SnO & Golden Conference - Towards a Sustainable Economy, Business and Academic Institutions in Action
The Society & Organizations and Golden for Sustainability research centers recently ran a 2-day international workshop entitled “Towards a Sustainable Economy” at the HEC Paris campus. SnO and Golden were represented Professor Rodolphe Durand, HEC Paris and Professor Maurizio Zollo, Bocconi University respectively. The event stimulated intense discussions between business, academia and institutions actively involved in the process of reorienting organizations towards more sustainable business models.
Eloïc Peyrache (Dean of the HEC Paris Grande Ecole), Grabriella Mazzini (HEC Paris Foreign Affairs department), Rodolphe Durand (SnO Director and Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris), Marie de Carné-Trécesson (Ambassador-at-large for Biothics and CSR, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Giandomenico Magliano (Italian Ambassador to France), Maurizio Zollo (Golden Academic Director and Professor of Strategy at Bocconi University)
The workshop brought together business representatives from Acea, Danone, Harambee, Kering, Nike, Santam, Schneider, Siemens, Soitec and Total; institutions such as OECD, UNEP and WEF, and professors from HEC Paris, Bocconi University, Erasmus University and WU Vienna. During the first day, they shared their reflections, based on experience and research, concerning the integration of sustainability into business models. The contrasting perceptions of the three groups on the necessary steps to accelerate sustainable development and how business and academia could cooperate to set and reach new targets were of particular interest.
The following day, a panel discussion under the auspices of the Italian Ambassador to France, Giandomenico Magliano, focused on two key sustainability topics: the pitfalls associated with the drive towards renewable energy, and the potential effects of the introduction of UN Sustainable Development Goals on businesses and institutions involved in development. The discussion was enriched by the presence of Frédéric Bobay, (Private-Public Partnership, D.G. Treasury Minister), Hilkka Komulainen (Investment Division, OECD), Mustapha Mokass, (WEF Young Global Leader 2015), and Elisa Tonda (Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch, UNEP).
Everyone present agreed that the private sector, public sector and civil society should all take responsibility for a more rewarding and sustainable economic model. The conference addressed three critical questions:
Who bears the environmental risk?
Who pays for it?
Who regulates and monitors it?
Recognizing that the Private-Public Sector Parternship is crucial in the push for more sustainable projects, the challenge now is to attract more investors who want to engage in this green and sustainable revolution. Marine de Carne-Trecesson (French ambassador for Bioethics & CSR) concluded the workshop putting the discussion in the perspective of the COP21 conference next November in France.