The Triple Bottom Line: How Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility Can Help Fight Climate Change

2018

On Monday 15 October 2018, the 55th Cairo Climate Talks was held at the premises of the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC-AHK) in Mohandessen, Giza, under the title of “The Triple Bottom Line: How Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility Can Help Fight Climate Change”.

Mr. Jan Nöther, CEO of the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce, opened the 55th Cairo Climate Talks. He expressed his excitement in hosting the 55th CCT, especially for this important theme of Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility. “CESR is not a luxury but rather a necessity for companies towards a sustainable future,” He stated. He highlighted that the CESR must be supported by policies at the governmental level to go hand in hand of the private sector and the civil society. He welcomed H.E. Julius Georg Luy, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cairo, H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of the Environment of Egypt, Ms. Isabel Mering Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and all participants.

In his introductory remarks, H.E. Julius Georg Luy, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cairo, acknowledged the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and alarmed the urgent need to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. “An important part of greenhouse emissions is produced by the private sector, and it is therefore crucial for both the public and the private sectors to work together on this complex issue,” he strongly recommended. He welcomed distinguished panelists, participants and stakeholders of the event, and remarked his best wishes to a fruitful discussion.

In her opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of the Environment of Egypt, commended the evolvement of the CCT over years and how it became an integral part of the ministry as a platform where people discuss the environmental issues in a transparent manner. “Cairo Climate Talks is an evidence of a long-lasting relationship between the Ministry of Environment of Egypt and the German Embassy in Cairo” She stated. “Climate Change cuts across all development sector. Climate Change is a developmental challenge,” She underscored. She urged the role of engagement of the private sector and youth in practical manners. She mentioned that CESR requires unification of efforts and advanced that provision of an enabling environment and policies could lead to success and put CESR in practice.

In a keynote address, Dr. Bassem Fahmy, Principal Technical Adviser of Strategic Planning and Urban Development Program at UN Habitat, presented city planning climate adaptive design, in the context of CESR. He explained the followed methodology by UN-Habitat in establishment of new cities such as Al-Alamain. He singled out innovative approaches to be followed such as productive assessment and how it achieve the goal of CESR.

In the panel discussion, Eng. Maysoun Nabil, Director of the EPAP3, at Ministry of the Environment, explained how adoption of CESR can lead corporates to become more economical and environmental. She mentioned that there are several projects, in different sectors including petroleum, chemicals, and food industries, are successful on deployment of energy efficiency technologies and manage resources efficiently. She mentioned that Ministry of Environment has established a new project of a public platform about emission inventory, financed from the national budget, in partnership with Cairo University.

Dr. Nehal El-Mergharbel, Urban Policies, Governance and Legislation Program Manager at UN-HABITAT, discussed how to encourage corporations to become greener from urban planning perspective. She explained that CESR can complement the efforts of the government. She stressed the emergence of CESR in line with the public policy. She pointed out the need to establish a platform to coordinate CESR activities including identification of innovative ideas to fully enable this governance scheme. She explained that the impact of the CESR initiatives should be tangible in the context of development and to draw a line between development and charity.

Dr. Abeer El Shennawy, Associate Professor at the American University in Cairo, explained the role of communication to create tangible CESR initiatives rather than being used as a tool to craft a positive corporate image. She stated that the government should communicate targets on carbon emissions reductions to the private sector. She highlighted that reporting back on successful reductions and sustainable management of resources can encourage replication. She mentioned that energy efficiency is the best practice and highlighted that deployment of renewables could be a part of the strategy of CESR.

Mr. Jonas Bausch, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer at International Labor Organization (ILO), discussed how M&E became the common spoken language by relevant stakeholders to address the CESR. He explained intently how CESR can become a tool for creating more green jobs in Egypt. He advanced that ILO is working with the Ministry of Environment on a waste recycling program to support establishment of companies and to train labor to be able to work in these companies. He emphasized that CESR can take the form of financing development projects in addition to operate efficiently to maximize the profit.

“The companies used to apply CESR based on voluntary basis,” H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad intervened the Panel Discussion. She recommended that companies should adopt eco-friendly innovative technologies. “CESR is a win-win deal between government and the companies,” She stated. She stressed out the role of CESR in the Egyptian national determined contributions NDCs under the Paris Agreement.

Meet our Panelists

Dr. Abeer El Shennawy

Associate Professor, AUC

Dr. Nehal El-Mergharbel

Strategic Planning and Urban Development Program Manager, UN-HABITAT

Mr. Jonas Bausch

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, ILO

Eng. Maysoun Nabil

Director of the EPAP3, Ministry of Environment

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Bassem Fahmy

Principal Adviser and Program Director, Strategic Planning and Urban Development Program, UN-HABITAT

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