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" If you believe in free enterprise, then you should expect it to work across countries and continents as well as within countries or regions "Pictured left: Sir Paul JudgeBelow: 2011 WinnersSustainability is now a common phrase but not everyone recognises its inherent dynamic and the implication it can have on all aspects of a business. Companies tend to focus on elements in isolation, rather than their interconnections. However, all modern businesses are linked not only within themselves but to all of their stakeholders including their customers, suppliers and the communities within which they operate.Businesses, therefore, need to reflect on their current business models and evaluate their robustness. At the International Green AwardsT we are helping businesses fully to understand the implications of any changes and to ensure they comprehend, adapt to and aim to mitigate any potentially adverse effects.In 2011, the Awards received entries from over 108 countries. Now, in 2012, for the 7th year of the International Green AwardsT, our mission on a local and global scale is to accelerate the journey towards sustainability, challenge current thinking and recognise innovative solutions in business and communities. By identifying and highlighting best practice we can educate and inspire others to follow suit to provide our 7 billion fellow human beings with a blueprint and framework for sustainable living now and in the future. With a key focus on sustainable business, the Awards act as a change agent to support collaboration, leadership, knowledge, innovation and value. We are supported by some of the most influential bodies including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Sustainable Consortium, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Forum for the Future, International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Green Cross International and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). In 2012, we have moved beyond just awarding success to supporting sustainability initiatives and bringing people and markets together. With the aim of learning and knowledge sharing, the Awards have organised free to attend and best practice summits in key international cities (Rio de Janeiro, New York, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney) on a broader and more topical theme - sustainable profitability. Each attendee will receive a free business review to help to evaluate their organisation's performance and to streamline their sustainability strategy towards a more resilient model with a profitable economic bottom line.The International Green AwardsT play an exciting role in the new global economy and if you are a true game changer, do not miss the opportunity to join our growing community of thought leaders who are entering, partnering and judging this year's Awards. This year, the International Green Awards is recognising the "most sustainable" organisations, as exhibited by the implementation of a holistic sustainability strategy across nine disciplines - energy, water, waste, resources, carbon, supply chain, transport, environment and social. Based on your organisation's size and status, you will be competing in one of the following six direct entry categories:n Most Sustainable Large Corporaten Most Sustainable Medium Businessn Most Sustainable Small Businessn Most Sustainable NGOn Most Sustainable Governmentn Most Sustainable Educational InstitutionIn our constant quest of innovative ideas, the awards will also feature a separate category called "Future Game Changers". To find out more please visit our website and I will look forward to joining you at one of our international thought leadership summits or welcoming you to London in November. nABOUT THE AUTHORSir Paul Judge is Chairman of the International Green AwardsT. He is an Alderman of the City of London, the President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and of the Association of MBAs and Chairman of Schroder Income Growth Fund plc. He is a former Chairman of the Royal Society of Arts and Ministerial Adviser at the UK Cabinet Office.  SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS 115

The Sustainability Business ImperativeDavid Beer, Managing Director, Industry RE Sustainability Two decades after the pioneering earth summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders will gather again in the same Brazilian city this year to try to carve out a brighter future for our world. But will anything tangible actually be decided? It seems like every year, the world has optimistically looked to these summits for radical change, but inevitably, nothing substantial comes from them, and we carry on as before, passing-by critical points of climate intervention. So what makes 2012 any different? How do we ensure that this year's hype and hopes turns into real action? The business world has embraced sustainability and is looking to politicians to provide policies, regulations and verbal endorsement. But do businesses need this? Leading companies of all sizes see sustainability as imperative and are already driving and achieving real change, innovation and commercial success.Take Unilever, for example. The sheer scale of the company's green ambitions has demonstrated to the corporate world exactly what sustainability truly means. Routed firmly in the belief that businesses must contribute to a sustainable future, it is leveraging a wider change in business philosophy that is unprecedented. By 2020, the company says it will have halved the environmental footprint of its products, helped more than 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, and sourced 100 per cent of agricultural raw materials sustainably.The green business revolution is well underway, with or without bona fide backing from world leaders. In fact, the real winners will be business. It is often overlooked that sustainability can equate to " It is often overlooked that sustainability can equate to commercial growth and is intrinsically linked with the financial bottom line of any business "commercial growth and is intrinsically linked with the financial bottom line of any business. We are seeing an increasing number of companies creating sustainable value and wealth with new sustainable initiatives that add value, not only to the reputation of their products, but their share price too. Look at Unilever, the company's profits are on the up. Despite the difficult economic times, it announced some formidably strong results last year, surpassing many of its competitors. Now is the time to innovate, transform, influence and collaborate to gain early mover advantage in the new sustainable economy. Business leaders see the risks of inaction. With tangible changes taking place across policies, our climate, business models and market conditions, it is time for businesses to fully understand the transformative implications of these changes. Essentially, companies must evolve to remain competitive.Any business will tell you that our current challenges and risks transcend beyond climate change or carbon. It is about faltering financial performance and struggling shareholder value. All organisations should be assessing their short, medium and long-term risks and how these risks will directly and in-directly impact cash-flow, credit risk and revenue figures. A holistic sustainability strategy is a way of protecting your company from these risks. Sustainability creates an agile and resilient business model, which will ensure future commercial advantage.How do businesses do this? Through ambition and total transformation. Sustainability must be embedded into the DNA of your business and woven into your core business activity. Often businesses 116 sustainable business