On April 6, 2023, the International Institute for Climate Action (IICA) successfully held the first INTERNATIONAL “Future GREEN Business” conference on the topic “Why finance climate action and what is the role of ESG?” in collaboration with the European Commission office in the Republic of Croatia and Corpstage from Singapore, and under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Croatia – the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and the American Chamber of Commerce.
The conference brought together experts from the financial and business sectors, academics, and policymakers to discuss the pressing issue of climate change and the importance of incorporating environmental, social, and governance criteria (ESG) into the financial and business sectors as soon as possible.
The conference was a huge success because the keynote speeches, panel discussions, and presentations were all informative and thought-provoking, giving participants a better understanding of the economic impact of climate change and the role of sustainable finance and sustainable business in addressing it. Speakers offered their knowledge, experiences, and best practices for promoting sustainable and ethical business and finance.
Mrs. Marija Pujo Tadić, president of the International Institute for Climate Action (IICA), opened the conference by emphasizing the importance of climate action and the rapid integration of ESG in the financial and business sectors, as well as the need to educate as many business and financial sector employees as possible so that they can speak on the same level and share sustainable investment and business practices.
The opening speech was given by representatives of the sponsors, Mr. Luka Balen, director of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, and at the same time the representative of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, as well as Mr. Zvonimir Frka-Petešić, head of the office of the Prime Minister, who gave a welcome speech in on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and all the speakers together provided valuable insights into the impact of climate change on the economy and society, as well as the importance of ESG in the business and financial sectors.
Mr. Javier Manzanares Allen, the conference’s keynote speaker, is a prominent figure in the world of sustainable finance. He delivered an excellent speech and presentation at the conference, providing valuable insights on the critical need to invest in sustainable projects and the role of ESG factors in driving positive change. His address emphasized the need of balancing commercial objectives with environmental and social responsibilities in order to achieve a brighter future for all.
The conference also included an interactive panel discussion that allowed everyone to learn “first-hand” about what is coming up in the field of regulation and its implementation in the field of climate policies and ESG, allowing both the business and financial sectors to be more open to the upcoming changes. Mr. Ante Žigman, president of the HANFA board, Mrs. Marija Hrebac, director of the Croatian Deposit Insurance Agency (HAOD), Mrs. Tamara Perko, director of the Croatian Association of Banks (HUB), Mr. Mirko Budiša, deputy director of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency (FZOEU), and Mrs. Marija Pujo Tadić, president of IICA, provided invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities that sustainable financing brings.
The conference was also used to announce the winners of the pre-selection election, who gained the right to participate in the ESG WORLD SUMMIT & GRIT AWARDS 14.6-16.6.2023. in Bangkok (https://event.corpstage.com/), as well as the right to apply for an internationally recognized ESG prize. The goal of the collaboration between IICA and CorpStage was to identify and recognize outstanding sustainability initiatives in the Republic of Croatia, so Dr. Nisha Koli, the founder of CorpStage, announced A1 and Zagrebačka banka as the winners of the pre-selection, as well as the companies that have ambitious ESG goals and initiatives, as well as an innovative approach to sustainable financing.
Furthermore, the ORBICO Group got a special prize for educating the greatest number of its employees in the subject of ESG. ORBICO Group prioritizes ESG education to contribute to a more sustainable future while also empowering its workers to make educated decisions and promote good change within the industry.
Presidents of corporate boards, high-ranking officials in government organizations and institutions, state and public administration, presidents of business chambers, and academics and professionals, including financial analysts, sustainability specialists, and ESG practitioners, attended the conference. The conference was extremely enriching because participants actively participated in the discussions. The conference also provided a fantastic opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing with people from many industries, enabling the exchange of ideas and prospective collaboration.
“We are delighted with the success of our conference and grateful to all partners, patrons, speakers, participants, and sponsors who contributed to its success,” stated Mrs. Marija Pujo Tadić, president of IICA. “The event emphasized the importance of sustainable financial solutions and the role of ESG in addressing climate change, and we hope that participants left with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to sustainable finance.” The success of the conference “Why finance climate action and what is the role of ESG?” has inspired us to continue our efforts toward a better and more sustainable future for all, and we look forward to organizing more events like this in the future and working with our partners to promote sustainable practices.”
The conference “Why finance climate action and what is the role of ESG?” was mostly successful due to the generous support of our sponsors. As a result, we would like to express our gratitude to the Environmental Protection Fund, Croatian Postal Bank, Coca-Cola HBC, Agroproteinka, Fortenova Group, Erste Bank, and Končar Group. Their dedication to sustainability and responsible business was important in making the conference a reality and offering an inclusive and informative environment for all attendees.
The “Future GREEN Business” conference was a significant step toward a more sustainable future, providing an international platform for the business and financial sectors to come together to discuss the key issues of climate change and ESG and chart a path towards a more sustainable and fairer economy, and the International Institute for Climate Action (IICA) remains dedicated to its mission of connecting the business and financial sectors with climate change and ESG.