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For one week in late October, Cape Town will be one of the greenest business cities on Earth
13/ 08/ 2009

For one week in late October, Cape Town will be one of the greenest business cities on EarthUNEP joins City of Cape Town and partners to announce Cape Town Green Week (October 19-23, 2009)

Cape Town/Nairobi/Geneva, 13 August 2009 - For one week in late October, Cape Town will become one of the greenest business cities on Earth as the City Government joins hands with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a range of partner organizations for an action-packed Green Week.

One of the main events of the week will be the first-ever Global Roundtable in Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 22-23 October 2009. The Roundtable is organized by UNEP's Financial Initiative, the largest and oldest partnership between the UN system and the world of banking, insurance and investment.

Hundreds of financiers, investors, business leaders, built environment and property professionals from around the world and across Africa, joined by green groups, will gather at the Convention Centre (October 19-23) for a week-long series of events exploring how a green approach to business can create jobs, protect the environment and build better, fairer communities with towns and cities that work. All events held during the week will be carbon neutral.

Partnering organizations supporting Cape Town Green Week include: the Cape Town City Government; the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI); The Cape Town Partnership; Banking Association of South Africa (BASA); Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA); Africa investor (Ai); Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), National Business Initiative (NBI); and Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Other organizations and initiatives are welcome to back Cape Town Green Week. (For more details on the partner organizations see Editor's Notes).

Climate Change: Cape Town to Copenhagen
Cape Town's Green Week will put the City at the centre of the global green business revolution just six weeks ahead of a crucial United Nations Climate Change summit in Denmark, when the governments of the world will attempt to negotiate a new agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cape Town Green Week will also enable African finance, business, civil society and green groups to send a strong message, calling for action, to the historic UN gathering in Copenhagen

Achim Steiner, United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP congratulated the organizations behind the initiative: "This initiative captures the very essence of the needed transformation to a smart, low-carbon, clean "green" economy that generates jobs and better services for communities in Africa and across the planet.

"UNEP and its 180 partner organizations drawn from across financial services are delighted to be part of an initiative driven by such South African leadership. Dynamic cross sector initiatives like these will help us 'Seal the Deal!' in Copenhagen" the UN environmental head added.

Piet Van Zyl, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning at the City of Cape Town commented: "As a green pioneer city in Africa, Cape Town is honoured to host this important cluster of "green" events in October. Cape Town is a leading global destination for sustainability-related events and tourism, and we are encouraged to see how the business world is taking green issues on board. During that week the City will be launching green building guidelines which will guide resource efficiency improvements in new and existing buildings, and help build a low carbon future for Cape Town."

Cas Coovadia, Managing Director of the Banking Association of South Africa and Chair of UNEP FI's African Task Force for the past seven years, said: "This is a remarkable alignment of green events and business action in Cape Town. It will also enable the City to highlight the impressive steps it is taking to address the sustainable development agenda at a time when we have guests, including hundreds of senior financiers, from around the world".

According to CTICC, Chief Executive Officer, Rashid Toefy the launch of "NOW (Nurture Our World)' is a symbol of the CTICC's dedication to becoming a leading environmentally sustainable convention centre and is a call to action, and encapsulates the centre's responsibility to address issues like climate change and the preservation of the environment for future generations. NOW symbolizes CTICC's commitment to total sustainability through every facet of the organization," he said.

CTICC is committed to transforming the events industry to one that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and the NOW concept will serve as a catalyst to implement change. 'We are proud of the fact that CTICC is the first convention centre in Africa that is a member of the UN Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption,' said Toefy.

Highlights of the week will include the following events:

UNEP FI, a unique partnership between UNEP and more than 170 banks, insurers and investment institutions, will bring its Global Roundtable to Africa for the first time. Five hundred financial executives will gather at CTICC on 22-23 October to explore the theme of 'Financing change, Changing finance.' UNEP FI will also hold a series of training events across Cape Town during the week.
Africa Investor (Ai), a media and investment advisory group, will partner with UNEP FI to hold a Pan African CEO business meeting at CTICC on 21st October to debate green business issues and to fine-tune an African business message for the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Ai will also join UNEP FI to present its prestigious 2009 African Business Awards at a gala dinner on 22 October.
The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) will convene its Annual Convention & Exhibition on the 21-23 October at CTICC to cover the very latest ground on the green revolution taking place in property, city design and responsible real estate investment. The GBCSA will also launch its pilot Green Star SA Rating Tool for Retail Centres, following the successful launch of the tool for commercial office buildings last year.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), in partnership with the National Business Initiative, will unveil information from South Africa's largest companies on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies. A CDP report detailing the climate change actions of businesses in the JSE 100 will be released during Green Week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

In addition to these core events the following initiatives will be launched:

The City of Cape Town launches its Green Building Guidelines.
The Cape Town Partnership will be launching its Green City Programme, focusing on sustainable development in the Cape Town Central City. The Partnership has been involved in a number of energy efficiency initiatives to date, and is a member of the World Business Districts Network for Sustainable Development.
Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) will be announcing their 'Nurture Our World' which is a symbol of the CTICC's dedication to becoming a leading environmentally sustainable convention centre.
Africa Investor will be hosting the Africa investor Investment and Business Leaders Awards 2009.

For more information please contact:

Jay Dowle, UNEP Finance Initiative Media, on Tel: +41-22-917-8691 or E-mail:

Paul Clements-Hunt, Head, UNEP Finance Initiative, on Tel: +41 79 751 8504 or E-mail:

Notes to editors:

About the Cape Town Green week partner organizations:

UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

UNEP FI is a strategic public-private partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector. UNEP works with over 180 banks, insurers and investment firms, and a range of partner organizations, to understand the impacts of environmental, social and governance issues on financial performance and sustainable development. Through a comprehensive work programme encompassing research, training, events and regional activities, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote and realize the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution operations. More information at: . Johannesburg-based Scatterlings Conference & Events ( ) is working with UNEP FI to deliver the 2009 Global Roundtable.

UNEP Green Economy Initiative (GEI)

Believing that mobilizing and refocusing the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and 'natural' infrastructure such as forests and soils is the best bet for real growth, combating climate change and triggering an employment boom in the 21st century, UNEP and leading economists launched the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) aimed at seizing an historic opportunity to bring about tomorrow's economy today in October 2008. The GEI has three key elements: the Green Economy Report, that will provide an overview, analysis and synthesis of how public policy can help markets accelerate the transition towards a green economy; The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study, a partnership project focusing on valuation issues; and finally the Green Jobs report, published in September 2008, that looked at employment trends. More information at:

Cape Town Partnership

The Cape Town Partnership is a collaboration between the public and private sectors working together to develop, promote and manage Cape Town Central City. The Partnership is an independent non-profit organisation and it was formed when the City of Cape Town, the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other stakeholders came together to address issues of urban degeneration and disinvestment in the Central City and related social problems. More information at:

The National Business Initiative

The National Business Initiative (NBI) is a voluntary group of leading national and multi-national companies, working together towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa through partnerships, practical programmes and policy engagement. Since its establishment in 1995, the NBI has been an advocate for the collective role of business in support of a stable democracy, growing economy and healthy natural environment. As one of close to 60 global regional partners to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the NBI provides a platform for business leadership and a vision of how companies can contribute to a sustainable society. More information at:

Green Building Council of South Africa

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is an independent, non-profit organization spearheaded by leaders from all sectors of the commercial property industry. Launched in 2007, the green building council aims to lead the transformation of the South African property industry to ensure that all buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way that will allow South Africans to work and live in healthy, efficient and productive environments. More information at:

Africa Investor

Africa investor is one of Africa's most respected multimedia investment news and information publishers. It supplies investors and policy makers with information on Africa's investment environment and sheds light on issues that inform investment decisions. Advised by a board of investment experts from business and development agencies, Ai works across the publishing, internet, television and events platforms to deliver fully integrated communications solutions for its clients.
Africa investor owns Africa investor magazine (Ai) a bi monthly business and finance glossy, www., a daily online news site, the Ai TV broadband television channel; the Ai Index Series, an investment data tracking service, the annual pan-African Africa investor Awards and an established events planning business. More information at:

Cape Town International Conference Centre

The CTICC is so much more than just another convention centre. Set in the heart of the Cape Town city centre, the CTICC is a place where people from all walks of life are brought together, a tangible demonstration of the power of partnership, and an excellent example of the success that can be achieved when public and private enterprises work together towards shared goals.
More information at:

Further Resources
UNEP: Green Economy Initiative
UNEP: Climate Neutral Network
Seal the Deal! - UN Worldwide Campaign on Climate Change
UNEP: Finance Initiative