capacity-building over the long term.
21. While not replacing official development assistance, foreign direct investment offers
developing countries and economies in transition access to additional capital, new
technologies, organization and management methods, and markets, as well as opportunities
to exploit complementarities between domestic and foreign investment. A stable policy
environment is necessary to attract foreign direct investment and to ensure confidence among
domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors. Ways and means of encouraging foreign direct
investment flows between developing countries should be explored.
22. Governments in developed countries should encourage foreign direct investment to
assist developing countries and economies in transition in their development in a way friendly
to the environment and supportive of sustainable development. The commitment of foreign
investors to sustainable development is required while they pursue their commercial interests.
23. To ensure that such investments are supportive of sustainable development objectives,
it is essential that the national Governments of recipient countries provide appropriate
regulatory frameworks and incentives for private investment, including those that promote
the availability of micro-credit. Therefore, further work should be undertaken on the design
of appropriate policies and measures aimed at promoting long-term investment flows to
developing countries for activities that increase their productive capability and at reducing
the volatility of those flows.
24. When devising and implementing environmental regulatory frameworks, Governments
should seek to ensure that such frameworks encourage, as appropriate, private sector activities
that promote sustainable development. The traditional method of command and control, based
on effluent and emission standards, should be developed or modified, as appropriate, with
ample participation of industry and civil society, to become an enabling factor and the basis
for a judicious mix of economic instruments, voluntary industry initiatives and public and
25. There is a need for making existing subsidies more transparent in order to increase
public awareness of their actual economic, social and environmental impacts, and for
reforming or, where appropriate, removing them. Further national and international research
in this area should be promoted in order to assist Governments in identifying and considering
phasing out subsidies that are market-distorting and have socially and environmentally
damaging impacts. Subsidy reductions should take full account of the specific conditions and
the different levels of development of individual countries and should consider potentially
regressive impacts, particularly on developing countries. In addition, it would be desirable
to use international cooperation and coordination to promote the reduction of subsidies where
they have important implications for competitiveness.
26. Governments should encourage the implementation of environmental management
systems. In order to widely disseminate environmental management concepts in small and
medium-sized enterprises, especially in developing countries, the instruments and methods
of environmental management have to be adapted to their specific capacities and needs,
making them easier to apply and less costly. Networks of intermediaries that can assist small
and medium-sized enterprises in improving their environmental performance should be
27. Governments, at the national level, are encouraged to address the issue of occupational
health and safety standards in small and medium-sized enterprises and in industry.
28. Increased efforts are needed by Governments, in cooperation with industry, trade unions
and civil society, to ensure universal compliance by industry, including informal enterprises,
of core labour standards as contained in the Conventions of the International Labour
Organization. Such standards include freedom of association, the right of collective
bargaining, prohibition of forced and child labour, and non-discrimination in employment.
29. Governments can set a good example and create a market for more environmentally
friendly products and services by providing, as appropriate, adequate infrastructure,
establishing goals on procurement that take account of environmental factors and encouraging
all relevant governmental bodies to introduce environmental management systems.
Governments can improve the quality of information on the environmental impact of products
and services and, to that end, encourage the voluntary and transparent use of eco-labelling.
30. Social objectives should be an integral part of sustainable development, and the
overriding social policy challenge for Government and industry is to promote the positive
impacts of industrial activities on social development, while limiting or eliminating the
negative impacts. This can be achieved by various means, in particular through improved
access to education and health care. Governments should give priority to ensuring universal
access to basic education and to expanding access to secondary education. Tax incentives,
for example, may be useful to encourage companies to invest in training and education for
their workers. Governments and civil society should also address the problem of rapidly
expanding labour forces, especially youth labour.
19 Adopted at the third session of the Conference of the Parties, on 11 December 1997.
31. Since the creation of employment plays a pivotal role in the alleviation of poverty,
industrial policies should promote linkages between enterprises in the formal and informal
sectors, including transnational corporations.
32. Governments, where appropriate, should cooperate with industry, trade unions and other
concerned organizations of civil society in expanding, strengthening and ensuring the
sustainability of social security schemes. Governments should also ensure that the benefits
of pension systems are secure and transferable between employers. Moreover, Governments,
in cooperation with industry, should ensure that such coverage is as broad as possible and,
where feasible, based on mandatory worker and employer participation.
33. The fulfilment of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets agreed upon in the Kyoto
Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change19 needs to be
achieved within set time-frames in developed countries. The fulfilment of commitments
assumed by different countries, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities, is important.
34. Attention should be given to studies that propose to improve the efficiency of resource
use, including consideration of a tenfold improvement in resource productivity in
industrialized countries in the long term and a possible fourfold increase in resource
productivity in industrialized countries in the next two or three decades. Further research is
required to study the feasibility of these goals and the practical measures needed for their
implementation. Industrialized countries will have a special responsibility and must take the
35. The concept of eco-efficiency should not be a substitute for changes in unsustainable
lifestyles of consumers, and the pursuit of eco-efficiency also requires enhanced efforts to
assist developing countries in their efforts to promote sustainable consumption and production
patterns, by improving access to financial resources and environmentally sound technologies.
36. Voluntary initiatives by all subsectors of industry have been a valuable tool in protecting
the environment. Governments should continue to encourage voluntary initiatives by industry,
in both the formal and informal sectors, including voluntary and transparent codes of conduct,
charters and codes of good practice, and the conclusion of voluntary agreements. Effective
monitoring and follow-up programmes with stakeholder participation are needed, and industry
should provide better and more complete dissemination of information of their voluntary
initiatives. In addition, the assessment of progress made throughout a sector or country needs
to be facilitated by developing a set of relevant indicators and metrics.
37. In order to strengthen domestic technological capabilities, it is useful for Governments
to develop a national science and technology strategy and to support capacity-building to
promote partnerships with industry. Greater cooperation between industry and public research
and development bodies is needed to develop the skill and knowledge base necessary for a
successful domestic technology strategy and the absorption of imported technologies.
38. Technology transfer and cooperation and the development of the human and institutional
capacities to adapt, absorb and disseminate technologies and to generate technical knowledge
and innovations are part of the same process and must be given equal importance.
Governments have an important role to play in providing, inter alia, research and development
institutions with incentives to promote and contribute to the development of institutional and
39. Control and influence over the technological knowledge produced in publicly funded
research opens up the potential for the generation of publicly owned technologies that could
be made accessible to the developing countries and could be an important means for
Governments to catalyse private-sector technology transfers. Proposals for the further study
of the options with respect to those technologies and publicly funded research and
development activities are welcomed.
40. The Governments of developed countries are invited to encourage private-sector
companies in their countries to transfer environmentally sound technologies to developing
countries. Such transfers should be underpinned by matching technical assistance and the
transfer of education and skills, taking into account the unique circumstances and
characteristics of small and medium-sized enterprises.
41. The ongoing process of globalization may bring with it a higher rate of technological
progress and diffusion. Innovations in industry and their diffusion will no doubt be among
the most important mechanisms for progressively delinking economic growth from
environmental degradation. The dynamics of innovation in industry thus deserve careful study
so as to determine what triggers innovation and how innovations are taken up by society.
Studies are also needed on the possible environmental and social effects of innovation.
Policies, including incentives, are needed which can steer innovation and investment in
directions conducive to sustainable development.
D. Recommendations for industry
42. Companies can enable consumers to make more informed choices by providing reliable
and accurate information on the impacts, and where possible, conditions of production and
qualities of products and services, through their marketing and advertising activities,
environmental reporting and improved stakeholder dialogue.
43. Industry and civil society should work with Governments to strengthen secondary,
vocational and advanced education and to ensure that it meets the developmental needs of
society and the economy. This includes fair treatment of employees and constructive training
44. Environmentally oriented management should aim at both preventing environmental
damage and encouraging sustainable use of natural resources through, for example, more
efficient use of energy, water and raw materials; the reduction of emissions into the air, water
and soil; the reduction of noise impacts; the reduction of waste; and the development of
environmentally sound products and services. Environmental management systems and
practices suitable to particular circumstances can enable business to control its environmental
impacts and stimulate awareness of sustainability as a key business issue. To maintain and
enhance competitiveness over the longer term, companies need to integrate environmental
and social sustainability into their strategic planning. This includes developing cleaner
products and processes that use resources more efficiently and minimize environmental
45. Industry should act to improve its environmental performance through appropriate
implementation of environmental management systems. For example, transnational
corporations should consider setting a time-frame within which to fully implement such
systems. At the same time, Governments and industry must also work together to develop
policies to ensure that compliance with standards is not too costly or difficult to achieve for
companies in developing countries. National certification schemes should be based upon the
principles of transparency and non-discrimination and should not be used as non-tariff trade
46. Large corporations should apply best practice in their own branches, both domestically
and abroad. Companies are encouraged to provide environmentally sound technologies,
supported by appropriate management techniques and training, inter alia, so as to help
companies in other countries, particularly developing countries, to develop and implement
environmentally sound policies. Those companies and corporations should also be proactive
in promoting the implementation of core labour standards of the International Labour
47. Chambers of commerce and business organizations in developed and developing
countries should be encouraged to cooperate in the transfer of technology and in the
development of management tools and institutional frameworks for sustainable development.
48. There is a growing trend among a variety of stakeholders to hold industry accountable
and responsible for the environmental impact of its operations and products throughout their
entire life cycle. The industry and business sectors should respond positively to these demands
by continuing to develop voluntary codes of conduct, charters and codes of practices. Industry
and business should observe these codes when operating in developing countries and in
economies in transition, in particular where environmental enforcement is still being
49. The financial sector has an important role to play in promoting sustainable development.
Voluntary commitments and initiatives taken by the financial sector (banks, savings and
micro-credit institutions, and insurance companies) which promote sustainable development
should be further developed and implemented, and strategies for monitoring progress should
be developed. Since financial institutions play an important role in sustainable development
in developing countries, their policies may include requirements and incentives to stimulate
sustainable development and to report on their progress.
E. Recommendations for the international community
50. The principles of transparency, mutual recognition and non-discrimination, which serve
as building blocks for the multilateral trading system, should also serve as basic principles
in other areas, such as sustainable development. The development of environmental standards,
voluntary codes of conduct and eco-labelling should be viewed as facilitating tools to ensure
the fulfilment of environmental objectives, rather than as necessary elements to be checked
for the achievement and measurement of sustainability.
51. The international community needs to assist developing countries and economies in
transition in their efforts to facilitate their adoption of production technologies that reduce
environmental pressures while, at the same time, allowing them to be more competitive in
international markets. Therefore, there is a real need to disseminate information about
environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on a broader scale. The United
Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme,
the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and other relevant bodies should
be invited to focus their programmes in order to promote the transfer of environmentally sound
technologies, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries.
52. The international community, working notably through the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, other United Nations bodies
active in the implementation of chapters 30 and 36 of Agenda 21, and non-governmental
organization partners, should strengthen the links between education and industry leading
to sustainable development by assisting developing countries in their national efforts to
strengthen secondary, vocational and advanced education.
53. When promoting measures favouring eco-efficiency, developed countries should pay
special attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular by encouraging positive
impacts, and to the importance of avoiding negative impacts on export opportunities and on
market access for developing countries and, as appropriate, for countries with economies in
transition. Implementation of environmental measures should not result in disguised barriers
54. Industrialization is a key element in promoting sustainable development in developing
countries, particularly in Africa, and the least developed countries. It plays an important role
in the efforts of those countries to eradicate poverty, create productive employment and
integrate women into the development process. The business community, especially the small
and medium-sized enterprises, have a particularly important role in enhancing
industrialization. There is a need for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization,
the United Nations Environment Programme and other relevant United Nations bodies to
enhance their activities in developing and implementing sustainable industrial development
strategies, including taking into account the implementation of the Second Industrial Decade
55. The international community, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
and other relevant United Nations bodies are encouraged to provide appropriate financial
and technical support to enable industries in developing countries to comply with national
environmental goals and objectives through strategic environmental policies at the national
and subnational levels.
56. Foreign direct investment can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
To promote foreign direct investment flows to developing countries, in particular to the least
developed among them, greater emphasis should be placed by the United Nations system on
promotional and information-dissemination activities relating to investment opportunities
in the developing countries.
57. There is a need for a further assessment of the implications of foreign investment for
sustainable development, building on past work and taking into account relevant current
activities. Such an assessment should take into account all existing relevant activities and
processes and build on work undertaken in preparation for the fifth session of the Commission
on Sustainable Development. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
should be invited to investigate the issue and report the results to the Commission at its
seventh session. Furthermore, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
and the World Trade Organization should report on their relevant activities.
58. Multilateral financial institutions, through their investment agreements, programmes
and projects, should contribute to sustainable development and the use of environmentally
59. Any negotiations on multilateral investment agreements should be participatory,
transparent and non-discriminatory. The negotiations of these agreements should include the
specific social, economic and environmental needs of developing countries. A multilateral
agreement on investments is currently being negotiated in the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development. Without prejudice to the clear understanding in the World
Trade Organization that future negotiations, if any, regarding a multilateral agreement on
investments will take place only after an explicit consensus decision, future agreements on
investments should take into account the objectives of sustainable development, and when
20 See Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6?12 March 1995 (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.8).
21 Ibid., chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.
developing countries are parties to those agreements, special attention should be given to their
needs for investment.
60. Full implementation of the recommendations of the World Summit for Social
Development20 would effectively address growing international income disparities among
and within countries and the risk that some countries and groups might fall deeper into poverty
and exclusion. Policies are needed to implement the commitments expressed in the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development21 to, inter alia, expand productive
employment, reduce unemployment, enhance social protection and reduce the vulnerability
of the poorest groups. The International Labour Organization has a central role in monitoring
the implementation of relevant labour standards and in stimulating patterns of economic
growth that provide job opportunities. Concerted action by interested countries for the
implementation of the 20/20 initiative is making a significant contribution to some developing
countries, particularly the least developed.
61. Development of policies to implement the outcome of the Fourth World Conference
on Women, which reaffirmed the advances made at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development and emphasized the need to mainstream a gender perspective
into the development agenda, is of great importance.
62. Further work should be undertaken at the international level to develop criteria to
improve corporate environmental reporting. The United Nations Environment Programme
and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development could take the lead in that
respect, in cooperation with other organizations, as appropriate.
63. Reflecting the sectoral focus on freshwater, the United Nations Environment
Programme, working jointly with other relevant United Nations bodies, should be invited to
cooperate with the relevant industry sectors to develop a voluntary statement of business-led
commitment on the protection and sustainable management of water resources.
64. The secretariats of international conventions on the environment should consider the
need to include technology and other technical information in a ?clearinghouse? to facilitate
fulfilling the commitments of the conventions.
65. Concern was expressed regarding the impact of the current intellectual property regime
and the need for protection of intellectual property rights in the transfer of environmentally
sound technologies. The international community should promote, facilitate and finance, as
appropriate, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and the
corresponding know-how, in particular to developing countries, on favourable terms,
including concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the
need to protect intellectual property rights as well as the special needs of developing countries
for the implementation of Agenda 21. Current forms of cooperation involving the public and
private sectors of developing and developed countries should be built upon and expanded.
It is important to identify barriers and restrictions to the transfer of publicly and privately
owned environmentally sound technologies with a view to reducing such constraints, while
creating specific incentives, fiscal and otherwise, for the transfer of such technologies.
66. South-South cooperation is an important instrument for facilitating the diffusion of
technology and industry and as a complement to North-South relations. South-South
cooperation could be further strengthened through such innovative mechanisms as trilateral
arrangements. Such mechanisms should be supported as an important means of achieving
sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty. The United Nations Environment
Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and other relevant
United Nations bodies should be invited to sustain and strengthen their programmes that
promote the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, particularly to small and mediumsized
industries in developing countries. Regional cooperation should also be encouraged
F. Future work
67. Relevant international organizations should study the different voluntary schemes that
have been formulated with regard to industry, the effects of the technologies used to cope with
problems and the prospects for introducing them elsewhere. It is important that, where
necessary, they should create a framework to support the strengthening of efforts by the
68. The Commission should consider, with industry, how follow-up to the dialogue
established with industry might be maintained and developed to ensure effective and
continuing contributions from industry to the Commission?s work programme. In so doing,
the Commission should also consider how industry, through its international and sectoral
organizations, should be consulted and associated with the follow-up to that dialogue. The
Commission should, in cooperation with other relevant intergovernmental bodies, industry,
trade unions, non-governmental organizations and other major groups, establish a process
to review the effectiveness of voluntary initiatives intended to promote sustainable and
equitable business practices. It is also important that the Commission continue to address
the role of industry in sustainable development in the context of different sectoral and crosssectoral
themes allocated for its future sessions. The result of the work undertaken in the
follow-up to the Joint Statement on Common Interests by the Secretary-General of the United
Nations and the International Chambers of Commerce could be taken into account in further
dialogue with industry in the Commission.
69. Governments and industry should be encouraged to improve, in general, their reporting
of progress in voluntary initiatives and environmental protection and, in particular, as a
follow-up to the industry segment at the sixth session of the Commission. Such reporting and
follow-up activities should have the active involvement of the Commission, the United Nations
Environment Programme, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization and others ? for example, the
International Chambers of Commerce and the World Business Council on Sustainable
Development, at the international level, and trade associations at the subsectoral level. The
involvement of trade associations at the subsectoral level may be useful for ensuring better
reporting in key subsectors such as energy and transport, mining, cement, paper and pulp,
iron and steel, and chemicals. Discussion of changing consumption and production patterns
at the seventh session could provide the first opportunity for such enhanced voluntary