Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition puts sustainable business on Davos agenda
January 28, 2013 - “Resilient Dynamism” was this year’s central theme at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In other words; the ability to, in the current crisis, stimulate sustainable growth with innovations, a clear vision and strong will to take action.
To reinforce this message, leaders of Unilever, DSM, HEINEKEN, Philips and Shell actively contributed to numerous sessions and debates. Pieter Jongstra, Managing Partner Ernst & Young The Netherlands: "The active participation of a number of DSGC Members was of great added value. We have been able to contribute to the quality of the dialogue around sustainable growth. In addition, there was quite some foreign interest in our coalition as a platform for collaboration."
Circular economy: innovation
Leaders of various DSGC Members chaired roundtable discussions in, among other, the session “Circular Economy Champions: Searching for Sustainable Growth Models at Scale”. The circular economy is an economic system focused on maximizing reusability and minimizing value destruction of products and natural resources. Subject of discussion were the opportunities for governments and companies, in scaling up and catalyzing circular economy business models. Best practices of sustainable innovations were shared with the 70 attending CEOs, scientists, politicians and new technology pioneers.
Collaborating and scaling up
Paul Polman (CEO, Unilever) emphasized the untenable situation we are currently facing. “Today, one billion consumers use 40 to 50% of the Earth’s natural resources. We consider it our task to rethink our definition of growth to really achieve sustainability, so that nine billion people can live together in peace by 2050.
“The Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition is an important platform for developing and scaling up initiatives that put sustainable growth first. It’s what we need in moving forward: towards a circular economy.” The session was held in the World Food Program tent, an important meeting hub in Davos for stakeholders, supported by DSM, Unilever and other partners of the UN World Food Program.
Jean-Francois van Boxmeer (CEO, Heineken), emphasized that more and better collaboration is necessary if we want to scale up the current sustainability programs of companies. “Both within the supply chain, and among competitors, it’s key to share best practices and stimulate peer learning.”
Redesign of business valuation models
“We must learn how to do more with less. This requires a different mindset, as we need to deal differently with our planet and natural resources. Companies must realize that their responsibilities are about creating value on more levels than just profits. People, Planet and Profit are three primary goals. We also need different valuation models for that, so that this type of value creation becomes measurable and visible”, says Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM.
Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition
The coalition, launched at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, brings together Unilever, DSM, AkzoNobel, FrieslandCampina, Philips, Shell, KLM and Heineken. Together with other platforms, such as the World Economic Forum, the DSGC develops and shares knowledge. In addition, the DSGC actively engages with the Dutch government. The Coalition, which is Chaired by Jan Peter Balkenende, is facilitated by Ernst & Young and endorsed by VNO-NCW.
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
+44 (0) 207 822 5252
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are; Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; finding sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and national disasters; the sovereign debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; and failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2011 and the Annual Report and Accounts 2011. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.