Can companies succeed where governments have failed to protect the environment? The question was repeatedly asked in Rio de Janeiro this week, at the UN’s vast three-day environment summit, which was due to end on June 22nd.
That was largely a sign of desperation. Despite the presence of scores of heads of state, Rio+20, as the summit is known, was expected to produce the weakest imaginable commitment to greening the global economy. On many counts—including a wishy-washy commitment to look beyond GDP as a measure of progress—it represented l