The CEOs say they will be calling on three newly elected EU leaders to work with them to implement an overarching strategy for a Sustainable Europe by 2030.
The CEOs of roughly 200 companies have announced that on November 1, they will be knocking on the doors of Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and David Maria Sassoli — newly elected Presidents of the European Commission, Council of the European Union and European Parliament, respectively — to implement together an overarching strategy for a Sustainable Europe by 2030.
The group — which includes the CEOs of companies including BASF, BNP Paribas, Ecolab, E.ON, Novelis, Sky, Toyota and Vodafone — represents a wide swath of industries and the widest group of CEOs ever mobilized in Europe, with many more are expected to endorse CSR Europe’s Call to Action for A New Deal for Europe — a Europe with a shared sustainable vision for its future.
“It is imperative for CEOs to take a stance and respond to the public concerns on the path to the future of Europe,” stated CSR Europe Executive Director Stefan Crets. “As the European Business Network on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, CSR Europe will engage leading companies to develop a Sustainability European Industry Alliance with one clear ambition: to ensure that Europe’s industry becomes climate-neutral, circular and resource-efficient, with reliable access to low carbon energy and raw materials in a sustainable way.”
As more and more CEOs have been actively addressing governments to advocate for changes in policy that will affect a number of issues vital to the longevity of business and society — including climate policy and carbon pricing, here in the US — it's become clear that only by joining forces will it be possible to innovate business models and accelerate the transformation necessary to tackle the current climate crisis in an inclusive way. The CEOs' Call to Action — apparently first voiced by Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri, at the 2019 Brussels SDG Summit in May — did not fall on deaf ears.
As Kadri said at the time: “We are calling for closer collaboration between politics, civil society and business to urgently act together and tackle global warming, accelerate inclusive growth and sustainable prosperity, with the SDGs as our compass.”
100 CEOs supported her appeal in May and now, that number has almost doubled, thanks to the ongoing support of CSR Europe’s network of National Partner Organisations. The CEOs and their companies are ready to work together with the EU Leaders and civil society for a future Europe that has sustainability, climate action and inclusiveness at its core.
Positive indications for the success of this joint action came last Tuesday from President von der Leyen, who expressed her ambition to make Europe a place that leaves no one behind and that will be the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050. In June, Heads of States and Governments echoed CSR Europe’s Call to Action, recognizing the importance of “building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe” as one of four priority areas of the new Commission.
Join the call
If you are CEO of a European company who takes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a compass and are ready to play your part in tackling the climate crisis, CSR Europe invites you to endorse the Call to Action before September 30, 2019.