21:54 9 December 2019
Post by: WBJ

Sustainable and responsible business in practice. Coverage from the Sustainable Economy Summit

The 5th edition of the Sustainable Economy Summit conference closed a very intense year in the Executive Club. The event took place on November 27 at Sheraton Grand Warsaw. During panels and speeches, the most important issues related to sustainable and responsible development were discussed

Sustainable and responsible business in practice. Coverage from the Sustainable Economy Summit

The culmination of the day was the evening gala of "Sustainable Economy Awards", during which enterprises and people who particularly distinguished themselves in the field of responsible business were honored.

The event was inaugurated by Kamil Wyszkowski - Representative and Chairman of the Board of the Global Compact Network Poland, who pointed out what actions can be taken by humanity to limit the progressive consequences resulting from climate change caused by human activity. One of the solutions is to give up existing, high-emission methods of obtaining energy and replace them with renewable sources, as well as to radically reduce the carbon footprint due to the use of low-emission transport. The speaker pointed out that if humanity does not take appropriate action, it will have to deal with increasingly extreme weather phenomena and global temperature rise. As a result, there will be a water crisis and it is water, according to analysts, that will fuel future conflicts. To dismiss these visions, it is important to take brave and strict steps immediately for sustainable business and responsible use of natural resources.

Plenary discussion of the first panel concerned the circular economy, in other words - rational use of resources and opposing waste. One of the issues all panelists referred to was the actions companies take to reduce the consumption of natural resources. The key activity is waste treatment and reuse. Łukasz Ludwisiak, Sustainable Development Manager, Lafarge in Poland pointed out that the building materials industry is very absorbent when it comes to the consumption of raw materials. Poland, on the other hand, boasts one of the most modern cement industry plants in which the heat energy used is replaced by alternative fuels in over 60%, which results in a significant reduction in the use of deposits. The panelists emphasized that building the company's strategy around the circular economy brings benefits for both the environment and competitiveness of the company.

The second discussion panel entitled "Eco-city of the future", experts have begun with their visions of cities of the future. They listed, among others, zero-emission buildings, waste incineration plants with zero environmental impact (such as the newly opened incinerator in Copenhagen with a ski slope on the roof), a smart city with lighting automation in the urban space adapted to current needs, electromobility and effective management of waste produced by urban residents. The next topic of conversation was smog. Panelists agreed that the problem is widespread and very serious. There is a chance, however, that we will be able to reduce the emission of harmful chemical compounds. The number of investments in Warsaw from concrete that reduces nitrogen oxides from the air is growing. It focuses on the convenient location of office buildings, thanks to which employees will limit the use of cars for commuting by public transport. According to experts, media monitoring in the cloud also has great potential - e.g. street lighting when it is needed. Developing a heating network also reduces smog. The development of photovoltaic technology based on perovskites was indicated as a very interesting solution for improving energy saving. These minerals use diffused light more efficiently because they do not have to be located only on roofs in the form of panels. They can cover any surface. It is also very important to level the energy losses of buildings to improve their energy balance. The energy consumed is recovered from wastewater and ventilation, and cold is produced as waste, which is then used in air conditioning. All these solutions are already being implemented in Warsaw.

The third and final discussion panel concerned innovation in chemistry and pharmacy for sustainable development. As Michał Kurzelewski, Medical Director, Pfizer Polska said at the beginning: "the role of the pharmaceutical industry is to take risks, implement innovative solutions and make them available to patients". These types of activities are revolutionizing the industry and changing the thinking paradigm. It is not just about maximizing profit from the product, but also about its responsibility towards the environment. An example of active action for corporate responsibility is the development of chemical recycling and thermal waste treatment plants. Sustainable development in this matter will not be without active state policy, and because social acceptance for innovation according to research is high, it is a good time for such bold actions. In this context, business cooperation with research centers and industry is necessary. For example, the German pharmaceutical industry has generated a number of implemented innovations to improve air quality comparable to the amounts invested in the army!
After the substantive part was over, it was time for the evening gala. Her highlight was the Sustainable Economy Awards ceremony for the best companies, outstanding managers and business leaders who implement the highest standards of responsible business. This year, 13 prizes were awarded in 9 categories.

Winners of the "Sustainable Economy Awards":
- Fabryka Mebli Forte SA
ECOLOGY LEADER IN ENERGY - TAURON Polska Energia SA, GPEC Group - a distinction
ETHICS LEADER IN BUSINESS - Polpharma SA Pharmaceutical Works
VISIONER FOR RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS - Olga Malinkiewicz, Saule Technologies, Robert Jacek Moritz, Alta SA –  a distinction, Małgorzata Adamkiewicz, Adamed - Special Award

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