ESA has begun working with large multinational companies including Alcan, AMEC, Aon, B&Q, Lafarge, Shell, SUEZ Energy, and UPM - to integrate satellite data into CSD reporting practices across a wide variety of industrial sectors: Energy, Civil Engineering, Off-shore & On-shore Oil & Gas, Forestry, Forest products, Pulp & Paper, Aluminium and Cement production.
First championed by the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the concept of sustainable development has since become a familiar and accepted part of our everyday lives, spurred on by its widespread adoption within the private sector. Leading companies know that CSD equals good business: continued economic growth becomes unsustainable if business practices contribute to environmental degradation.
Today's businesses aim to create wealth while also contributing to long-term quality of life and respect for the environment. Companies regularly issue environmental audits of their CSD activities and report on the 'triple bottom line' of economic, social and environmental impacts. Assessment methods are becoming standardised, with the Dow Jones Sustainability Index only one of several indices to track the industry CSD leaders.
Accurate and timely information on the state of the environment is needed to quantify sustainability, and ESA's Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) Programme set up to build remote sensing business capacity - is responding to the needs of business by developing services to apply the new dimension of objective, wide-area and regularly-updated environmental information supplied by satellites.