Can business be a positive force to solve global environmental and social issues? We say: “YES”! – said István Salgó, President of our organization, on the event where BCSDH (Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary) launched the Action 2020 Hungary.
With this sentence the business lunch started for local business leaders, where we introduced the unique Action 2020 Hungary program. The program was developed by BCSDH with the strong involvement of the CEO’s of our member companies, who contribute to a significant part of GDP in Hungary, and more than 100 Hungarian scientific and civil experts.
„The level of unemployment among young people has almost reached 20%, 1.8 million tons of food are thrown away on an annual basis, global warming (which may reach 2°C by 2050) is already impacting Hungary, only 9% of surface water is of good quality and sustainable consumers make up only 10% of the population. These are just some of the reasons that companies thinking on a long are being called to action.” – announced István Salgó, President of BCSDH.
Representing the government, Antal Nikoletti, responsible for International Economic Affairs at Ministry of National Economy of Hungary, appraised the program and underlined that priorities and goals of Action 2020 Hungary are aligned to the government’s national strategic goals. He also appraised the work of BCSDH, as the cooperation of the members – who account for more than 25% of the Hungarian GDP – and the scientific and civil sector’s experts to improve sustainable development, resulted in a really unique program.
This Action 2020 program is unique because more than 60 scientific and civil experts were involved and engaged in identifying challenges and goals. Following this step, we discussed the experts’ proposals with CEOs whose companies will have a key role to the success of the program.
The end result of the process was goal setting for the Action 2020 initiative. In the first phase with the involvement of stakeholders the most important social, environmental and economic facts, trends were identified, where the business sector will play a key role, over the next 6 years.
Based on these BCSDH will be able to continue the work by identifying, developing and disseminating business solutions which contribute to the realization of Action 2020 Hungary goals.
During the localization phase of the program and while setting the targets for Hungary we mainly considered the following factors:
- the need to align targets with pre-existing national strategic goals, and/or
- common scientific agreements that have identified problems or goals, and
• ensuring that the contribution of business sectors to these areas will be potentially significant.
Food and Feed, Employment, Sustainable Lifestyles, Climate Change and Water are the five focal areas for Action 2020 Hungary.
Based on a non-representative survey which was also published on this event, among the five selected priorities more than 60% of respondents identify Climate Change as the most important business risk. Most important business opportunity may be Sustainable Lifestyles according to the majority of respondents.
Critical phase of the program will just start by identifying and disseminating business solutions.
Company leaders, who played an active role during the program development within the dedicated working group participated in a roundtable discussion during the event:
Andrea Bujdosó, Shell Hungary Zrt., András Gyenes, Unilever Magyarország Kft, Ágnes Horváth, McDonald’s Magyarországi Étterem Hálózat Kft., Zsolt Jamniczky, E.ON Hungária Zrt., Michael Nixon, Nestlé Hungária Kft.
They agreed, that participating in this Action 2020 Hungary program brought not only on a personal level, but for their company interesting experiences and benefits. The participation of a CEO in such a program already illustrates the commitment of the whole company not only for the external stakeholders but also for employees. They learned a lot of things through different roles: as parents, as socially and environmentally sensitive citizens and as company leaders. They were also confronted with shocking data and trends, but this strengthened their commitment to sustainable development, which is not only inevitable but also a business opportunity.
You can find the photo gallery on the following link.
More information about the Action 2020 you can find here.