USCIB Represents US Business at 6th Session of the UN Environment Assembly  

Chris Olsen and Agnes Vinblad

The 6th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) concluded on March 1 in Nairobi, Kenya. After extensive and, at times, challenging negotiations, Parties adopted 15 resolutions, two decisions and a Ministerial Declaration. According to USCIB Director of Environment & Sustainable Development Agnes Vinblad, UNEA-6 outcomes advance work on further strengthening cooperation for national implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, the sound management of chemicals and waste, enhanced regional cooperation on air pollution, solutions for strengthening water policies, combatting land degradation and more.

As the highest decision-making body on the environment, UNEA decisions shape the global policy agenda across all Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). This session of the Assembly was held under the theme “Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution” with an overall focus on how to increase synergies between MEAs to solve the triple planetary crises.  

USCIB holds official observer status to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been active participants in the UNEA process since its inception in 2014. The USCIB delegation to UNEA-6 included Vinblad, USCIB Policy Manager for Trade & Regulation Chris Olsen and USCIB member company Enveda Biosciences’ Director of Policy and Development Tendai Chisow.

Joining over 5,600 people from across 190 countries at UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, USCIB advocated for constructive business considerations and engaged through the UNEP Business and Industry Major Group – the formal UNEP constituency group for business.  

“The strong outcomes from UNEA-6 yet again shows the critical importance of multilateralism,” said Vinblad. “In a world fraught by conflict and economic uncertainty, the ability of Member States to come together in agreement to work together towards solving some of our most urgent global challenges certainly sends a strong signal on the key role that Multilateral Environmental Agreements continues to play.”   

The 2024 Assembly also included the first ever MEA Day on February 28, which highlighted the role of agreements such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the Paris Agreement. 

USCIB Delegation at UN Talks on Plastic Pollution Stresses Critical Role of Business to Identify Innovation and Implementation Opportunities

Chris Olsen and Agnes Vinblad at INC-3 in Nairobi

USCIB and its members were engaged throughout the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3). INC-2 was held November 13 to 19 at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. 

A USCIB delegation, headed by USCIB Policy Managers Chris Olsen and Agnes Vinblad, followed the negotiations and a range of events prior to and throughout the week. Additional USCIB members made the trip to Nairobi for the negotiations, joining through other observer organizations, and continued to convey how the business community can be solutions providers in the INC process. 

According to Olsen, the negotiations were organized into three contact groups, broadly covering: substantive elements; financing, capacity building and means of implementation; and elements not discussed at INC-2. The results of these groups will be compiled into a single “revised draft text from INC-3” that includes a compilation of all the options proposed in addition to those of the Zero Draft text, as well as a proposal and other submissions regarding those elements that had not been discussed prior to INC-3. The third contact group was also unable to reach consensus regarding intersessional work. This “revised draft text” will be the basis for the negotiations at INC-4, in Ottawa, Canada, next April. 

“Plastic Pollution is such a complex and multidimensional global issue, in need of even more multidimensional solutions,” said Vinblad while reflecting on the issues discussed throughout the week. “At INC-3, we have continued to see firsthand the wide range of views across countries and the wide range of perspectives across industries. It is critical that the INC process continues to be a negotiation inclusive of all observers and maintain a collaborative spirit, recognizing the key role of the global business community in identifying opportunities for innovation and implementation.” 

UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi.
Photo credit: Chris Olsen (USCIB)

INC-3 also saw a changing in its chair, with Gustavo Meza-Cuadra from Peru stepping back into a vice-chair role, and Ambassador Luis Vayas Valdivieso of Ecuador being elected to serve as the Committee’s Chair for INC-4, INC-5, and the final Diplomatic Conference in 2025. This had been agreed upon at the outset of the INC process. The host city of INC-5 was also announced as Busan, Republic of Korea, to take place late November of 2024. 

Regarding the outcomes of INC-3, Olsen went on to stress, “While the lack of consensus regarding recommendations for intersessional work cast a small shadow over the end of the week that many have focused on, the fact of the matter remains that solid progress was made on many important topics that can serve as the foundation for negotiations at INCs-4 and 5 next year. Business needs to be ready to continue to educate and inform policymakers on how we can be partners in addressing these global challenges in the year to come.” 

USCIB Delegation Shares Progress Made on International Instrument on Plastic Pollution

L-R: Agnes Vinblad (USCIB), Christian Gylstorff,(Novozymes A/S), Louise Smith (The LEGO Group), Chris Olsen (USCIB)

USCIB was well represented on the ground at the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-2). INC-2 was held May 29 to June 2 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

A USCIB delegation comprised of USCIB Policy Managers Chris Olsen and Agnes Vinblad, as well as USCIB members LEGO and Novozymes, followed the negotiations and attended a range of events throughout the week. Additional USCIB members attended the negotiations, joining through a panoply of other observer organizations, and the importance of involving the business community in the INC process was conveyed throughout the week.

According to Olsen, negotiations got off to a halting start, as procedural debates regarding the rules of procedure and the need for votes to finalize the INC bureau took a larger portion of time than had been expected, delaying the start of substantive deliberations in contact groups. However, negotiators did well to move past the early impasse and work tirelessly to get through enough substantive discussions for the week to conclude with a clear call for the INC chair to prepare a “zero draft” for consideration at INC-3, which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya this fall. The timeline for negotiations set out by UNEA Resolution 5/14 calls for an agreement to be reached by the end of 2024, leaving only a handful of negotiating rounds left for member states to develop the instrument.

Speaking on the importance of INC-3, Olsen stressed, “The zero draft will be where the rubber hits the road, for countries and for businesses alike. The potential scope and scale, objectives and substantive obligations, means of implementation and implementation measures… views on what will actually comprise the international legally binding instrument will be officially put down as text to be negotiated on. It is imperative that we at USCIB bring to bear as broad a cross-section of American industry views as possible to continue to inform this process.”

A host of side events took place leading up to and alongside the negotiations themselves, where USCIB actively engaged with governments, other stakeholders and key international affiliates. Among these were the UNEP International Forum to End Plastic Pollution in Cities, the U.S. Government’s event “Galvanizing Global Action on Plastic Pollution”, an OECD series “Towards an International Treaty on Plastics Pollution: Reflections on Selected Issues” and a high-level ICC Breakfast Roundtable that brought together UNEP staff, governments and global business voices.

“As U.S. business, we support and welcome an ambitious instrument aimed at working toward the elimination of plastic pollution in the environment,” said Vinblad at the conclusion of the week, “We stand ready to constructively support the process by bringing forth leading private sector voices representing a wealth of technical expertise, on-the-ground experience and best practices learned. We cannot solve this immense challenge through siloed efforts – it takes everyone being at the table.”

USCIB at UNGA77: Perspectives and Summary of Key Events

As the United Nations opened its 77th Session of the General Assembly, USCIB was on hand to inform the deliberations.  USCIB convened several high-level meetings, which delivered impactful and informative dialogues and practical next steps.  Throughout, USCIB highlighted the private sector’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Secretary General’s visionary Our Common Agenda, and to effective and resilient multilateral institutions, led by the UN. Below, we are pleased to share perspectives by USCIB’s leadership—USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and USCIB Board of Trustees’ Sustainability Champion and Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget—on UNGA77 and the private sector’s role, as well as summaries of USCIB events during UNGA77. Finally, we also include a look-ahead at USCIB’s ambitious plan for UN engagement and advocacy for 2023 and beyond by USCIB SVP Norine Kennedy.

Table of Contents:
  1. USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson shares his perspectives on UNGA77 opening
  2. Statement by USCIB Board of Trustee’s Sustainability Champion and Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget
  3. USCIB Launches New Initiative Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing our Common Agenda with Business
  4. High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution
  5. IOE-SHRM-USCIB Global Business Town Hall: A Business Agenda for Action, A Human-Centric Approach
  6. USCIB Hosts Centro Regional del Sector Privada (CR/SP) for a CEO Discussion of SDGs and Supply Chains
  7. Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond by USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy
Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson shares perspectives on UNGA77 opening

No longer on the Sidelines, Committed Business Part of the Main Event during the 2022 UNGA Opening Week

Since its inception, the annual UN General Assembly High-Level opening in New York has provided a platform for world leaders to declare their shared aspirations for the future, and earlier this month, it returned in person for the first time since the pandemic shutdown.  Even during these challenging times, UNGA opening continues to be a show of solidarity where willing nations work together on world problems, despite the diversity of views and realities.  In addition to government representatives, the annual UNGA gathering has provided an opportunity to forge collaborations for action with non-state actors.

When it comes to such collaborations for action, the landscape for UNGA opening has dramatically changed, especially since the introduction of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. There is increasing interest from stakeholders across the board to actively engage, not just in side-meetings, but in the room and at the table – civil society, business, academia among many others.

If we take a step back and consider what this increasingly mainstreamed presence of representatives of the private sector and civil society really means, it is a testament to what the UN has achieved: it has succeeded in raising awareness and sparking commitment, notably from business (and other societal partners) around issues beyond “just talk.” Sustainability considerations across the entire spectrum of SDGs are now integrated into business strategies, targets and objectives.

The perfect formula for success in international cooperation has not yet been discovered.  There is room to improve, but an overabundance of good will is not a bad problem to have, especially in light of recent disruptive events.  That is why USCIB launched its campaign “Moving the Needle: Advancing Our Common Agenda With Business.” This campaign will advance practical private sector solutions, tools, resources and partnerships across the UNGA 77th session’s thematic pillars: Sustainability, Science and Solidarity.

The UN Secretary-General has stated that the international community faces a momentous choice: “will we break through or break down?” This question is more urgent than ever and a strong, resilient and inclusive UN is essential to that breakthrough. For all the challenges that the UN faces, there is no other institution that can bring together 193 countries alongside other non-governmental interests to advance shared goals and objectives towards a better future, and there is no more necessary partner than the business community.   

Business is ready to work with the UN. Why? Because the UN’s success and resilience are critical to the private sector’s ability to operate, create jobs, mobilize resources, and deploy solutions. Time and again, business has leaned into international cooperation for our shared interest. As the only U.S. business group in consultative standing to the UN ECOSOC, USCIB is dedicated to inclusive practical multilateralism, involving business for impact. No longer a side show, the business community is committed to do its part, working with and through the UN system, towards the UN Summits for SDGs in 2023 and for the Future in 2024.

Statement by USCIB Board of Trustees Sustainability Champion and CEO, Novozymes Ester Baiget:

USCIB has released a statement by Ester Baiget, chief executive officer of Novozymes and USCIB Board of Trustees Sustainability Champion.

We are inspired by the UN Secretary General’s Report, Our Common Agenda, and embrace its objective to supercharge implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its innovative ideas for action.  We share the concern of lost progress towards the objectives of the SDGs, and see the urgency of pursuing systemwide change to tackle climate change, plastics pollution and threats to biodiversity.


USCIB Launches New Initiative: Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing Our Common Agenda with Business – September 15
L-R: HE Ambassador Chris Lu and Peter Robinson

On Thursday, September 15, USCIB launched its new initiative called “Moving the Needle (MTN): Advancing Our Common Agenda with Business” with a first roundtable focused on “Tracking Progress, Identifying Gaps.” The session highlighted business innovation, initiatives and partnerships related to information, data and metrics relevant to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and delivering on proposals laid out in the UN Secretary-General’s report, Our Common Agenda (OCA). USCIB member Microsoft generously hosted the event at Microsoft UN Affairs Offices located at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York. High-level speakers included the new President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) H.E. Ambassador Csaba Korosi, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) H.E. Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva, as well as U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform H.E. Ambassador Chris Lu. The main panel featured speakers from USCIB members Deloitte, LinkedIn, Google and RELX who shared their perspective on practical private sector approaches that can fast track the SDGs to accomplish key OCA proposals.

MTN will result in a white paper titled “Business and the UN 2.0,” that will offer proposals on how to enhance private sector interfaces with the UN as integral to practical, networked and inclusive multilateralism. For more information, and to express interest to contribute to the white paper, please contact Agnes Vinblad at

High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution – September 16

On Friday, September 16, USCIB, with the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and American Chemistry Council (ACC), convened a High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution. This off-the-record roundtable focused on how business can play an active and supportive role in the development and deliberations of a legally binding international agreement on plastics pollution, which will begin to be negotiated in November of this year. CEO’s and C-suite executives were able to exchange views with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, as well as Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina. This roundtable was complemented by a limited industry roundtable organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) the following Monday, September 18.

USCIB will continue to engage in these negotiating processes and will be on the ground for INC-1 in Uruguay. For more information, contact Chris Olsen at

IOE-SHRM-USCIB Global Business Town Hall: A Business Agenda for Action, A Human-Centric Approach – September 21
Emily Dickens (SHRM)

On Wednesday, September 21, USCIB joined with partners, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), to hold a Global Business Town Hall. The Town Hall, attended by nearly 300 people from across 44 countries, tackled some of pressing priorities outlined in the UN Secretary General’s report Our Common Agenda, which seeks to foster a human-centric recovery for the global workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panels centered around four critical areas from Our Common Agenda, including resetting the multilateral system, rethinking education to close the skills gap, reforming global response to future health crises, and reinforcing human rights through the role of governance and the rule of law. Other high-level speakers and panelists included International Labor Organization (ILO) Director-General Elect Gilbert Houngbo, UN DESA Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Navid Hanif, IOE Secretary-General Roberto Suarez Santos, President UN Human Rights Council Federico Villegas, and SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary Emily M. Dickens, who served as keynote, and USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson who gave concluding remarks.

This town hall was a second in a series, following one organized by USCIB, SHRM and IOE during the UN High-Level Political Forum in July.

USCIB Hosts Centro Regional del Sector Privada (CR/SP) for a CEO Discussion of SDGs and Supply Chains

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson welcomed a group of CEOs and UN and business leaders to USCIB offices on September 20 to focus on the relationship and synergy between the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and business supply chains.

Lead-off presentations from UN Assistant Secretary General Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, former U.S. Representative to the UN, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and International Science, highlighted the importance of business in advancing the SDGs, which have demonstrated noteworthy staying power, and have taken on even greater relevance than when they were developed and agreed in 2015.

Subsequent presentations from C-suite representatives of AB InBev, Enel, Millicom Tigo and Walmart provided examples of initiatives to promote circular economy, economic empowerment and inclusion and climate-friendly SDG-oriented energy investments both in the Latin American region and globally.

Based in Colombia, CR/SP is an UN-private sector initiative launched in 2009 to build Latin American capacity and strengthen the pursuit of sustainable development action in the Latam region in line with the SDGs and through the active engagement of the private sector.

Looking Ahead: Norine Kennedy, USCIB SVP, Policy and Global Strategy
Norine Kennedy

The UNGA opening week may be over, but the work is just getting underway. USCIB’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Working Group will again be following and weighing in with USCIB members’ views on UN deliberations, including the customary suite of SDG-related sessions:

In 2023: 

  • The ECOSOC Partnerships Forum
  • The UN Multistakeholder Science, Technology and Innovation Forum
  • The Finance for Development Forum (FFD)
  • The UN High-Level Political Forum

In addition, USCIB will be tracking and informing further work on recommendations set out in the UN Secretary General’s Report, “Our Common Agenda.”

We will also follow and bring the voice and engagement of our members to preparations for influential mandated UN meetings and summits taking place in 2023 – 2024, including: 

  • The 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
  • UN High-Level Dialogue on FFD
  • UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
  • UN High-Level Meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response
  • Preparatory Ministerial for the Summit of the Future
  • The UN SDG Summit
  • The UN Summit for the Future

USCIB at UNGA77: Business Roundtable on Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution 

On the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77), USCIB, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and American Chemistry Council (ACC) convened a High-Level Business Roundtable on Achieving Ambition and Action Across the Life Cycle of Plastic Pollution. This roundtable focused on the UN decision earlier this year to launch negotiations on a global treaty on plastics pollution, and how business could play an active and supportive role in the deliberations. 

The message from CEO’s and C-suite executives was clear: U.S. business to work with governments and the international community to develop an ambitious and effective plastics pollution agreement that will accelerate the transition to a circular economy, while reflecting a lifecycle approach. President and CEO of USCIB Peter Robinson declared, “The key to achieve a truly implementable and successful global plastics pollution agreement will be animating all business sectors, while developing partnerships and regionally relevant win-win solutions for communities around the globe.” 

High level speakers included Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina as well as Permanent Representative to the UN for the International Organization of Employers (IOE) Shea Gopaul.  

The roundtable discussion explored key issues, such as how the private sector and government can act jointly to accelerate the shift to a more circular plastics economy and increase the availability of recycled plastic while promoting infrastructure critical to enable efficient recycling and waste management. Some of the key solutions to solve plastics pollution will be found through unlocking private sector financing and innovation, and providing capacity building for regulators, communities, and Small and Medium Enterprises. 

USCIB to Represent Members at UN Meetings on Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste

USCIB Policy Manager for Regulation and Trade Chris Olsen will be attending an upcoming United Nations meeting on the sound management of chemicals and waste in Bucharest, Romania. The meeting, officially titled the Fourth meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (IP4), is part of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

“USCIB has long participated in the SAICM process, which our members view as a valuable multi-stakeholder forum,” said Olsen. “Following a two year delay due to COVID-19, these in-person meetings will serve to reinvigorate and plan the future of SAICM.” According to Olsen, these meetings were originally scheduled for March 2020.

Now, two years later, this intersessional meeting will work towards finalizing recommendations regarding the Strategic Approach for consideration by the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), set to be held in Bonn, Germany in late 2023. In 2006, ICCM adopted SAICM as a policy framework to foster the sound management of chemicals and to promote chemical safety around the world.

“While we are now already almost three years ‘beyond 2020,’ the need to chart the future of the SAICM process beyond its current mandate remains,” added Olsen.

IP4 will take place from August 29-September 2 with two additional days (August 27-28) allocated towards regional and stakeholder consultations.

USCIB Policy Experts Participate in B20 Indonesia

Several USCIB policy experts are actively participating in B20 2022, the official global business dialogue with G20 nations.

Led by Indonesia this year, the B20 is comprised of seven task forces that develop consensus-based policy proposals outlining business priorities on key issue confronting the G20 nations in the year ahead. Senior Vice President for Innovation, Regulation, and Trade Brian Lowry and Policy and Program Associate for Sustainability Agnes Vinblad are on the Task Force for Integrity and Compliance, USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy is on the Task Force on Energy, Sustainability and Climate, USCIB Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs Gabriella Rigg Herzog is on the Future of work and Education Task Force, USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner is on the Task Force on Digitalization, and Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark is on the Trade and Investment Task Force.

“USCIB helps shape actionable policy recommendations provided through these task forces that will be shared with the G20 leaders when they meet in Indonesia in November,” said Lowry. “We at USCIB look forward to the advancement of business’ priorities to the G20 policymakers to help inform policies to advance a stable and inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery and supply chain resiliency, while grappling with the difficult national security issues confronting the world today.”

USCIB Hosts A Conversation About the Future of Food

On the eve of the United Nations Food Systems and Nutrition Summit on September 23, USCIB convened a virtual event—The Future of Food: A Conversation— with experts and practitioners from across societal, scientific, value chain and innovation perspectives.

The September 21 event highlighted the need for and successful examples of innovation across the food and agriculture industry, the roles and relevance of collaborative approaches to innovation, and how shared value and understanding can hold the key to future opportunities.

Facilitated by USCIB Senior Vice President for Innovation, Regulation, and Trade Brian Lowry, the event was convened around the premise that in order to feed a growing population within planetary boundaries—considering amount of global climate emissions linked to agriculture and food—leaders must rethink how food, and especially protein, is made and sourced. Transforming the food system is not a solitary task; industry must come together and find new ways to collaborate and partner, and new alternatives must be created in a complementary manner.

Expert speakers included USCIB member Dr. Randal Giroux of Cargill, who also chairs the USCIB Agriculture Committee, as well as Valerio Nannini, Novozymes general manager for Novozymes Advanced Proteins Solutions. Other experts included Christine Gould, founder and president of Food for Thought, and The Good Food Institute Vice President, Corporate Engagement Caroline Bushnell.

Together, these experts discussed how industry is responding through strategy, science, and sustainability; the types of complementary solutions that are under development within value chains, and how new ways of thinking and working together can be applied to support such efforts; the views of younger generations and how younger consumers are changing the landscape around the sustainable food revolution; and how we can incorporate alternative sources of food and proteins into the future of sustainable farming and how to factor in climate change, and subsequently, climate action.

In closing, Lowry said, “Welcome to the starting line of what is clearly and important race  – a marathon – to transform the global food system.  I am thrilled to be at the start of this marathon with such an impressive and passionate group of people. People who do not want to watch it happen, but want to make it happen.”

USCIB-IOE United Nations Side-Event Focuses on Global Recovery, Private Sector Innovation

As in previous years, USCIB, as part of the recognized Business and Industry Major Group at the United Nations in New York, hosted a side-event during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Co-organized with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), this year’s event focused on private sector partnerships and contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and to powering a global recovery from the pandemic’s economic and social devastation.  A key element of this official HLPF business side-event was on encouraging and deploying business innovation.

The event brought together leaders from companies, employer organizations, the multilateral system, and more, to explore the innovative ways that business can be a valuable partner in defeating the pandemic, while restoring lost progress towards SDG’s. The event featured two panels; one focused on COVID-19 recovery and the second on private sector innovation, including on addressing climate change and the digital divide. USCIB speakers from Microsoft and Novozymes flagged the criticality of business engagement through partnerships with government, UN bodies and other stakeholders.

“Building forward better sustainably in the Decade of Action and Delivery will require a stronger than ever commitment to multi-stakeholder engagement and partnership,” said USCIB Senior Vice President Norine Kennedy. “Business is committed to the SDG’s, not only because implementing the 2030 Agenda is the right thing to do, but also because of the strong business case for doing so. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers business opportunities for new markets, job creation and sustainability solutions.”

Dr. Scott Ratzan provided an update on The USCIB Foundation’s initiative, “Business Partners to CONVINCE,” and its Global COVID-19 Workplace Challenge, which is tackling vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, especially in the work place.

According to Dr. Ratzan, “the private sector has been at the forefront of tackling the pandemic – from the historic race to develop vaccines, to opening premises to production of PPE and vaccination campaigns, to training and educating employees on public health and safety. Business has shown that it can and should be a meaningful partner in building back better, contributing not just funding, but innovation, expertise, technology, fresh ideas and diverse perspectives of business and employers, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises, who are so crucial to economic growth at the local level.”

USCIB Letter to Trade Representative Tai Supports Greener Trade Policy

USCIB submitted a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in response to Tai’s recent comments at the Center for American Progress Greening U.S. Trade Policy program. In her remarks, Tai outlined both the Biden Administration’s vision to green U.S. and multilateral trade policy and welcomed business engagement to share experience and ideas in this effort.

“We are keen to support a trade agenda that reinvigorates negotiations on environmental goods and services, addresses fossil fuel and fisheries subsidies, ensures compatibility between environmental and trade rules, and considers the circular economy holistically,” said USCIB Senior Vice President for Innovation, Regulation, and Trade Brian Lowry.

Lowry added: “USCIB and its members understand that resource conservation is a critical environmental consideration and that a resilient supply chain must recognize and account for the finite supply of planetary resources.”

In line with the explicit recognition of the criticality of resource conservation, the letter emphasized that outdated trade policies and international rules that restrict cross border flows of used products and secondary material feedstock continue to be obstacles to effective and efficient resource recovery. Reducing these barriers, alongside the encouragement and implementation of environmentally sound options to recycle and recover waste, will enable creative solutions that work in synergy with trade rather than impose counter-productive barriers.