Report from the 9th edition of the Sustainable Economy Summit!
On May 22-23, 2023, the 9th edition of the two-day “Sustainable Economy Summit” conference took place at the Sheraton Grand Warsaw hotel. During seven discussion panels and five presentations, the invited experts discussed the most important issues related to sustainable development and responsible business conduct. The culmination of the event was the evening gala of the “Sustainable Economy Diamonds” awards, during which we honored companies and individuals who made exceptional impact in the field of responsible and sustainable business.
The first day of the conference began with the speech of the Special Guest – Prof. Witold Orłowski, Professor of the Vistula Academy of Finance and Business and the Business School of the Warsaw University of Technology, Chief Economic Advisor to PwC Polska. Professor Orłowski raised issues related to the challenges of sustainable development, pointing out that the main inhibition on efforts to decarbonise the economy are high energy prices, which are affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. During his speech, the Professor also emphasized that ESG is not only an expression of concern for our planet, but also an attempt to achieve independence from the supply of energy resources, e.g. from Russia.
After the inaugural speech, it was time for the first discussion panel entitled: “On the light side of the force – responsible in business”, moderated by Dr. hab. Bolesław Rok, Professor at Kozminski University, Department of Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics.The discussion was attended by: Teresa Aldea, Sustainable Development Manager, Carlsberg Polska, Krzysztof Bełz, Sustainable Development Partnerships Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Poland and the Baltic States, Agnieszka Łyczak-Szymczyk, Sustainability Manager, BASF Polska, Katarzyna Ochman, Director, Safety, Health & Environment, AstraZeneca Pharma Poland, Magdalena Olborska, ESG Manager, Samsung Electronics Polska, Filip Orliński, Director of the Corporate Strategy and Strategic Projects Office, InPost, Aleksandra Robaszkiewicz, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR, Lidl Polska.
The panelists’ discussion focused on discussing the importance of sustainable development for companies and how it is becoming an indispensable element in the modern market. The difference between changing the image of an organization and changing its identity in the context of sustainable development was also discussed. The speakers also tried to answer the question of whether we are prepared to be more involved and more responsible for our environmental impact, taking into account the growing number of regulations governing ESG-related issues. The focus was on presenting practical and effective solutions in the field of ESG strategies and whether such strategies can bring the expected profits in the long term. Finally, the topic of the impact of the ESG reporting obligation on production and supply chains was also discussed. Consumer awareness regarding the origin of products and the carbon footprint was also discussed.
After the networking break, their presentation named “The Inconvenient Truth About Corporate Sustainability: Why Greenwashing Won’t Cut It Anymore” was delivered by Ireneusz Borowski – Country Manager Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Dassault Systèmes and Philipp Glonner – Co-Founder & CEO, ARTHUR BUS GmbH. They presented an analysis of the topic of sustainable development related to corporations. They focused on discussing the need for companies to genuinely engage in pro-environmental and social activities, rather than relying on superficial greenwashing practices. They emphasized that today’s consumers are increasingly aware and demanding, expecting real changes and commitments. The speakers also shared practical examples and strategies that can help companies build a credible and authentic sustainable development strategy that takes into account both environmental and social aspects. The challenges faced by the European transport sector in connection with decarbonisation were also discussed.
Then it was time for the second panel: “Sustainable agriculture and food production”, moderated by: Prof. dr hab. Marian Podstawka, Professor at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Member of the Committee of Economic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Member of the Council for Agriculture and Rural Areas at the President of the Republic of Poland, and the discussion was attended by: Dr. inż. Andrzej Gantner, Vice-President of the Management Board, General Director of the Polish Federation of Food Producers Association of Employers, Wiesław Hałucha, President of the Management Board, Alventa, Marcin Jakub Kruczyński, General Director, Foss Polska, Marta Tworek, Sustainable Development Coordinator, Smithfield Polska, Izabela Wawerek, Director of of Sustainable Business, Syngenta Polska.
During the panel, the issues of modern technologies, environmentally friendly innovations and consumer trends vs. food production were discussed. Speakers also discussed the strategies of fertilizer producers to innovate and provide greener solutions that can reduce the negative effects of climate change on agriculture. Experts also discussed ways to reduce food waste throughout the entire production, distribution, sale and consumption process. The panel was concluded with a discussion of ways and practices that can significantly reduce the amount of food going to landfill.
After the lunch break, a presentation named “Green patents – where is clean energy technology headed?” was delivered by Konrad Ptasiński, PhD from JWP Patent & Trademark Attorneys. In his speech, he presented current trends in the development of green technologies and discussed the importance of intellectual protection in this area. He also focused on the role of patents as tools to support technological progress, as well as on the challenges associated with obtaining them in the context of clean energy technologies. He also explained the important role played by a patent attorney in the process of creating and developing innovations. The presentation was aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of patents for the development of green technologies and their role in creating a sustainable energy future.
After Mr. Konrad’s speech, it was time for the third discussion panel named “Climate neutrality achieved thanks to innovations”, moderated by Dr. inż. Artur Pollak, President of the Management Board, APA Group. The discussion was attended by: Dominika Bagińska-Chyłek, ESG Manager, Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Organization and Management in Industry “ORGMASZ”, Piotr Maciak, President of the Management Board, Nordkalk and Member of the Management Board of the Nordkalk Group responsible for the Central Europe Region, Dariusz Jasak, President of the Management Board , Seen Technologie, Anna Kułach, President of the Management Board, CFO, E.ON Foton, Dr. inż. Konrad Ptasiński, Patent Attorney, JWP Patent Attorneys, Marcin Ujejski, President of the Management Board, Blue Timber, President of the BeLeaf Stock Exchange Company.
During the discussion panel, the guests invited to the discussion meantioned innovative solutions in the companies they represent. They raised such issues as alternative energy sources and their role in the face of rising prices and limited resources. The panellists also tried to answer the question whether the installation of carbon dioxide capture systems can contribute to the reduction of emissions. The panel also raised the issue of investments in research and development departments in large corporations and the importance of cooperation between R&D departments and scientists. They also discussed how the implementation of innovative solutions in renewable energy can contribute to improving the quality of the environment. Finally, the conditions that must be met for Poland to become a center of green innovation and the benefits of participation in European partnerships, such as #HorizonEurope, for Polish companies were also discussed.
The fourth and last panel discussion of the day named “Mental health and wellbeing of the organization” was moderated by Prof. Rafał Ohme, CEO, Digital Emotions. The discussion was attended by: Katarzyna Duzinkiewicz, Director People Experience, Pfizer Polska, Mariola Pilas-Kołodziej, Director of Harmonia Medical Centers, LUX MED, Weronika Ławniczak, Originator and CEO of the Holispace Institute of Health and Beauty in Warsaw, Janusz Szulik, President of the Management Board of TU INTER Poland and HERE INTER-ŻYCIE Poland.
The debaters discussed the importance of mental well-being for the organization and the impact of emotions and stress on the effectiveness of employees. It was emphasized how important it is to take into account the needs of employees in the area of mental health and to create appropriate structures and programs that will support their well-being. In the context of the future of wellbeing and employee benefits, the panellists answered the question of what benefits can be offered to employees as part of corporate wellness? During the panel, the issues of modern technologies and innovations were also discussed, including the GPT chat, which, according to the moderator, has the potential to contribute to a revolution in education and business through personalization, automation and improvement of communication. Various programs and initiatives aimed at improving the mental health of employees were also discussed, such as access to therapy, stress reduction programs, support in dealing with emotions or promoting work-life balance.
The second day of the Sustainable Economy Summit was inaugurated by the Special Guest – Mr. Kamil Wyszkowski – National Representative, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland, UNOPS Representative in Poland. His presentation, entitled “Has the war in Ukraine stopped the UN climate process?” focused on an important issue related to the impact of war on global environmental efforts. Wars and military conflicts often lead to serious damage to the natural environment. Infrastructure is often damaged, including energy, industrial and transport installations, which can lead to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants. In his presentation, Mr. Kamil also pointed to the need for greater understanding and active involvement in activities for peace, environmental protection and sustainable development.
After the speech, we smoothly moved on to the first discussion panel entitled “Green investments and sources of their financing”, moderated by Dr. Szymon Sikorski, Plenipotentiary, Assistant to the Rector of the University of Agriculture in Krakow. The discussion was attended by: Andrzej Bułka, President of the Management Board, Fracht FWO Polska, Ewa Mochocka, Associate Partner, Capital & Debt Advisory Leader, Strategy and Transaction Team, EY Polska, Agata Staniewska-Bolesta, Director Managing Offshore, Ørsted, Marta Saracyn, ESG Risk Strategy Manager, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Andrzej Zduńczyk, Financial Institutions Market Director, BIK.
This panel discussed strategies that energy companies can adopt to invest in sustainable, green development. The possibilities of energy transformation towards more sustainable energy sources were also discussed and examples of best practices in the field of investments in green technologies were presented. The panellists also answered the question of what are the key factors and challenges related to transforming the energy system in a more sustainable way and what are the socio-economic benefits of such transformation? The role of investments in offshore wind energy as a foundation for the transformation of the Polish energy sector was considered. The need to develop offshore infrastructure in Poland was emphasized and ways to speed up this process were discussed in the context of the aims regarding RePower EU – a program aimed at the development of wind energy in the Baltic Sea.
After the networking break, the time has come for the second discussion panel entitled “Green Digitization”. The panel was conducted in English and was moderated by Dr. hab. Rafał Mrówka, Professor at the Department of Management Theory, Director of the Office of MBA Programs at the Warsaw School of Economics. The discussion was attended by: Ireneusz Borowski, Country Manager Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Dassault Systèmes, Tomasz Dziki, Vice-President of the Management Board, Co-owner, Britenet, Dariusz Kwieciński, President of the Management Board, Fujitsu, Jens Lovejus, Regional Director, SoftwareONE, Dr hab . inż. Tomasz Nasiłowski, Founder, CEO, InPhoTech, Tomasz Sobol, Cloud Product Manager, OVHcloud, CEE.
Experts discussed innovative applications of green digital technologies. They emphasized that, apart from the technologies themselves, it is important to change the way of thinking. The transformation towards green digitization requires not only the introduction of new solutions, but also the transition to a green mentality. Interesting examples were presented that showed how green technologies can simplify life and contribute to socio-economic transformation. What’s more, the role of legal regulations in supporting transformation was discussed. Panel participants also emphasized the need for the profitability of green technologies. The belief in their value must result from their real benefits and positive impact on life and the environment. Valuable success stories play an important role in showing the direction of transformation and inspiration for other entities.
The third and last panel discussion of the day entitled “Circular Economy” moderated by Prof. dr hab. inż. Krzysztof Pikoń, Professor at the Faculty of Environmental and Energy Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology, head of the Department of Waste Management Technologies and Devices. The discussion was attended by: Robert Chciuk, Director, Department of Waste Management, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Dariusz Jasak, President of the Management Board, Seen Technologie, Andrzej Losor, Member of the Management Board, Director of Sales and Marketing Development, Górażdże Cement, Michał Mikołajczyk, Proxy, Director of sales and marketing, Rekopol Packaging Recovery Organization, Grzegorz Skrzypczak, President of the Management Board, ElektroEko. During the panel, experts discussed key topics related to the need for transition from a linear economy to a closed-loop model, which is essential for the survival of the planet. The panel also focused on the role of business in building conscious consumption patterns and on the challenges and barriers related to the effective functioning of the waste electrical and electronic equipment market. The focus was was also on the effective management of waste, and examples and good practices regarding the use of raw materials from waste. Innovative technologies and modern systems in the field of recycling were also discussed.
The first day of the Sustainable Economy Summit conference can be viewed at link
The second day of the Sustainable Economy Summit conference can be viewed at link
Organised by: Executive Club
Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture, Collegium Civitas, UN Global Compact Network Poland, Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute, Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development PFR Group, Polish Federation of Food Producers Association of Employers, Polish Association of Sustainable of Agriculture and Food, Warsaw School of Economics
Strategic Partner: Pfizer
Main Partner: AstraZeneca
BeLeaf, Carlsberg Poland, Dassault Systemes, Samsung, Smithfield Poland
Alventa, APA Group, Basf, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Credit Information Bureau, Industry Contact Points, Coca-Cola HBC, E.ON Polska, ElektroEko, EY, FOSS, Fracht Group, Fujitsu, Górażdże, Holispace, InPost, JWP, Lidl Polska , Łukasiewicz ORGMASZ, MIPIM, Nordkalk, R3, Rekopol, SEEN Technologies, Sefako, SoftwareONE, Syngenta
Gold Partner of the Gala:
Alventa, AstraZeneca, Carlsberg Polska, HREIT, Lidl Polska, Pfizer
Integracja, Fundacja mam marzenie, Pracownia zrównoważonego rozwoju, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, Siemacha
Main Media Patrons:
Executive Magazine, Polska Press Grupa, Strefa Biznesu, Biznes Ekologia, Eco Miasto
Biomasa.pl, Ecoekonomia.pl, Eco-news.pl, ESGinfo.pl, HaleprzemysłowePlus, Investor Real Estate Expert, Capital of Poland, PAP MediaRoom, Real Estate Zone, Polish Ecology, Econatura, Economic Observer, Staleo.pl, Teraz Środowisko
Author: Anastazja Lach, managing editor of Executive Magazine
Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Janusz Gil