Towards addressing climate change issues - Carbon Footprint Summit 2020

By: Maciej Sobczyk in collaboration with The CommUnity Post

To reach the emission reduction targets required to prevent the climate crisis and comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set during the COP 21 Paris climate accord, we need efforts on an unprecedented scale. A considerable part of this responsibility will, inevitably, rest on businesses - they will need to face enormous challenges as the economy readjusts to the demands of the new times. As the paradigm of the development is constantly changing, the companies will need to comply with the expectations of all stakeholders who value sustainability to the same extent as profitability. 

Carbon Footprint Foundation is motivated to work with companies and provide them with tools and guidance to advance in this process. Carbon Footprint Summit 2020 Kick-off and Fair Job Fairs are part of our endeavor to reach businesses and show them that care for the climate is not merely a necessity, but an opportunity that can go together with high financial performance. 

Poster 1 for the Carbon Footprint Summit 2020

Carbon Footprint Summit 2020 Kick-off, together with Fair Job Fairs Partner Zone for Sustainable Business, is a unique place, where the worlds of science, technology, business, social activism will interconnect. The event will be one of a kind, combining a climate conference in a TEDx® formula with a career fair for sustainable and environmentally mindful companies. In the conference zone, during short lectures and discussion panels, experts with various backgrounds will talk about the current and future issues connected to numerous aspects of climate change, as well as the newest trends and solutions in sustainability. The conference will comprise three main sessions.

The first one, dedicated to air, water and soil, will host climate scientists, technological experts and innovators working on preserving these priceless environmental resources. The session will open with a lecture by a hydrologist, Dorota Pierri Ph.D. Eng., who will talk about improving water quality, effective water-saving and its importance to businesses. Following this, a session on future megatrends will bring in speakers sharing their thoughts and ideas on decarbonisation, digitalisation, and decentralisation. The lectures will revolve around technical solutions, such as the solar bench presented by Piotr Hołubowicz - CEO of SEEDiA®. SEEDiA® have been developing energy-generating benches for urban environments, and have received multiple awards for innovation worldwide. The abovementioned solar-benches comprises integrated, flexible solar modules with ordinary bench scaffolds, so one could simultaneously catch the moment to unwind once walking around the park and charge an electric device (e.g. smartphone or tablet). Having hit two birds with one stone, this integrated solution for smart cities is also a perfect medium to create more sustainable areas within the city. During the last session, the speakers will focus on the current climate issues and possible solutions within businesses, activism, science, and management. One of the lecturers is young Polish activist Zuzanna Borowska, who as a high school student founded a pro-climate movement, will discuss effective solutions that climate activism can bring into the fight against climate change.

The main goal of our event is to gather the companies that exhibit an innovative approach in their processes, management, products and services, that is both effective and ecologically aware. We would like to share and disseminate knowledge about the implementation of a circular economy, sustainability among companies and businesses. In addition, it is worth highlighting that these features are not only various options but tangible opportunities for a company to flourish and develop in an environmentally-oriented regime. Simultaneously, all these activities and additional certifications could be a medium to enhance the company’s profits and increase its social responsibility for all stakeholders.

During the searching process for new companies and partners, we have implemented a so-called “eco-analysis”. The process aims to short-list the most innovative, environmentally friendly and socially aware business entities, and to differentiate between robust, conceptual solutions and minor, ineffective and time-constrained actions. We also screen our potential partners for misleading communication about the environmental impact and sustainability of their products or services further known as “greenwashing”.Our analysis and coherent selection process assure that we only cooperate with partners who are transparent on climate issues. They have taken firm actions to tackle climate change or implement innovative sustainable products or services.

Fair Job Fairs®, taking place in parallel to the conference, and within the same open space, will connect environmentally mindful businesses with job-seekers. The event caters to the needs of the rapidly-evolving job market, where more and more people expect their potential employers to follow coherent and effective CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategies that strongly emphasize environmental protection. 

Above mentioned CSR abbreviation is defined by European Commission as the entirety of the taken responsibility of enterprises of different kinds, scale and locations concerning the integration of environmental, social and economical aspects within the boundaries of the law, hence making the business a more sustainable and reliable entity. Companies who value sustainability and are aware of their responsibility for the planet, will be able to find engaged employees and interns among the participants.

We have also taken into consideration the unusual circumstances the world faces this year. We have prepared to move the event to a fully online form, should the epidemiological situation worsen around the time of the summit.

Our team is one of the strongest points of the Carbon Footprint Foundation. Composed of young, talented people, most of whom are university students or graduates, it combines the energy, enthusiasm and will to act with professionalism and expertise. Its members come from a range of backgrounds; they have attended or are currently attending universities in Poland and abroad and have a range of international experiences. They also specialize in a variety of fields from sustainable development, e-mobility or energetics to law, art and journalism. They can thus share different experiences and ideas which makes the team creative and excellent at introducing innovation. Through close cooperation with each other, the Foundation Project team has organized Carbon Footprint Summit from the ground up ensuring it will be a unique event, carrying a real impact.

Poster 2 for the Carbon Footprint Summit 2020 showing part of the team who organized the event

To sum up, our team is highly motivated and willing to take multiple actions in order to tackle climate change effectively and to develop a novel perspective for the use of the environment and its degradation caused by severe anthropopression, which, in our opinion, is the main driving force of climate change we all, as a human beings, experience nowadays, worldwide. To ensure an adequate response to the urgency of the climate crisis, we need all the aspects of our society: politics, business, social activism, and science, to closely liaise with one another to reach the global emissions targets and protect the planet from irreversible environmental alterations. By working toward the success of the Carbon Footprint Summit 2020 Kickoff, we are putting our ideas into actions. We believe that the formula of our event encapsulates all the necessary measures to transform both the economy and decision making. 

For young people and university undergraduates, it will be a platform to strengthen their image so that future employers perceive them as candidates with a proactive attitude. Furthermore, students will be recognised and associated with an environmentally and socially responsible, multinational event. 

For the participating companies, our event will be an opportunity to build an image of an appealing, environmentally responsible and trustworthy employer to recruit dependable and engaged employees for years. They will also be able to participate in developing new trends and expanding their online presence. 

Due to a number of challenges and tasks connected with the Carbon Footprint Summit preparation, we would like to involve volunteers and students who wish to take an active part in the organisation process of the event. Please find the link that would directly send you to the volunteer procurement form so that you can apply and become the Carbon Footprint Summit Kick-off 2020 volunteer! 

Published on: 4.10.2020

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