Update from Europe: Summary from Enterprise 2020 Summit

BITCI News - Dec 02, 2015
Tina Roche

As a leading organisation within CSR Europe, BITCI was actively engaged in the Enterprise 2020 Summit which took place on 16th and 17th November in the Bozar in Brussels. The Summit was held to progress the priorities of the Enterprise 2020 Manifesto, signed in June of this year at the Milan Expo. The Manifesto is the corporate social responsibility movement’s response to the challenges set by the European Commission in the Europe 2020 strategy that calls for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Tina Roche, BITCI CEO participated in the opening panel of the Summit which debated the future of sustainable living and working in Europe. On the panel BITCI were joined by CEO Hitachi Europe, CEO McCain Continental Europe, CEO of IMS Luxembourg, Executive Director of CSR Europe, and the President of The Academy of Business in Society and Global Dean of ESADE.

In the afternoon Jennifer Casey, BITCI co-hosted a Responsible Sourcing workshop with Impronta Etica of Italy. The workshop explored the EU’s perspective and approach to responsible sourcing, and considered the business case for large companies and SMEs, together with looking at innovations in sustainable supply chain management. Case studies from Musgrave and Intel were outlined during the discussion, and Alex Pigot, MD of Tico Mail Works presented his perspective as a SME Ambassador as part of the BITC Responsible Business for SMEs initiative.

The central focus of the Summit was the launch of the European Pact for Youth, which has the endorsement of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, and the Presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the European Council, Donald Tusk. President Schulz made any impassionated speech on the urgent need for a pro-youth Europe based on creating a fair and equitable culture of partnerships between business, education and young people. Germaine Noonan, Manager of the Schools Business Partnership, was actively involved in the consultation and design of the Pact, and BITCI will continue to play a strong leadership role within the Pact.

The Summit clearly indicates the high degree of EU engagement in the CSR agenda with addresses made by the President of the Parliament, and Commissioners for: Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; and Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility. This strong focus on CSR will continue into 2016 as the incoming Dutch presidency has positioned responsible supply chains as a key agenda under their term, and the Commission is due to issue a new CSR policy statement by Q2.