SDG Business Forum Will Report on Private Sector Achievements

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on July 18, 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030 – including USCIB, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda.

Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward. The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

For more information and registration please visit: http://www.sdgbusinessforum.com/

Potter Gives Statement on Climate Change at ILO Conference

USCIB Senior Counsel Ed Potter is currently attending the International Labor Organization (ILO) International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland (June 5-16) as a U.S. employer delegate. The ILC is discussing pressing global issues such as women at work, application of labor standards, peace and stability, migration and climate change.

Potter delivered the following statement on June 12 during the 2017 Plenary Statement on the Director General’s report on behalf of business regarding climate change and the Paris Agreement:

 

2017 Plenary Statement on the Director General’s Report

Adopted in 2015, the Paris Agreement on climate change is now the globally recognized framework for international climate action and represents a reset of the global approach to climate change.  Anything adopted by the ILO on climate change prior to 2015 should be reevaluated in light of the Paris Agreement.   The Paris Agreement is historic because it envisions self-determined actions and pledges by all countries, according to their priorities and resources.  Importantly, it eliminated the binary Kyoto annexes which divided 193 countries into 2 arbitrary categories.

We are concerned by language in the Director General’s Report that seems to over-simplify the challenge ahead, portraying a straightforward “green” vs. “dirty” choice of technologies, industries, products and jobs.  We do not live in a binary “green” job “brown” job world, and similarly we do not have “green” versus “brown” energy or technology.  The reality is more complex, and there are many other stakeholders involved – notably consumers.  The fact is that all industry sectors will need to transition to cleaner and more efficient operations and energy sources.  The scale of transformation required to meet Paris commitments cannot be met without business finding ways to respond to growing populations seeking reliable affordable energy sources to run businesses, schools, hospitals, etc.  Whether the discussion is on ICT and smart grids, or new ways to sequester carbon that could extend the use of fossil fuels while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, or zero emissions transport, a fuller and more multi-dimensional picture of enterprises is needed.  It is not about the coal miner versus the solar panel installer – it is much more complex.

Transitions will be felt in the business community in the form of opportunities for new industries or products across a wider array of sectors than those normally referred to as “green” through supply and value chains and arising from regulations, costs or innovations that result in more disruptive change or harm to competitiveness.  Without growth and productive employment, there is less room for the successful protection of the environment and the promotion of decent work.  As enterprises are the primary source of job creation, a business-friendly environment remains an essential priority.   Sustainable jobs and sustainable businesses go hand in hand.

The Paris Agreement calls not just on governments but other societal partners, including the business community to act.  The business community has shown strong and continuous commitment to support the Paris Agreement and its implementation.  Delivering the Paris commitments depends on the full engagement of business and employers.  In fact, after my country’s recent withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, nearly 1000 large companies and investors joined a “We Are Still In” movement, representing 120 million Americans and 40 percent of the US economy at the state and municipal level.  Local attitudes are important and matter.

As highlighted in the Director General’s Report, over the past two years. the UNFCCC has launched its work on “Just Transition”.  Yet until last month, the UNFCCC did not adequately or directly involve business and employers on these topics – while the ILO has been consulted throughout, as has the ITUC.  It is only in the last 2 months that business or employer views have been communicated to the UNFCCC via a joint submission by the IOE and ICC, and by IOE and ICC participation in the May 9 Bonn meeting on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.   The Roundtable highlighted the need for enhanced involvement of employers and the need for direct consultation with them in the future on just transition and other employment related matters.  Tripartism is a cornerstone of this Organization and should apply both inside and outside the ILO.

Much of the Director General’s report focuses on the labor market churn that will occur as a result of the transition from “dirty” to “green” jobs.  The strong impression the reader gets from his Report is that climate change requires a dedicated, special program by the ILO.  Our view is that structural change and job impact of climate change is not at all dissimilar from other ongoing structural change resulting from technological change.  Ask any expert about the future of work and you will hear about a world dominated by artificial intelligence, 3D printing, an on-demand economy, and five generations in a virtual workplace where almost any worker can perform almost any work from anywhere they choose. The ILO approach to climate change needs to be knitted together and treated holistically with other ILO structural change initiatives and the future of work.

Thank you, Mr. President.

 

Robinson Signs B20 Recommendation on Investment in Africa

The B20 recommendations Boosting Investment in Africa- Towards Inclusive Compacts in Africa have been signed in Berlin by the majority of the B20 taskforce and cross-thematic group Chairs and Co-Chairs, including USCIB President and CEO Peter M Robinson, who serves as Co-Chair of the B20 Employment and Education Taskforce. Robinson also recently attended the B20 Summit in Berlin in May. The Partnership with Africa is one of the key priorities in the German G20 presidency, as well as in the B20.

The B20 Secretariat offered these recommendations to the press and B20 Chairman Jürgen Heraeus introduced the recommendations at the G20 Africa Partnership – Investing in a Common Future Conference. BDI, the pre-eminent German business group, hosted the event as a partner within the framework of the Sub- Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) on June 12 in Berlin.

The “African Economic Outlook” is an annual report produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Speakers at the African Economic Outlook will include President of the Republic of Rwanda S. E. Paul Kagame, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Thomas Silberhorn and Secretary-General of the OECD Ángel Gurría.

Business at OECD Gears Up for OECD Ministerial Council Meeting

Business at OECD (BIAC) will be hosting executive leadership, including USCIB’s President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, and Citi’s Rick Johnston, USCIB board member and BIAC vice chair at their General Assembly in Paris this week. Business at OECD will also participate in the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, which will bring together economy, finance and trade ministers from OECD countries to discuss strategic orientations for the coming years under the theme “Making Globalization Work.”

Business at OECD will provide guidance to OECD and governments on addressing the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, drawing upon its 2017 statement to Ministers, which includes recommendations on:

  • Support a better business environment and map competitiveness
  • Create the conditions to benefit from trade and investment on a level playing field
  • For growth and investment, ensure good governance and predictable tax policies
  • Increase participation by promoting the skills and competencies to thrive in the digital era
  • Focus on entrepreneurship

USCIB Statement on U.S. Withdrawal From the Paris Climate Agreement

New York, N.Y., June 1, 2017 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s most successful global companies, issued the following statement on U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement:

“Like many others in the U.S. business community, USCIB is disappointed by the news that the Trump administration has elected to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. In our view, this decision could leave U.S. companies unprotected and exposed to possible discrimination under the Paris Agreement if the U.S. government is not at the table.

“The Paris Agreement is redefining global markets for energy and environmental goods and services, as well as providing major economic stimuli for companies. U.S. energy security and access were never threatened by the Paris Agreement, which allows each national government to define its own climate action plan. Moreover, the U.S. stands to benefit from trade and investment opportunities that the Paris Agreement will set in motion.

“We are interested to learn more about how the U.S. will pursue new arrangements while remaining in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. While it does so, we encourage the U.S. to stay involved on behalf of U.S. economic interests, and to bring U.S. solutions to this crucial global effort. We encourage the administration to reform areas of the UN climate framework toward more fair, transparent and balanced approaches that are responsive to U.S. circumstances and aspirations.

“USCIB members are committed to advancing sustainable development and environmental solutions through international cooperation, and have supported the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement since their inception. Multilateral forums and cooperative approaches are the best way to address the transboundary challenges of energy access and innovation, climate change and sustainable development. In close coordination with our global business partners, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF), USCIB will continue to champion U.S. business interests in the UNFCCC, and will seek opportunities to promote U.S. environment and energy solutions through business engagement and implementation, and to broadly deploy climate-friendly investment and innovation.

“USCIB has represented U.S. business interests in the UN climate negotiations for over 25 years, and during that time has benefited from the diligent efforts of U.S. government representatives at the table to advance and defend U.S. business interests, often under challenging conditions. We express thanks to the current U.S. climate negotiating team, and others with whom we have worked, for their extraordinary efforts on our behalf.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
Tel: +1 212 703 5043
jhuneke@uscib.org

USCIB Urges Wider Business Role at UN Financing for Development Forum

The second UN Financing for Development (FfD) Forum took place May 22-25 at UN headquarters in New York, serving as follow-up to the inaugural FfD Forum in 2015. The 2017 Forum provided impetus for the implementation of FfD outcomes and the delivery of means of implementation of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event featured expert segments on the seven action areas of the Addis Agenda, as well as other specific issues that UN member states mandated the FfD Forum to address. It also featured a dedicated dialogue with stakeholders, including business and industry.

Numerous business representatives took part both as panelists and speaking from the floor, including John Danilovich, secretary general of ICC and Ariel Meyerstein, senior vice president, corporate responsibility, Citi. USCIB Vice President for Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy gave remarks during the segment on trade, capacity building, technology and innovation,  noting the increasing role the private sector has been taking with regards to mobilizing finance, investment, solutions and expertise for sustainable development, as well as the increasing role of business in the evolution to an SDG-guided international framework of cooperation and implementation.

“Trade is a powerful vehicle for development, and it also creates a network for broad deployment of innovative technologies and knowhow,” Kennedy said. However, she acknowledged that much remains to be done to deliver practical results and to implement programs and enabling environments that will allow the business community to contribute more significantly, noting, “the level and scope of engagement need to be radically scaled up from business communities in developing countries.”

 

Countdown to UN High-Level Political Forum: Ending Hunger, SDG 2

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on sustainable development will be held from July 10-17 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” focusing in part on Sustainable Development Goal 2: ending hunger and ensuring access by all people to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

As part of USCIB’s countdown to the UN HLPF, USCIB is highlighting some initiatives that its member companies are working on to end poverty in all its forms, while subsequently meeting the SDG targets set by the UN. These examples can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website. An impactful project to note is one initiative by McDonald’s and Sustainable Coffee. McDonald’s supports sustainable agricultural production at every aspect of the supply chain. Teaming up with the international non-profit TechnoServe and the Sustainable Commodities Assistance Network (SCAN), McDonald’s trains 13,000 farmers in Guatemala and Central America to produce coffee more sustainably while simultaneously increasing crop yields. This added technical assistance will help strengthen the local economy, improving the lives of many smallholders.

Tune in for next week, when we will highlight company initiatives on Goal 3: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.

UN High Level Political Forum Countdown: Ending Poverty

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on sustainable development will be held from July 10-17 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The theme for the forum will be “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” focusing in part on Sustainable Development Goal 1: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.

As part of USCIB’s countdown to the UN HLPF, USCIB is highlighting some initiatives that its member companies are working on to end poverty in all its forms, while subsequently meeting the SDG targets set by the UN. These examples can be found on USCIB’s Business for 2030 website and highlight initiatives by DuPont, MasterCard and Qualcomm.

Tune in for next week, when we will highlight company initiatives on Goal 2: ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Health Care

What’s at Stake for Business

  • Global health issues have risen to the top of the agenda as policymakers struggle to ensure the best quality health care at an affordable price.
  • There are limited opportunities for business to engage with the WHO. Engagement with the OECD on health care issues is critical as the OECD’s work often mirrors WHO priorities.
  • The challenges to health care systems and the implications of non-wage labor costs affect competitiveness and economic growth as the economy is broadly dependent on healthy and active populations and workforces.
  • To address NCDs, governments are looking at ways to further regulate food and beverage products. This may result in sin taxes, labeling, marketing, advertising and trade restrictions.

Current Priorities

  • Encourage the OECD to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to health care solutions.
  • Promote disease prevention and healthy lifestyles.
  • Demonstrate that business is instrumental in finding innovative solutions for sustainable health care systems and in addressing the urgent health care challenges we face today, such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
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Chair

Vacant

Staff

Michael Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Assistant
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

USCIB at Work

Through our global network, we are able to showcase the private sector’s positive contributions to health care issues as well as provide industry expertise into the policymaking process:

  • At the OECD, where we are engaging with the OECD Health Committee to promote business as a solutions partner for today’s global health challenges.
  • At the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Committee on World Food Security, where we are working with UN officials and policymakers to address global poverty and food security.
  • At UN Headquarters, where we are laboring to ensure that the business community is seen as an essential partner to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recent Advocacy Engagement

USCIB is the lead voice for U.S. business within international forums determining health care policies and is:

  • Reinforcing the need for multistakeholder initiatives and the central role of science and evidence-based data in developing policy.
  • Making the case that fiscal policy is complex and sin taxes are not the best tax practice.
  • Advocating for a holistic approach to assessing the value of medicines.

Who We Are

The USCIB Health Care Working Group is composed of USCIB member companies representing a range of business and industry sectors. Advocacy priorities are determined that reflect consensus among the members.

Mission

The Working Group aims to support multistakeholder approaches to global health policy by providing international organizations with expertise and policy advice on:

  • The broader economic and social consequences of national health care policies.
  • The long-term innovative potential of the health care sector and the broader health ecosystem.
  • The quality and costs of health care labor and technology.
  • The health care related impacts on the capacity of employers to compete and provide jobs and support for their employees.

News Stories

OECD Holds Workshop to Measure Business Impact on Well-Being (3/3/2017) - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organized a workshop on measuring business impacts on people’s well-being in Paris last month.
Public Private Collaboration Crucial for Success of Health Reforms (1/17/2017) - Addressing the OECD Health Committee yesterday, Business at OECD (BIAC) emphasized the private sector role as partner both in bringing innovative solutions in health and well-being and in intensifying public-private collaboration with OECD and governments. Ministers from over 35 OECD and partner countries discussed the Next Generation of Health Reforms. This reflects the challenge that […]

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Product Policy

product_policy

 

Chair

Ernest S. Rosenberg
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Cleaning Institute

Vice Chair

Pat Casano
Senior Counsel, Environmental
Global Operations, Environment, Health & Safety
GE

Staff

Michael Michener
Vice President, Product Policy and Innovation
202-617-3159 or mmichener@uscib.org

Mia Lauter
Policy and Program Assistant
212-703-5082 or mlauter@uscib.org

What’s at Stake for Business

  • Chemicals are central to the modern economy and are used in the production of thousands of different products.
  • Inconsistent and unbalanced regulations will undermine market access and related industry initiatives.
  • Any new requirement that is inconsistent with existing guidelines would be unnecessarily burdensome
    to companies.

Current Priorities

  • Balanced approach to chemicals management that recognizes and respects intellectual property rights and protection of confidential business information.
  • Sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycles based on hazard and risk evaluations.
  • Regulatory coherence between differing chemicals management regimes.

USCIB At Work

USCIB represents U.S. business at high-level international conferences to defend and promote our members’ views.  When we succeed, our positions are reflected in the principles put forth in the chemicals management guidelines that are shaped:

  • At APEC, where we are the lead multisectoral U.S. business association at the APEC Chemical Dialogue advocating for the protection of confidential business information and regulatory cooperation with other chemicals management regimes.
  • At the UN, where we are ensuring that confidential business information and other industry interests are adequately protected in the SAICM Chemicals in Products (CiP) program, a voluntary initiative designed to give guidance on how to share relevant information on chemicals in products.
  • In Washington, where we meet regularly with U.S Environment Protection Agency and State Department officials to ensure that the U.S business position is well represented in various international chemicals management deliberations.

Recent Advocacy Engagement

USCIB brings together the upstream and downstream chemicals users from our member companies to provide industry expertise and inform discussions on international chemicals management guidelines. USCIB is also:

  • Providing technical work into the CiP project and is advocating for risk-based assessments of chemicals and the protection of confidential business information.
  • Pushing for regulatory cooperation among APEC regulators.

Who We Are

The USCIB International Product Policy Working Group is composed of USCIB member companies representing a range of business and industry sectors. Advocacy priorities are determined that reflect consensus among the members.

Mission

The Working Group works to ensure that U.S. products have timely access to markets around the world by advocating for product and chemical policies that minimize the risk of chemicals while reflecting good science, protecting confidential business information and avoiding technical barriers to trade.  USCIB influences chemicals management and product stewardship developments in a variety of international forums:

  • The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
  • The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  • The OECD

How to get involved

All USCIB members are eligible to participate in the USCIB International Product Policy Working Group. If you are a member and would like to be added to this working group or if you would like more information on how to become a member of USCIB, please contact:

Alison Hoiem
Senior Director, Member Services
(202) 682-1291 – ahoiem@uscib.org

News Stories

USCIB to Attend APEC Summit in Lima (11/15/2016) - USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, as a business delegate and representative of the U.S. APEC Business Coalition.
USCIB’s Medina Leads Discussion at ChemCon 2016 (10/24/2016) - With companies facing increasing pressure to divulge details of the chemicals in their products, USCIB's Helen Medina spoke at a top chemicals policy conference in Toronto.

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Press Releases

USCIB Welcomes Michael Michener as Vice President of Product Policy and Innovation (2/21/2017) - The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) announced that Michael Michener, a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive, has joined USCIB’s staff as vice president of product policy and innovation.
U.S. Business Urges Revision of European Chemicals Guidelines (9/13/2006) - New York, N.Y., September 13, 2006 – The United States Council for International Business, which represents America’s top global companies, has voiced concern to European Union authorities over proposed implementation guidelines for EU legislation, known as REACH, to regulate over 30,000 chemicals and products made from them. REACH, which stands for “registration, evaluation, and authorization […]

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