Ready Set Go! Rio+20 starts
By Eric Hespenheide - June 21, 2012
And so it starts! What an especially exciting time to be in Rio de Janeiro! I am here for some of the numerous events being held over the next few days in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the original Rio summit on the environment held here in 1993. In fact, this week's much-anticipated event has been given the catchy name of "Rio+20," because of this milestone year. The more formal name is the United Nations Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum and it kicks off this evening with an opening ceremony and reception.
Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, the world's largest, voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, told me last night that there will be close to 5,000 participants here for the three days of meetings and networking. With nearly 100 sessions--and given the high quality of the various presenters--it is going to be difficult to choose which ones to attend. One, of course, will be an easy choice, because I have been asked to moderate a panel on "The Case for Corporate Sustainability Management and Reporting in Developing Markets." I am pleased to say that I have five great co-panelists, including Ernst Ligteringen the Executive Director of the Global Reporting Initiative.
Right now, I'm headed out to the main conference site of an associated event, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which will kick off next Wednesday. Need to pick up my credentials so I can gain access to activities at that location next week.
Unfortunately, between the events and the networking, there won't be much time to enjoy the sights of Rio, although the Rio+20 event is at a hotel facing the ocean, so occasional glimpses of blue skies and water are nice.
Eric Hespenheide is a partner for Deloitte & Touche LLP, the U.S. member firm.