The 7th edition of the “Sustainable Economy Summit” took place on October 7 at The Westin Warsaw. During four discussion panels and two presentations, invited experts discussed the most important issues for the sustainable and responsible business sector. The culmination of the event was the evening “Sustainable Economy Diamonds” gala for the most outstanding entities in the industries.
The event began with the speech of a Special Guest: Prof. Witold Orłowski, Warsaw University of Technology Business School, who discussed the issues of sustainable capitalism. The professor in his speech has also spoken about the market economy, stressing that capitalism is the best model that cannot be replaced. The speaker also mentioned the reforms and crises that occurred several or a dozen years ago.
Mr. Kamil Wyszkowski, Representative and Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact Network Poland, made an inaugural speech in which he spoke about energy and the effects of climate change. He stressed that we are losing climate stability, which is important in the worsening climate crisis. In his opinion, the world is dependent on fossil fuels, the consumption of which has a negative impact on the environment.
After the speeches, it was time for the first discussion panel entitled “Green financing”. The panel was moderated by Ms Ewa Mochocka – Associate Partner at EY-Parthenon. The following people were invited to the dialogue: Andrzej Stosio – Partner, Co-Head of the Banking and Finance Department of Clifford Chance; Paweł Strączyński – Vice President of the Management Board of Bank Pekao SA, Michał Popiołek – President of the Management Board of mInvestment Banking, Jacek Kubas – Deputy Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Łukasz Pobudejski – Director of the Structured Finance Department at BNP Paribas Bank Polski. The conversation focused on the transformation of the banking sector towards sustainable financing models, green bonds and trends among financing providers. The gentlemen briefly told about the implementation of changes in the direction of sustainable development in their companies and what are the current banks policies.
After a short break, Mrs. Edyta Ziajowska, Commercial Director in Edenred Polska presented in her speech the latest project “For Good. Movement”, which is aimed at minimising the effects of a pandemic by supporting wellbeing and good health of employees. She emphasized that this is the basis of sustainable development of the company.
Then, the second panel called “Business for climate protection” started. The discussion was moderated by dr hab. Mikołaj Pindelski, Warsaw School of Economics. He spoke with Mr. Tomasz Gontarz – Member of the Management Board of PKP Intercity SA, Mr. Dominik Budny – Communication Manager for Region CE Nordkalk, Mr. Marcin Ujejski – President of the Management Board, Blue Timber SA, Mrs. Monika Morawiecka – President of the Management Board of PGE Baltica and Mr. Wiesław Hałucha – President of the Management Board of Alventa SA. During this discussion there was a consensus that climate change should not be underestimated and that every company should strive for zero emissions. We should focus on obtaining energy through alternative sources, gradually exclude lignite, and at the same time properly prepare the society for all of this. Experts took notice of the changes that have occurred over the course of several dozen years. The business has changed from being only profit concetrated and started to implement pro-employee and pro-environmental activities and is open to further discussions.
After lunch, we met again this time on topics related to sustainable agriculture and food production. The panel was moderated by prof. dr hab. Roman Niżnikowski from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, and the speakers were: Grzegorz Brodziak – Managing Director of Goodvalley, Marek Łuczak – President of the Management Board of Syngenta Polska, Tomasz Piszczatowski – Director of the Agriculture Segment at Lafarge Polska, Łukasz Dominiak – Press Officer, Director for Relations public and governmental, Animex Foods. During the conversation, we got to know two opposite points of view on the impact of climate changes on Polish agriculture. According to the research of some of the experts, they bring positive changes in connection with the extension of the growing season, which in the future may result in an increase in agricultural production in our country. Mr. Marek Łuczak from Syngenta Polska drew attention to the unpredictability of the climate, which even this year was strongly felt, which may have catastrophic consequences in the future. He does not see any positives in relation to climate change. Speakers, on the other hand, agreed on the necessity to introduce changes, because even if Poland does not suffer as much as the more southern countries, climate change will wreak enormous destruction on a global scale.
The last point of the substantive part was the panel entitled “Circular economy”. The interview was conducted there by Prof. Ph.D. Bolesław Rok from the Department of Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics at Kozminski University, together with Ms Iwona Jacaszek-Pruś – Director for Corporate Affairs, Piwowarska Campaign, Monika Michalska – Commercial Manager at Geocycle Polska, Robert Daniluk – Director for Sustainable Development, Quality and Security, Lyreco Polska, Władysław Grochowski – President of the Arche Group, Michał Mikołajczyk – Proxy, Sales and Marketing Director, Rekopol Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań SA and with Artur Michalski – Deputy President of the Management Board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Each company shared with us the changes that were introduced in the spirit of the circular economy, the goals they pursue, and together tried to get to what still needs to be worked on. Mr. Władysław Grochowski from the Arche Group shared with us an interesting project of housing units made of containers located in depopulating areas, which would involve the local community and, if necessary, would be easy to transport to another place. Ms. Monika Michalska from Geocycle told us more about the production of alternative fuels from waste produced by Lafarge. At the end of the conversation, the experts unanimously stated that we should strive to reduce the waste produced, not use unnecessary raw materials and raise people’s awareness of the changes taking place.
After the conference, the Sustainable Economy Diamonds Gala was held, combined with the 15th anniversary of the Executive Club. Entities implementing the ideas of responsible business and distinguishing themselves with actions in the field of sustainable development were awarded. The winners of the competition include:
- ECOLOGY LEADER IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY: Enea
- SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION LEADER: Budimex, Distinction: Lafarge Polska
- SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTION LEADER: Danone Polska
- SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE LEADER: Syngenta Polska, Distinction: Bio-Lider
- TECHNOLOGY LEADER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CISCO Systems Poland, Distinction: inPost
- SUSTAINABLE FINANCING LEADER: BNP Paribas Bank Polska
- CONSULTING LEADER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CSR Consulting
- ETHICS LEADER IN BUSINESS: ING Bank Śląski
- SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LEADER: Polpharma, Distinction: Grupa ANG
- VISIONARY OF RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS: Prof. Bolesław Rok, Department of Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Business, Kozminski University
Organizer: Executive Club
Ministry of Development and Technology, Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw, Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, Polish Industrial Development Agency, Honorary Patronage of the Rector of the Warsaw School of Economics
Alventa, Arche, Blue Timber SA, Bank Ochrony Środowiska SA, Clifford Chance, Edenred, EY Parthenon, Fakro, Huawei, Kajima Poland, Kompania Piwowarska, Lafarge Polska, Michelin Polska, Mindento, Nordkalk, PKP Intercity SA, Polregio, Rekopol, Syngenta,
Czepczyński Family Foundation, Fundacja Dziecięca Fantazja, Pracownia Zrównoważonego Rozwoju, Stowarzyszenie Siemacha, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, Rolnictwo zrównoważone, SOS Wioski Dziecięce, UNICEF, Stowarzyszenie WIOSNA
Professional Partner: Cigno Consulting
Technical Partner: ProBrand