The business case for sustainable development in the Asian Century


The transformation of the Asian region into the economic powerhouse of the world is not only unstoppable, it is gathering pace.

This morning Corrs Partner and CEO John W. H. Denton joined senior leaders from government, business, civil society and academia to help shape what a sustainable future means for Australia and for the world.

Following the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, world governments have embarked on a process to develop universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will promote an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations. The SDGs would come into effect in 2016.

Monash University, with the support of the Harold Mitchell Foundation, National Australia Bank and the Australian Government, are embarking on a three-year project to provide national and regional leadership in the development of the SDGs and the solutions for implementing them, to ensure they are appropriate to the unique circumstances and development needs of Australia and the Australia-Pacific region.

The project will be carried out through a series of Australia-based and regional workshops engaging senior leaders in a dialogue on what kind of sustainable future we want and how we get there. The workshops will be chaired by Sir Bob Watson, one of the world’s leading scientific experts on sustainability and the UK’s representative on the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. The workshops will be supported by specially commissioned research papers.

The project will also influence national and international processes through direct links with international bodies contributing to the negotiations. It is an initiative of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Monash University is the Regional Centre of the SDSN for Australia/Pacific. The project is also working closely with the National Sustainability Council.

John also spoke and participated as a panel member in a session on the business case for sustainable development.  

Click 'text version' to read John's speaker notes.

Text Version

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