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Businesses play a key role in achieving a sustainable development model, but to generate an impact cooperation can truly make the difference. This was one of the key messages addressed at the SDG Summit organized by CSR Europe on 23 and 24 May, within the European Business Summit. Eurelectric Secretary General Kristian Ruby joined the event presenting the strategic partnerships and concrete projects undertaken by the electricity sector to contribute to the accomplishment of the global Sustainable development Goals.
In September 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by world leaders as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These came officially into force on the 1 January 2016 and are expected to be implemented by 2030. The SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
Nowadays companies want to engage with these goals because it is a clear business case – both from an inclusive business opportunity perspective, as well as a risk management viewpoint – but more can be done to be further impactful. Here, sector organizations can play a leading role, having the potential to raise the integration of sustainability on the agenda. This was also the main evidence coming from the White Paper on the maturity and integration of sustainability in European sector associations, released by CSR Europe the day of the event.
In the light of its renewed vision, Eurelectric is well committed to the dissemination of a sustainable thinking within the sector. The expertise from its membership fuels concrete projects inspired by the SDGs. This is the case, for example, of the partnership in place with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), now executed with the contribution of a number of Partner Companies from Eurelectric membership. “The purpose is to assess the needs and to help provide sustainable and environmental friendly power solutions to refugees’ camps in the light of SDG 7,” recalled Eurelectric Secretary General Kristian Ruby who spoke in the “Accelerating Sector Action Towards the SDGs” panel.
It is not just a matter of being best in class. It is the benefit of working together. The importance of adopting a collaborative approach is also demonstrated by the work undertaken by Eurelectric with the European Social Partners in the electricity sector, that brought to a joint statement expressing mutual commitment to ensure a successful and just clean energy transition in Europe as called by SDG 8 on decent work.
We invite you to contact us if you want to know more about Eurelectric’s work on sustainability.