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New ICC Report

The Circular Economy and International Trade: Options for the World Trade Organization

This report explores the interface between trade and a transition to a more circular economy. In today’s highly integrated economy, international trade plays a critical role in facilitating this transition, by exploiting existing comparative advantages and allowing economies of scale. Goods and services already cross borders at virtually all stages of the circular value chain, from upstream design services to remanufactured goods and secondary raw materials. Yet trade policies are not always aligned with circularity objectives. Similarly, policies aimed at fostering a circular economy can have detrimental effects on trade even if unintended. As the role of trade and trade policy attracts more attention, understanding how it can effectively support a circular economy transition becomes critical for policy makers.


As a contribution to this emerging field of research, this report reviews the main findings of existing literature and supplements it with qualitative insights from interviews with trade policy makers; researchers in non-government organisations; private sector firms operating in different segments of circular economy value chains; and international organisations focused on different aspects of the circular economy. It starts with a short description of the circular economy as a concept, before reviewing the role of international trade in facilitating a transition to a more circular economy. In doing so it explores in particular the role of multilateral institutions and trade policy frameworks, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and provides specific recommendations for action.


Download the Report here.

November 2021 copy


ICC Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications


There has been growing interest by the media, government, consumers, and other stakeholders about the impact of human activities on the environment and how to promote “sustainable” consumption and use.  As such, the past few years have seen a renewed interest in environmental marketing, particularly in the context of growing momentum on climate action globally, including collective efforts by governments and businesses to mitigate the threats of climate change and promote sustainable consumption. 

There has also been a proliferation of “environmental” claims and interest in concepts of “environmental sustainability” and “sustainable development,” with growth in general claims that products or services are “eco-friendly,” “green,” “sustainable,” “carbon neutral” and well as some new emerging claims in the marketplace such as “climate neutral”, “climate positive”, “net zero”, “circular”; “natural”, “microplastics-free”, etc.

The ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, serves as the cornerstone for many national and regional Codes and it is complemented by various sectoral guidelines, such as the ICC Framework for Environmental Marketing Communications (Environmental Framework), which provides added guidance in response to the growing complexity of environmental or “green” marketing claims.

A joint working group was established in June last year, including members from the Commission on Marketing and Advertising and the Commission on Environment and Energy, to work on updating the Environmental Framework to address new issues, concepts and environmental claims that have emerged.


The revised Environmental Framework:

  • - Provides added guidance in response to the growing complexity of environmental or “green” marketing claims, including general claims of “sustainability”, climate-related, circularity, recyclable content, degradability and additional “free-of” claims.

  • - Provides a helpful approach for advertising industry stakeholders to use in developing and analysing environmental claims, consistent with general principles of the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code and specific guidelines in Chapter D on environmental claims.

  • - Assists marketers in assuring that ‘self-declared’ environmental claims are truthful and not misleading and are appropriately substantiated.

  • - Emphasises that environmental marketing claims need to be appropriately qualified and substantiated to avoid misleading consumers. 


Download the framework here.


Global business tells governments at COP26: put a price on carbon, but do it the right way

Glasgow, 3 November 2021 


The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has today called on governments to “get smart” in how they use carbon pricing instruments to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy at the lowest possible economic cost. 

At an informal dialogue with finance ministers at COP26, the global business organization will publish the findings of an extensive survey of companies’ experience operating under the 60 different carbon pricing regimes in force today throughout the world. 


The results point to widespread concern amongst business about the growing fragmentation of systems used to price greenhouse gas emissions – emphasising that greater international harmonization of policy approaches will be essential to mobilize the private investment needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 


The ICC report presents 10 core principles for the effective design of carbon pricing instruments, including an appeal to governments to ensure that such measures are focused squarely on reducing GHG emissions – rather than being used, for instance, as a vehicle to boost government revenues. The principles also highlight the imperative to establish clear, transparent pricing frameworks and, moreover, urge governments to pay greater attention to avoiding inconsistencies or conflicts with other energy, trade and taxation policies.  


The report was developed drawing on insights from around 200 companies with international operations – as well as input from ICC’s global network in over 130 countries. 


Download the full report here.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Report on Business Actions to Mitigate Climate Crisis with Credit Suisse and Nestlé case study

ICC United Kingdom published a new report with over 50 case studies, including very relevant case studies by Credit Suisse and Nestlé, from more than 20 countries to demonstrate practical business actions to mitigate climatecrisis.


Find the complete report here for download.



CCIG Series

The ICC-CCIG Series - Trade and Health

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 

17:00 - 19:30

CCIG, Boulevard du Théâtre 4, Genève

More Information, Programme and registration here.


The “ICC-CCIG Series” address major themes related to international trade with a dual purpose: updating Members on issues that are currently being discussed at the United Nations, World Trade Organization and other international organizations in Geneva ; and illustrate the way businesses, actors of world governance, civil society and researchers can successfully cooperate towards common global goals.


This event will discuss the key priority areas that Member States will be addressing at the upcoming World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12), from 30 November to 3 December in Geneva. These include environmental sustainability, digital economy, trade and health. A sharp focus will be given to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future health crises, and the way SMEs can contribute to a healthier global trading system. 

Discover SME360X



Why Measure Impact on Nature?

Every small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) has an impact – both positive and negative – on nature and the environment. Measuring that impact enables SMEs to:

- Gain a competitive advantage

- Manage business risk

- Grow their business brand

- Enhance access to capital and affordable insurance

- Improve efficiency and reduce costs

This is where SME360X can help.


What is SME360X?

SME360X is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform co-created by ICC and GIST that measures the impacts of business operations on the environment.


There are many external risks that threaten the survival of businesses everywhere. A company’s factory location that was relatively risk-free when it was set up decades ago could now be facing extreme risks from stressed water resources and severe shifts in weather patterns. A ban on single use plastics could threaten the survival of a company. Community protests could lead to the shutdown of an industrial operation.


SME360X will help its users identify the environmental risks that are most material to their business.


SME360X enables users to:

- Measure, economically value and manage business impacts on nature and the environment.

- Compare environmental performance with regional and sectoral peers and competitors.

- Receive a single, understandable environmental impact score (PIE Score).

- Decide which improvement and abatement initiatives are most impactful.

- Easily and affordably report on sustainability performance.

- Obtain a Global Sustainability Certification from ICC.

- Data belongs to you: highest level of security ensured using blockchain storage.


  • Who can use SME360X?

  • 1. SMEs to evaluate the environmental impact of their business activities. SMEs using SME360X can:

    - make informed decisions, manage risks, communicate powerfully about impacts, and increase business value.

    - open up access to certain value chains.

    - improve access to capital and reduce the cost of capital.

  • 2. Chambers of Commerce and Industry Associations can encourage their members to use the platform, giving them the advantage of being first movers in this space.


    3. Banks and Private Equity Investors can integrate the platform into their due diligence process which will:

    - add to their data gathering processes.

    - allocate environmental impact scores (PIE Scores) to companies in their loan or investment portfolios.

    - enable meaningful comparisons within and across sectors.


    4. Supply Chain Leaders can integrate the platform into their vendor registration processes which will:

    - add to their data gathering processes.

    - level the playing field by allocating environmental impact scores (PIE Scores) to companies in their supply chains.


  • Benefits of Registration

    Pre-registration for SME360X will give you the opportunity to trial the tool and provide us with feedback so we can cater to your needs better. You will also be able to attend workshops and learning sessions centered around environmental impact assessment and valuation.


 Download SME360X Brochure

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