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Next stop for Rio+20: Ethical yet profitable business

Jun 13, 2012

In a run up to the Rio+20 to be held at Rio de Janeiro, power people from the business fraternity will meet to discuss ways to make their business ethical and sustainable.

Businesses do not have to choose between profits and contributing to inclusive growth. The International Trade Centre (ITC), at an event to be held within the framework of Rio+20, will demonstrate this through business models which turn a profit while also integrating marginalised communities in a sustainable way. "Good Business Models for a Sustainable Futureā„¢" will be held on 17 June 2012 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Windsor Barra Hotel. It is part of the United Nations Global Compact's Corporate Sustainability Forum.
 
In Rio, ITC will launch an International Advisory Committee at the event. The committee will receive business proposals from entrepreneurs in developing countries to provide practical advice and create linkages for bankable projects. The purpose is to connect businesses to take action, striking a balance between profit and impact.
 
"Even in the most challenging contexts, there are opportunities for businesses to develop strategies which are socially and environmentally responsible", said Simone Cipriani, Chief of ITC's Poor Communities and Trade Programme and its Ethical Fashion Initiative. "At our event, we will explore concrete solutions to the multifaceted challenges of poverty through smart business models." The Ethical Fashion Initiative will be used as a case study of a business plan which is fair, green, and benefits the poorest of the poor.
 
Internationally-known speakers include Ilaria Venturini Fendi, designer at Italian company Carmina Campus; Oskar Metsavaht, founder and designer at Brazilian company Osklen / E-Institute; Leonardo Boff, Professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro; Auret van Heerden, President of the Fair Labor Association; and social activist  Aminata Traore. ITC has also invited 100 low-income entrepreneurs from favelas across Brazil so they can benefit from the expert business knowledge and learn how to apply sustainable business models for profit. 
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