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This article analyses the potentially symbiotic role of business and the United Nations (UN) in global environmental governance. Contending that a stronger and more coherent UN in the realm of the environment is in the interest of the business community, we focus on three main issues: what the UN needs to become stronger in environmental affairs; what business could provide on this behalf; and how business could benefit from a strengthened UN. We consider the current structural dilemmas of the UN environmental system, including concerns about institutional multiplicity and how these may affect business engagement. After reflecting on perceived and actual challenges and opportunities for business participation, we conclude with three substantive solutions towards more efficient collaboration. These solutions centre on the continuation of an interactive database begun by the Global Environmental Governance Project, a joint initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the College of William and Mary.