How can sustainability accelerate the process of economic recovery?

The idea that we are installed in a kind of perfect storm is advancing steadily.

27 September 2022 Tuesday 05:40
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How can sustainability accelerate the process of economic recovery?

The idea that we are installed in a kind of perfect storm is advancing steadily. Finding a future response to the many challenges that are accumulating is an urgent need that does not admit of delay. To the climate crisis and the growing social inequalities that we have been dragging for a long time, have been added the consequences of the pandemic and other new disasters such as the war in Ukraine and its terrible consequences both economically and humanitarian.

With each passing day, the need to undertake a process of intelligent and forward-looking transformation becomes more evident. A path based on the opportunities offered by the sustainable development agenda. A kind of road map that, although it is very present on paper, cries out for a more demanding and determined commitment on the part of governments, companies and society as a whole.

Beatriz Corredor, president of Redeia, explains that "we don't know what the crises we will experience in the future will be like, or what challenges we will face tomorrow, but we know the risks that threaten our environment and our organizations today. Global warming and environmental degradation are a serious threat to life and the economy; and growing social inequalities are a factor of instability”.

Corredor believes that "in the face of these challenges, companies need to implement ambitious measures that integrate sustainability into our business models, involving our value chains, promoting good corporate governance and exercising responsible leadership." The president of Redeia affirms that "the key to facing current risks is to see them as opportunities and embark on the path towards an authentic competitive social transformation". Only then will we achieve "a sustainable, fair and inclusive recovery", she concludes.

We are running out of time to build a more sustainable future and it is imperative to find a way to accelerate this process of change. The Sustainability Conferences organized by Redeia from October 18 to 20 will bring together a leading group of experts, politicians and managers to analyze how to take advantage of the opportunities posed by this transformation and assess how the application of the so-called ESG criteria, linked to environmental factors, social and corporate governance, can play a determining role in advancing the recovery.

The Giner de los Ríos Foundation Auditorium in Madrid will be the setting for this sustainability forum open to the public with prior registration. Three days of presentations, interviews, dialogues and debate tables with the participation of leaders from science, politics and business that can also be followed in streaming through the digital edition of La Vanguardia.

The first day of the 2022 Sustainability Conference will focus on analyzing factors related to the environment and, in a very special way, with the threat posed by climate change, its impact on biodiversity and how humanity can build a second chance for the planet. After words of welcome from Beatriz Corredor, president of Redeia, the opening conference will be given by Teresa Ribera, third vice-president of the Government and minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

One of the highlights of this conference will be the speech by Stephan Singer, General Director of International Policies of the Climate Action Network, an organization that represents 1,200 civil society organizations from around the world that fight against climate change and from a global perspective. broad that includes aspects as diverse as the promotion of 100% renewable energy, the elimination of fossil fuels and access to energy for the poor.

In his speech, Singer will analyze how the COVID-19 crisis generated a global political impulse that, with the arrival of the recovery plans, offered a new opportunity to change the macroeconomic management model. However, the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops has altered the geopolitical context and the opportunity languishes. However, the need for a new political paradigm is more urgent than ever to move towards a decarbonized world with secure energy. As an expert and privileged observer, Singer will offer his vision of the ability of governments to adopt the necessary measures to act jointly and take advantage of that window of opportunity that seemed open and that the war threatens to close.

After knowing the point of view of Stephan Singer, the session 'Young WAS' will provide the vision of four young experts and activists on the climate emergency and their hopes of moving towards the construction of a sustainable future.

The day will conclude with two round tables with the participation, among other speakers, of leading experts from the CSIC. The first of these sessions will be devoted to the relationship between climate change and biodiversity; while the second will focus on the ways to accelerate the transition and the economic opportunities that derive from this process.

The participants in the second day will focus on aspects related to the human factor from a social and economic perspective. The reduction of inequalities, exacerbated by the pandemic, is a necessary element to achieve stability and greater economic efficiency. Promoting the idea of ​​an inclusive recovery demands greater social cohesion and the commitment to always place people at the center of decisions in all areas and, of course, also in business. One of the challenges of the corporate world that will have repercussions beyond companies will be the responsible management of talent and promoting the role of women.

The first of the sessions on this second day will feature Ángeles González Sinde, screenwriter and film director, and president of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, who will talk with La Vanguardia journalist Joana Bonet about the necessary recovery of confidence to be able to advance in the challenges posed.

Next, the importance of education for change will be the axis of the dialogue between the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, and Beatriz Corredor. This session will be the prelude to a session on female talent in which the RedeSTEAM contest prizes will be awarded, with which Redeia seeks to promote scientific and technological vocations in 3rd year ESO students.

The day will continue with a presentation by Cani Fernández, president of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), who will address the role of the consumer at the center of the new energy regulation. A highly topical issue in the context of the current crisis.

The round table format is chosen for experts in business management to contrast their points of view on solutions for social transformation that have their axis in sustainability in the corporate world and its social impact. The phenomenon of telecommuting, the role of people in the world of work and investments in robots and artificial intelligence are closely related, presenting both risks and opportunities.

This second Jordanian focused on social factors will close with a conversation on the most innovative and inclusive aspects of the transformation towards a more sustainable future. Antón Costas, president of the Economic and Social Council of Spain, and Cristina Garmendia, president of the COTEC Foundation, will participate. The session will be led by Jordi Juan, director of La Vanguardia.

In an era marked by deep transformations and inspired by the evolution towards more sustainable practices, governance, also immersed in a process of change, acquires a more relevant role in all organizations. Challenges and opportunities go hand in hand on the road to recovery. The third and final day of the Sustainability Conference will focus on these aspects and how the reduction of social and environmental risks can enable ESG objectives to advance faster.

The first of the sessions focuses on the most reflective level with the presence of Adela Cortina, professor of ethics and philosophy, who will address various ethical aspects parallel to the process of evolution towards a more sustainable society such as globality, the impact of longevity or the behavior of companies, among other issues. Cortina will address this problem in a conversation with Enric Juliana, deputy director of La Vanguardia.

The day will advance with the conference by Heather Grabbe, director of the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels, who will address the challenges and trends in a changing world. This session will give way to a space on innovative entrepreneurship in society.

The only round table of the day will bring together Roberto García, CEO of Redeia; Rosa García, president of Exolum; Arturo Gonzalo, CEO of Enagás and Belén Garijo, CEO of Merck. The four business leaders will discuss the risks and consequences of not betting on sustainability.

Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of the Bank of Spain, will lead the next session with a presentation. At the end of it, Belén Gualda, president of SEPI, and Xiana Méndez, Secretary of State for Commerce, will discuss the concept of equitable growth and its link with governance criteria.

Before the closing, which as the welcome, will feature the intervention of the president of Redeia, Beatriz Corredor, the penultimate session will offer the vision of sustainable recovery for the European Union (EU). Ditte Juul-Jorgensen, Director General for Energy of the European Commission, will present the energy model that he defends from the European government.



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