- Says critical to integrate protection of environment into economic recovery plans
- Calls on govts to promote the effort with long-term development strategies
- Points out enterprises will be navigating in a new environment of increased risks
Businesses are presented with opportunities to change and pursue a future path of green growth, although the COVID-19 crisis continues to pose challenges for the economies, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in its latest policy brief released this week.
Whilst acknowledging economies are exploring ways and means to recover from the impact brought about by the global health crisis, the ILO stressed it is critical to integrate the protection of the environment into economic recovery plans.
“The effort should be carried out with long-term development strategies in order to seize the reconstruction of the productive system as an opportunity to accelerate the transition towards a green economy,” the ILO stated in its policy brief addressing governments.
The agency pointed out that one of the most important challenges the private sector is facing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is as to how to ensure business continuity in a lockdown context while building a better response capacity for possible future unplanned events.
In both, policy and business communities, calls have been made to address the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change crises in a single strategy.
“Beyond the responses to COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises will be navigating in a new environment of increased risks not only seen from the business environment, but also from the natural environment, health and pandemics,” the ILO said.
“Integrating such factors in business planning and operations is increasingly going to affect productivity, competitiveness and profitability,” it added.
While the ongoing crisis showed how unprepared the world is to face global catastrophic risks, COVID-19 has provided an indication of how similar crises resulting from climate disruptions would cost enterprises, the economy and broader society, the ILO said.
“It is a call for business engagement towards a just transition to environmental sustainability. Anticipating transitions with the active participation of employers and workers, rather than undertaking them in an unprepared manner, will yield outcomes that are more desirable,” the agency stated.
It stressed the need for ‘employers’ ‘organisations’ providing guidance to companies on how to successfully implement a viable and sustainable transition, which promotes long-term strategic planning on green productivity, sustainability, resilience and value for society.
Pointing out that COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical interface between human health, a healthy environment and decent work for all, the ILO said that a number of public policy measures can be considered to drive a green, sustainable recovery process. One that enables economies, societies and people to go back to a better world – rather than return to the same patterns of consumption and production.