The business sector opened a new chapter

40 companies already joined the Action 2020 Hungary Program and 20 specific business solutions were already introduced for the most imminent sustainability problems.

Unemployment is almost 20 % among the youth, each year 1.8 million tons of food waste is generated and the 2°C warming up forecast for 2050 can already be sensed in Hungary. These are facts that necessarily incent companies adopting responsible and long term thinking for taking immediate actions.

‘The business sector already has solutions’. These were the introductory words of István Salgó, head of ING Bank and President of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Hungary (BCSDH) – comprising the leaders of companies that  generate almost 30% of the GDP – to the new chapter of Action 2020 Hungary, held in Budapest on November 19, 2015.

‘The science is unequivocal and we are beyond the point of debate. The climate is changing. But neither business nor government can solve this critical challenge alone – we must work together. I believe business can take the lead and implement solutions that will help our society make the urgently needed transition to a low-carbon economy. Ambitious climate action is the biggest business opportunity for the foreseeable future.’– said Peter Bakker,  President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in his presentation.
It was his first time in Hungary, meeting with corporate leaders, spearheading the Hungarian program as change leaders. His visit in Hungary is especially remarkable now that the world keeps its eye on the Paris climate summit organized in December, where as chairman of WBCSD he represents the business world – more than 200 global companies and numerous local member councils – at the negotiations.

The short summary of the achievement of Action 2020 Hungary within almost 2 years: active participation of 150 scientific, NGO and corporate experts as well as CEOs, 10 expert workshops, 8 CEO roundtables, 20 macro level objectives, 77 impact measurement indicators and 40 formally joined companies, 20 business solutions worked out. The process has started, new companies join continuously and the scope of business solutions – inspiring other companies – constantly increases.

‘The Action 2020 Hungary program has multifold effects. Sustainability is not only fostered through the identified business solutions and the results of the practices of member companies, but through the process of the program itself which is based on dialogue, shared thinking, scaling up and continuously challenging ‘business as usual’.’– said Attila Chikán Jr., CEO of ALTEO Group and head of the Action 2020 working group.

BCSDH is convinced that effective sustainability solutions – initiated and implemented by these important change leaders – result in positive changes.

Five of them participated at the round table discussion held within the event:

  • Ágnes Fábián Dr., Managing Director, Henkel
  • Dale A. Martin, President & CEO, Siemens
  • Zoltán Gazsi, Managing Director, eisberg Hungary
  • Anita Simon, COO, Biofilter
  • László Török, Managing Director, Grundfos Hungary

They all agreed that joining the Action 2020 Hungary Program reflect both their personal, and their companies’ commitment towards sustainability, both externally and with regards to the companies’ employees.

Outlining the business solutions of their own companies, they all emphasized that developing solutions ‘going beyond business as usual’ takes substantial time and efforts, however it is rewarded as they bring about creativity and new solutions that definitely offer competitive market advantages to the companies.

More details are available in the publication handed out at the event introducing the Action 2020 program, as well as at: www.action2020.hu

Peter Bakker’s presentation: Hungary Final Version

Photos of the event you can find here.