Climate change is a global urgency. It is here to stay unless industry leaders garner resources, step up, and create a sustainable change. But how?
This was precisely the theme of our last week’s “happy hour” talks, where Deedster teamed up with Polestar on Monday, December 5th, from 5:30 pm – 8 pm. The venue was at their showroom on Sihlstrasse, Zurich, and what a perfect and central location it was to welcome our guests.
The theme was “Speed of Change”: speaking to the sustainability transition we see taking place in the coming days and years.
We set up the place in typical “Swedish Style Yuletide Talks” with seasonal drinks and snacks, including Glögg, Pepparkakor, and Lussebullar.
The evening kicked off at 5:30, with our invitees from corporates and banks in the Zurich area arriving and getting acquainted with each other.
After a few greetings, Niclas, our CEO, opened the podium and set the pace, emphasizing the need for speed in the ongoing transition to a more sustainable world.
He stressed the fact that different industries face unique challenges, but there are things to learn across domains. This tied in with the “why” of this evening: sharing knowledge from our various industries and inspiring each other to create a sustainable change. Because we know that the necessary changes are only possible when we work together, share knowledge, and co-create solutions.
As the evening progressed, Niclas handed over the mic to our keynote speakers, who each shared their views, strategies, and how they, as leaders, embrace this change together with solutions for reaching NetZero in the coming years and tackling the climate crisis.
Speed of Change Panel on How to Create a Sustainable Change
Sascha Heiniger, Managing Director ,Polestar
Sascha, Managing Director, leads the national sales unit of Polestar, the electric performance brand jointly owned by Volvo Car Group. He shared Polestar’s ambitious climate goals of fighting the climate crisis from the angle of a seasoned leader who is positioned to spearhead the change towards more sustainable electric mobility by mapping out their cars’ entire life cycle and how they plan to be fully carbon neutral by 2030.
This agile and transformative electric car startup runs into the traditional mining industry and needs to balance sustainability to speed up and create a sustainable change.
Martin Weymann, Head Group Sustainability, Swiss Re
Martin, who heads the Sustainability, Emerging & Political Risk Management team at Swiss Re Group, shares how they have integrated environmental, social, and governance aspects into their business and reveals from an Insurer’s angle the “CEO Guide to Climate advantage,” including, among others, setting ambitious targets, decarbonizing supply chains, mobilizing workforces, and engaging the entire ecosystem.
He also elaborated on how corporates can lead the sustainability transition by empowering employees to take climate action and create sustainable change.
“You must question your business model and the entire value chain if you want to be NetZero.” He also emphasized the importance of learning from each other across sectors in the transition to NetZero.
You can learn more about his dynamic approach on how to sensitize teams and engaging his entire organization in sustainability here.
Juerg Hunziker, ex CEO, Avaloq
This dynamic, market-oriented senior executive holds over 25 years of influential leadership, especially in the global financial software and FinTech industry, and as ex-CEO of Avaloq. Tonight, he certainly assumed leadership and delivered many truths and bold messages himself:
“Most companies are paying lip service to the sustainability transition, not really changing anything. There needs to be more bold moves. This change starts with bold individuals taking leadership within their companies and communities.”
“I’ve lived through 3 major transformations: 9/11, the financial crisis, and the global pandemic — I know that the world will not be the same after a crisis; it changes.”
“We are now at a time in history where the global climate crisis needs to be solved by the worldwide community – everyone has a role to play, and everyone must show leadership in this transition.”
“For the financial sector, there’s a vast untapped potential in wealth management and how we direct our money, to create a sustainable change.”
Juerg also stressed at the end that Europe is a front-runner in the current transition: “we can have a huge effect and make a difference.”
Dr. Jan Amrit Poser, Chief Sustainable Investment Officer, radicant
Dr. Jan, an investment professional with over 20 years as an analyst, strategist, and head investment committee and Chief Sustainable Investment Officer of radicant’s approach on how to create a sustainable change, started with:
“The tech solutions to support sustainable development are already here. And consumers are asking for them!” “Traditional banks have no answer to respond to the needs of the digital-native and sustainability-native generations. They ignore technology and even fear it.”
“They are embroiled in conflicts of interest regarding sustainability. Therefore, there is a need to create new and sound banks. radicant is a sustainable, digital bank that is part of the solution.”
“There’s a huge financing gap to reach the SDGs. And given that policymakers are creating laws and incentives for the #Agenda2030 of the UN, SDG-aligned companies are a real investment opportunity!”
When is our next “happy hour” planned?
Well, most of the participants have asked us that, and we are currently working on the next venue and theme. Stay tuned to our social media and blog for when we finally set one up. Hopefully, we will see you there next time.
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