Oct 17, 2012
Indian banker and long-standing environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev has pledged to use his profile and influence to further the goals of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as the organisation’s newest Goodwill Ambassador.
Hyderabad, India: Pavan Sukhdev, who has a long association with UNEP, joins such luminaries as French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and American actor Don Cheadle in raising awareness of and support for environmental causes.
Sukhdev spent over 20 years working at ANZ Bank and Deutsche Bank, and now heads GIST, an organization that helps governments and corporations to understand and better manage their impacts on natural and human capital. He also served as the study leader for the UNEP-hosted Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Report – a major international partnership to draw attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity.
“It is an honour to take up this role of championing UNEP’s work,” said Sukhdev. “Governments and business need to understand that our ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources are the backbone of our economies and their value should be integrated into decision making.”
"As Goodwill Ambassador, I will continue to bring this message home as we strive to transit from ‘business as usual’ to a sustainable, resource-efficient Green Economy,” he added.
Sukhdev and UNEP are at the forefront of a movement that points out that the world’s fixation on economic growth ignores a rapid and largely irreversible depletion of natural resources that will seriously harm future generations.
Biodiversity in particular provides major economic benefits that are sometimes overlooked.
As well as taking the message to governments, Sukhdev will target the corporate sector to show that long-term profitability is ultimately dependent on sustainable use of the earth’s resources.
“With over 30 years of experience in banking, markets and the growing field of valuing natural capital, Mr. Sukhdev is strongly positioned to generate considerable support and awareness in business and finance for UNEP’s work on the Green Economy,” said UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
“He is a shining example of the growing trend that has seen the private sector begin to incorporate sustainability concerns into their operational models.”