The world faces three critical challenges: the climate emergency, the loss of natural diversity, and growing social inequalities. Systemic changes are needed instead of isolated measures, which require profound and comprehensive cooperation across sectors and between economic actors. Building on these thoughts, the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary (BCSDH), recognizing the opportunities inherent in synergy and partnership that its 132 leading company members can generate, organized this week, a private Sustainability Matchmaking event for the second time, hosted by UniCredit Bank, to speed up the transition to carbon-neutral operations and encourage system-level change.
Joining the Race to Zero initiative, at the event organized in cooperation with the British Embassy, twenty companies presented their sustainability products and services and had the opportunity to have informal discussions with the thirty companies that were looking for sustainability solutions to help meet the goal of net zero.
Following Vice President and Deputy CEO, Giacomo Volpi, welcoming the participants on behalf of UniCredit Bank, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Hungary, Paul Fox, said in his opening speech that he was "glad to be part of this business-led, business-to-business event. It demonstrates that net zero makes business sense and that businesses are playing their role in driving the clean energy and economic transition.”
The most popular topics of discussion at the event were energy efficiency, green energy, and circular economy solutions, but carbon footprint calculation and digital and financial solutions for promoting carbon neutrality were not far behind, according to a BCSDH statement.
BCSDH executive director Irén Márta highlighted that "the program clearly shows what the most pressing challenges are for companies. Significant progress has been made in defining net zero goals, even within one year, as our latest Towards Net Zero research conducted together with Deloitte shows that the number of companies committing to carbon neutrality has doubled. At the same time, carbon neutrality goals often do not include actual, measurable, scientific GHG emission reduction commitments, so there is still a long way to go", she said in her welcome speech. "The research also pointed out that there is still a lot of uncertainty, a lack of knowledge is typical, and the allocation of resources within companies is often inadequate. The main incentives for companies to reduce emissions are maintaining or increasing competitiveness and complying with regulations. By presenting opportunities and good examples in this area, BCSDH can best help its member companies and the wider business environment," she added.
As the statement points out, it is an encouraging finding that areas related to the focal topic of the BCSDH for 2023 – the protection of biodiversity – already started to be addressed this year at the event: services related to regenerative agriculture, nature-based carbon neutralization, and sustainable water management. More than half of the world's GDP depends on nature and its services. In other words, all actors and companies are affected, so everyone has the responsibility and opportunity to act.
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