The European Union aims to be climate neutral by 2050, and this requires around EUR 7 trillion worth of investments in the next 30 years, according to Goldman Sachs. Around EUR 3 trillion will go towards the construction of renewable energy assets and carbon capture technologies for gas plants. The EU believes that sustainable investments can make a big contribution to member sates’ economic recovery from the current crisis. Sustainability is also becoming a significant component in the corporate world, and some of the biggest companies in Romania are releasing yearly reports in order to assist the sustainability of their operations. All these subjects, and more, were discussed at BR’s recent Foreign Investors Summit | 7th Edition, where Anca Damour, Executive Committee Member at Carrefour Romania, Ionut Georgescu, Founder & Co-CEO FWEI, and Sebastian Metz, General Manager & Board Member at AHK Romania, together with journalist Ovidiu Posirca, featured in a powerful closing panel titled Sustainable Romania: Investments in a sustainable economy.
One of the largest retailers in Romania, Carrefour’s approach to sustainability and how this approach impacts the retail sector, the consumers, and the economy, was presented by Anca Damour as able to create fundamental change in the economy.
“We are conscious about the responsibility we have towards the community in which we are acting and towards Romania in general, so we are acting responsible and sustainable, through some very concrete initiatives.” Anca Damour said about her company’s approach.
Talking about Industry 4.0, robots and process automation, German companies are at the forefront of these revolutionary developments which will change the manufacturing sector. Sebastian Metz took on this subject which is so important in the world we live today.
“The digitalization of everything is challenging our economic structure. In the field of Industry 4.0, the German companies in Romania are integrating solutions where they will be able to digitalize their production and this is a dynamic process which takes place all over the world.”
On the topic of sustainability, a very important one for AHK Romania, the fight against climate change and finding solutions for a greener economy are two main political and economic movements in Germany, Sebastian Metz pointed out.
“Our goal as a bilateral chamber of commerce is to bring in Romania the experience, the technology, and the know-how of German companies. We have a very deep interest to implement activities in all the green technology sectors.” Metz continued.
A concrete initiative for this approach, “econet romania,” founded 10 years ago under the German Chamber of Commerce umbrella, reunites all the green technology sectors: waste management, water treatment, energy efficiency, constructions, sustainable city development, energy management.
Environmental protection projects and green investments are key steps in creating a sustainable economy all over the world, but to see how all this works in the real business environment of Romania Ovidiu Posirca turned to Ionut Georgescu, founder and Co-CEO of FWEI, a Romanian group of companies working in the sustainability area.
“Foreign investments in the past 20-30 years really helped Romania move forward and brought a lot of contribution to our country’s sustainability. We see a lot of movement from the private into sustainability. Also, there are huge contributions from companies regarding sustainability of packaging.” Georgescu started his intervention.
This year, every industry around the world has been affected by the unprecedented pandemic situation, but amidst all this uncertainty, sustainability still persists in the mind of business leaders.
“More and more companies assume new goals of sustainability and make commitments in front of consumers about their sustainability. Here we are moving forward, with our group of companies, and especially FEPRA, we are helping companies achieve their goals of sustainability, especially when we speak about packaging. Doing business in Romania in sectors like recycling is hugely beneficial because we have a large gap that we must close. But this means we have a lot of space for innovation. We did very good in the past 5-6 years, we had good results in changing the system. It’s not easy, there are lots of obstacles, but we can move forward and our message is that sustainability is a real possibility. We have to show consumers that it’s possible to change the way we recycle and the way we reuse packaging.” Ionut Georgescu added.
A common theme of the panel was the common call for authorities to streamline the procedures and legal framework involving the sustainable efforts of the private sector, and for the two sectors to start working closely together on this end.
“From the private point of view we are moving in the right direction. But it’s a big difference between the private and public approach and here lies the problem. But we can find the right solutions by working together and this year we have the opportunity to do so, more than ever.” Ionut Georgescu shared his view on private-public sectors cooperation in sustainability.