On May 23, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson participated in a plenary session at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, organized by CSR Europe.
As part of the European Business Summit, the event gathered over 300 people, including business representatives, National Partner Organizations, NGOs, EU stakeholders and policy makers. Dickson’s presentation was part of the session on “Accelerating Sector Action Towards the SDGs”, which emphasised the importance of collaboration in driving transformation and impact for the SDGs.
Dickson explained to attendees that, while wind energy was a niche industry 15 years ago, now it is becoming mainstream. Wind is now 12% of all the electricity Europe consumes. And the IEA says it will be the no. 1 source soon after 2030. The wind industry contributes €36bn to EU GDP, with €8bn exports, and employs 263,000 people in a high-tech digital industry. As the industry has grown, its footprint in global supply chains has grown too. WindEurope has 450 members, the majority of whom have links with international operations outside the EU.
With this expanded size, Dickson said, comes greater responsibility; “We are aware of our responsibility to society – not only in terms of providing clean and affordable energy, but also in improving the regions in which we operate. That requires dialogue and coordination.”
Dickson stated that WindEurope serves as the platform for industry stakeholders to discuss these topics: “We have created a Sustainability Task Force which focuses on wide environmental and sustainability issues relevant to our industry. We focus on a variety of topics, everything from the environmental impacts of wind farms to the sustainability of the supply chain, from tackling end-of-life issues to recycling.” Dickson noted that WindEurope plans to enlarge this task force to encompass as many companies as possible, and to learn from other industries. “This is exactly what discussions like this plenary are all about. We are at this Summit to learn, collaborate and exchange views on how to make a better world.”
As part of the European Business Summit, the SDG Summit aims to show how companies are using the SDGs to drive business transformation, to bring impactful partnerships around SDGs and sustainability to light, connect multiple stakeholders together to share, learn and co-create new solutions and highlighting the power of sector collaboration.
By collaborating across company borders we are able to share experiences, best practices and identify innovative ways of designing, planning, building and maintaining wind farms, ensuring that we consider all aspects of sustainability.
To find out more, visit WindEurope’s Sustainability Platform.