Secretary of the UFI Sustainable Development Committee
On June 21, 2012, we will be conducting another of UFI’s Sustainable Development Focus meetings in Hamburg, Germany.
One of the issues many of us are facing is in understanding the real benefits that will justify the efforts needed to develop and execute a sustainable development strategy for our businesses. I asked four of our speakers to share their ideas from their company’s perspective. This is what they told me.
Barbara Weizsäcker, Director of Public Affairs for Messe Frankfurt GmbH suggested that the key benefit to her organization is to build trust among her customers, stakeholders and employees. Sustainability is a tangible statement of Messe Frankfurt’s commitment to being a responsible organization.
Barbara will be co-presenting at this year’s meeting along with Kai Hattendorf, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Messe Frankfurt. Their topic is “Corporate social responsibility as an integral part of the corporate concept.”
Nik Rudge, Managing Director of UBM Amsterdam identified the main benefit as one that encourages stakeholder engagement. “Our ability to engage with all these parties has improved our communications.” Nik’s presentation is titled, “Success today does not have to be at the expense of tomorrow.”
Anne Lafėre, General Manager Exhibitions for Belgium based ARTEXIS identifies the major benefit “to rally our whole team and our stakeholders behind a motivational project.” She has developed a clever trio of mascots – Mr. Reed, Mr. Green, and Mr. Blue; each representing a different phase of her sustainability program. Anne’s presentation is called, “Let’s act green, red and blue.”
Denise Capello, Business Development Manager, Amsterdam RAI (The Netherlands) spoke about employee team building and motivation. “The employees of Amsterdam RAI are enthusiastic about participating in CSR activities and we often see spontaneous CSR actions.” Her presentation is titled, “Our influence on society and the environment.”
This year’s focus meeting promises to be filled with interesting and doable ideas.