Geneva, Paris, New York, June 28, 2011 – The Business Action for Sustainable Development 2012 (BASD) today announced S. Gopalakrishnan as its new chair. He will lead the BASD in its efforts to strengthen the voice of the sustainable development business community at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Rio+20).
Mr. Gopalakrishnan (Kris) is the CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, a global consulting and technology services company based in Bangalore, India, and currently serves as Vice President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He has been recognized internationally as one of the “Thinkers 50,” an elite list of global business minds published annually online, and received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India — the country’s third-highest civilian honor.
As BASD chair, Mr. Gopalakrishnan will coordinate BASD member activities in preparation for Rio+20 and officially represent BASD in the UN negotiation process and related events leading up to the formal Rio+20 conference. He brings expertise in global sustainable development against a background of extensive business experience in developed and developing countries, and will seek to ensure the global business community is well represented during Rio+20 discussions.
“I am eager to take on this new challenge and to work with the international business community to be a constructive contributor to the Rio+20 process,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan said. “We must accelerate our communal efforts to identify concrete solutions to poverty, climate, food, water and energy challenges. Business and industry worldwide must continue to drive sustainability, not just in their own operations but also in their interactions with their communities. In emerging economies, business and industry must set an example in their home countries and their broader regions.”
The BASD founding organizations — the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) — commended the choice of Mr. Gopalakrishnan as BASD chair.
“Mr. Gopalakrishnan will bring an experienced, international business perspective to the Rio+20 process,” said Björn Stigson, President of WBCSD. “His knowledge of both developed and emerging economies and his long-standing involvement in sustainable development efforts through WBCSD, UNGC and other organizations, make him an ideal leader for BASD 2012.”
Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General said, “Mr. Gopalakrishnan is highly respected among our member organizations and member companies, and he brings a unique perspective on the potential uses of technology to address sustainable development challenges.”
Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact said, “Mr. Gopalakrishnan’s outstanding expertise will help corporations scale up and intensify their contribution to sustainability in the context of Rio+20, while demonstrating the proven ability of business to strategically address and provide practical solutions to global challenges.”