On 20 June, Heads of States and Governments echoed the CEOs’ Call to Action and included the development of a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe amongst the next EU Commission’s priorities. Businesses interested in having their voice heard by EU Policymakers, can still endorse the Call to Action and join CSR Europe’s initiatives for practical business collaborations.
In the new Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, “building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe” will be one of the four priority areas that the future Commission will have to address. The decision, taken by the Heads of States and Governments on 20 June, recognises the importance of pursuing what CEOs’ expect to become an overarching strategy for a Sustainable Europe by 2030.
During May’s Brussels SDG Summit, Ilham Kadri, CEO of our member company Solvay, made a strong appeal to all business leaders to join the Call to Action for A New Deal for Europe - a Europe with a shared sustainable vision for its future. On 7 May, already more than 100 CEOs had endorsed CSR Europe’s Call to business leaders, policy makers and civil society organisations. With their adherence, signatories recognised that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), together with the Paris Agreement and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are the right direction to go to provide value to society and sustainable profitability. Later in June, CSR Europe gave voice to businesses in the Open Letter to the EU Head of States and Governments, signed by a unique coalition of 250 European stakeholders asking to make sustainable development the EU’s number one political priority.
In order to walk the talk, business leaders should also go hand-in-hand with their industry federations to:
1. Embed sustainability in the strategies and business models of EU enterprises and their industry federations
2. Develop and reinforce Collaborative Platforms - sector or cross-sector- at national, European and international level, to speed up the development and implementation of scalable solutions in light of the SDGs
3. Contribute to the European sustainability dialogue with civil society and policymakers
Is the CEOs’ Call a Done Deal?
No, CSR Europe keeps on supporting CEOs’ voices. If your business has not yet endorsed the Call to Action, you have time until 30 September to participate by filling out and submitting this online form. On 1 November, CSR Europe will hand over the Call, and the businesses’ answer to the Call, to the new president of the EU Commission, Council, and Parliament.
Companies are uniquely positioned to contribute to this agenda. The transformation required is not easy but all the more necessary and urgent: it will provide the new business opportunities of the future, attracting investors, and meeting changing regulators as well as stakeholder expectations. To facilitate the transformation, and in line with our 2030 Strategy, CSR Europe is already focusing on incubating practical business collaborations, spanning from the circular economy in the automotive supply chain, and in the rubber industry, to the Future of Work, sustainable finance and industry.
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