This week the bosses of some of the world's largest companies descend on New York to discuss the future of Planet Earth. The
Cities can be seen as an environmental time bomb. They currently consume up to 80% of global material and energy supplies and produce around 75% of carbon emissions. With current energy intensive modes of urban development, the addition of 3 billion more city-dwellers by 2050 will mean we have no chance of limiting climate change.
Once upon a time the 'S' word - sustainability - was about as relevant to business as a fork in a sugar bowl. At best a box to be ticked; at worst seen as a serious impediment to the pursuit of profit. But the world is changing. Look at the business news and you'll see the global heads of big businesses uttering that 'S' word with increasing frequency.
Whilst still a little way off, these technologies are already becoming a reality: challenging the prevailing perception that an environmentally friendly lifestyle can't go hand in hand with comfort and convenience.
I've never been a massive fan of the UN Global Compact. My main bugbear has been the fact that there is no formal mechanism in place to make sure signatories are actually complying with the 10 Principles. In recent years, the Compact has become much more active, quite rightly kicking out a number of freeriders.