Sarah Battey opened the workshop and introduced Lene Pedersen as the new chair of the People and Leadership Group. Lene and Donald Venkatapen then introduced the topic and the speaker: Dr Lucius, who is head of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Civil Society Division at the European Investment Bank.
Lucius gave a quick tour through the Anthropocene epoch–the period of time during which human activities have had an environmental impact on the earth. It was clear that with the human population around 7.6bn, increasing by 1m every 4.5 days, that there will be a point at which natural resources will not be sufficient.
He showed the stark correlation between the countries which are said to have a ‘good life’ and their ecological footprint, and explained the need for a re-invention of the good life and how we achieve it.
The speed of loss of biodiversity is increasing and we take ecosystems for granted when we have them for free (like bees), and yet they have a value, estimated at $100,000bn. Extremes of weather are often reported, going from forest fires to floods, and Luxembourg recorded its hottest temperature ever in 2019 at 40.6 degrees.
So many questions came from the audience that the breakout sessions were reduced but when the conversations began, many agreed that the facts Lucius had outlined were sobering. However, the three groups came back with hopeful signs in the areas of people, planet and profit.
People: Young people seem more environmentally aware and positive towards companies and products where sustainability is paramount. During covid, there was also an opportunity to reset and find out the necessities of life and what we could manage without. Reduced travel time and flexible working solutions may have created a momentum for the workplace to change.
Profit: There is an explicable contradiction between profit and sustainability, but many organisations are becoming aware of the possibility to use sustainability to promote their business and/or their products. An ideal world would require all economic actors and governments to implement sustainable policies and force the market to tackle environmental concerns at every level perhaps turning sustainability into profit may become a reality.
Planet: Politicians, people and companies are taking note of the need to do something about climate change. As individuals, we often feel powerless, but the general consensus was that we should be mindful of our choices and their consequences. As consumers, we can vote with our feet, and catalyse change through our buying habits. Rather than following the latest trends, we should ask ourselves “is it necessary?” before we make our next purchase.
Jill Saville is an executive coach and member of the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg’s People and Leadership Group.
We invite you to join us for a day of community celebration as we commemorate the coronation of HM King Charles III. Guests can look forward to a screening of the coronation, delicious food and drink stands, and fun-filled activities for the entire family. Come and be a part of this historic moment and enjoy a day filled with fun and excitement hosted by the British communities of Luxembourg. This will take place on 06 May from 11:00 - 15:00 at St. George's International School, 11 Rue des Peupliers, Luxembourg. Please register here: https://bit.ly/CoronationLuxembourg.
The purpose of the BCC Tax and Legal Newsletter is to provide additional regular bimonthly update on key Tax and Legal developments in Luxembourg that may be relevant to you business. That present newsletters issued by member firms of the Tax and Legal groups cover the period from January to February 2023.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, on Tuesday 8 March 2023, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) People and Leadership Group, in collaboration with The NETWORK, held an in-person evening event at the offices of ATOZ in Luxembourg’s Aerocenter. This event was an opportunity to hear the story of one of Luxembourg’s most inspirational women: Erna Hennicot-Schoepges. What do Luxembourg’s Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmony, the University, and the Rockhal have in common? The answer is: Erna Hennicot-Schoepges. She kept the audience spellbound with her recollections of how she started out in life as a professional pianist, moving into politics in the 1970s, and navigated a stellar political career, while being a mother of three children.