For the first time GOLDEN and the Center for research on Society and Organization at HEC Paris co-organised a workshop.The event with about 90 participants was designed to stimulate intensive discussions between business, academia and institutions involved in the change process of business towards sustainable enterprise models.
In these dialogues business representatives and academics reflected on the integration of sustainability in specific areas of business. It turned out that the perception of the state of the art and the necessary next actions to accelerated sustainable developments did not differ greatly between the two groups.
The dialogues started with Agata Ramallo, Global Sustainability CoE, of NIKE Inc. providing insights into the integration of sustainability in strategic decision making processes at Nike. Ms. Ramallo discussed the implications on business and the next important steps towards deeper integration of sustainability in business processes with Lucca Berchicci, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Maurizio Zollo, Academic Director GOLDEN.
Jean-Christophe Laugee, Director Ecosystem Fund, DANONE and Frederic Dalsace, HEC Paris, reflected on the difficult assessment of social impact of sustainability initiatives. M. Laugee reported of his experiences with such assessments in sustainability initiatives of Danone and the complexity of the approaches used.
The session on the integration of sustainability in the supply chain was split two. One pair consisting of Vanessa Otto-Mentz, Head of Group Strategy Unit at Santam and Franz Wohlgezogen, Bocconi University Italy, reviewed a research project currently ongoing with Santam, a South African insurance company, to introduce sustainable principles in the Motor Body Repair supply chain. Afterwards Geraldine Vallejo, Sustainability Program Director at KERING discussed the Environmental Profit and Loss Account system Kering developed for Puma together with Anthony Goerzen from the Queens School of Business in Kingston, Canada.
The dialogue sessions were followed by parallel group discussion working on the development of a common agenda between business and academia in the discussed areas.
After a poster session where researchers from GOLDEN and SnO presented their latest projects in the context of business and sustainability (list of presentations) the business-academia dialogues were continued with Ralph Pfitzner, VP Sustainability, SIEMENS AG and Tomasz Obloj, HEC Paris, presenting their views on strategies to integrate sustainability into the governance of a company.
On the topic of HR and employment Tamera Campbell, yellowwoods, South Africa presented valuable insights in an employment initiative called Harambee generating employment for disadvantaged South African youths. Michael Müller-Camen, WU Vienna, reflected on the general links between HR and sustainability.
The last dialogue focussed on integrated reporting – a topic rapidly gaining importance both in business and academia – with contributions by Patrick d’Humières, Institut RSE, France and Paolo Perego, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Intensive discussions in small groups and the plenary dealt with the learnings and resulting actions from these dialogues.
The second day of the workshop was organized around two panel discussions on the sustainability issue of renewable energy on the one hand and the integration of the work of international institution, national governments, business and academia on the other hand.
The first panel on The Challenges to 100% Renewable Energy – Realistic Target or Just Wishful Thinking moderated by Andrea Masini, HEC Paris, provided insights into the topic from three different positions: Fabio Mondini de Focatiis, Senior VP Solar Business, SOITEC presented the dynamic development of technological solutions, Julien Perez, Project Director, Climate/Energy at TOTAL highlighted the strong existing focus on renewables in a traditional energy company, and Christophe Poline, Energy Access Capital Fund, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC, introduced the efforts currently applied to provide access to electricity on the African Continent by use of solar power.
The second panel moderated by Betrand Quelin, HEC Paris, on the Collaboration Among Business, Academia and Institutions Towards the Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals took place under the hospices and with the participation of the Italian Ambassador to France, Giandomenico Magliano and the French Ambassador-at-large for Bioethics and CSR, Marine de Carné-Trécesson. The Ambassadors and the other panel participants from UNEP (Elisa Tonda, Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch), OECD (Hilkka Komulainen, Investment Division), and the French Treasury Ministry (Frederic Bobay, Private-Public Partnerships) agreed that it would be most relevant to engage more closely with academia particularly in the area of measurements and in the development of the business case for sustainable business. Mustapha Mokass, Founder, BEYA CAPITAL, presented the funding landscape and existing opportunities to support initiatives on sustainable business in developing countries.
Download area for workshop presentations: