Business as usual? No thanks! CEOs declare

Chief executive officers and senior representatives of 30 European companies today said they will take the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and to embrace new production and work models as part of their recovery from COVID-19.

Expressing their support for the World Economic Forum's 'European Green Deal', the group said they firmly believe the way out of the current crisis cannot be more of the same, announcing their plans to embark on a new path to net-zero emissions -- based on circularity, renewable energy and low-carbon industries.

Representing the group, Axa CEO Thomas Buberl, stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic requires a massive and coordinated economic stimulus to both mitigate the economic repercussions of the pandemic and, above all, to accelerate the necessary transition to a low carbon economy. We have to take more and faster action with more emphasis on sustainability and circularity. The European Green Deal presents an opportunity to do just this. It requires a strong partnership between business, politics and society. Together we can make Europe the greenest, most innovative and inclusive region in the world, where the Green Deal should provide jobs and economic prosperity at the same time. The action plan announced today by the WEF CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal is an important step with concrete actions to support this agenda.”

President of the World Economic Forum, Børge Brende, added: “The EU is putting in place the largest and greenest stimulus plan ever. It is the right time for businesses to show how they can effectively contribute to achieving the EU’s climate targets. As a next step, this group is working on lighthouse projects, which demonstrate how to step up action in areas such as sustainable transport and mobility, food and agriculture and renewable energy markets,”

The CEOs and senior representatives supporting the statement are:

Michael Altendorf, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adtelligence GmbH, Germany
Marco Alverà, Chief Executive Officer, Snam, Italy
Claudia Azevedo, Chief Executive Officer, SONAE SGPS, Portugal
Kai Beckmann, Chief Executive Officer, Performance Materials, Member of the Executive Board, Merck, Germany
Dick Benschop, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Schiphol Group, Netherlands
Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA, Netherlands
Thomas Buberl, Chief Executive Officer, AXA, France
Levent Cakiroglu, Chief Executive Officer, Koç Holding, Turkey
Bertrand Camus, Chief Executive Officer, SUEZ, France
Liam Condon, President, Bayer Crop Science, Bayer, Germany
Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer, Eni, Italy
Hanneke Faber, President, Foods and Refreshment Division, Unilever, Netherlands
Anne Finucane, Vice-Chairman, Bank of America, US
Camilla Hagen Sørli, Member of the Board, Canica AS, Norway
André Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman, F. Hoffmann-La Roche , Switzerland
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Heathrow Airport Holdings, UK
Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International, Norway
Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi, France
Nuno Matos, Chief Executive Europe, HSBC Holdings, United Kingdom
Gerald Podobnik, CFO Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank, Germany
Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ManpowerGroup, USA
François Riahi, Chief Executive Officer, Natixis, France
Yves Robert-Charrue, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Switzerland, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Bank Julius Baer & Co, Switzerland
Michael Schernthaner, Chief Executive Officer, Schur Flexibles Group, Austria
Veronica Scotti, Chairperson, Public Sector Solutions, Swiss Re Management, Switzerland
Marco Settembri, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Nestlé, Switzerland
Feike Sybesma, Honorary Chairman, Royal DSM NV, Netherlands
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric, France
Loic Tassel, President, Europe, Procter & Gamble, Switzerland
Bernhardt von Spreckelsen, Photographer, United Kingdom

The CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal was launched in Autumn 2019 in by the World Economic Forum and the European Commission, in an effort to encourage businesses to step up commitments towards achieving the Green Deal and the EU greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030.

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