Sustainability: CEOs appeal to Europe for action

Published on Thursday, 6 June 2019

A new direction for Europe. The risks of climate change are forcing governments, businesses and entire societies worldwide into a rapid change of direction. But it takes leadership to accelerate inclusive growth and sustainable development. This is why, on 7 May 2019, more than 100 CEOs from some of Europe’s leading companies were brought together in Brussels by CSR Europe, a network attempting to integrate sustainability and business, to launch “A New Deal for Europe.” This is an appeal to Europe to drive change by adopting a new development model in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda SDGs. The CEO signatories of the document included Francesco Starace, head of the Enel Group.  

This call for responsible action was reiterated in Milan on 4 June by the Fondazione Sodalitas, the Italian National Partner Organisation of CSR Europe, as part of the “CEOs Call to Action” during ASviS’s rich and varied Sustainable Development Festival.

In answering the call, the business leaders are committing themselves to improving dialogue and strengthening their interactions with society to unite and accelerate the pace of inclusive growth, tackle climate change and create sustainable prosperity.  

The event was moderated by Enrico Sassoon, Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Business Review Italy, and included addresses from the Chairman of the Fondazione Sodalitas Adriana Spazzoli, Assolombarda Deputy Chairman Sergio Dompé, ASviS spokesman Enrico Giovannini and CSR Europe Deputy President Marina Migliorato, who is also Enel’s Head of Sustainability & Stakeholders Engagement. Several representatives of the Italian business world also spoke.

“The call for action made by CSR Europe is another step towards delivering the 2030 Agenda,” Migliorato confirmed as she stressed the importance of the initiative. “And Enel, because of the fact that its CEO, Francesco Starace, is one of the signatories, has once again demonstrated that it is at the forefront when it comes to supporting this kind of initiative, reaffirming its commitment to inclusive growth and the fight against climate change.”

Furthermore, over the course of the event and for the first time in Italy, leading independent international sustainability reporting organisation GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) presented an integration guide for the UN’s 17 SDGs in the context of corporate reporting and strategy. This is a tool that will help top managers take on the kind of leadership role in driving sustainability that the New Deal demands.   

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