On the morning of 6 July, the first Lake Balaton – Lake Geneva Symposium on Sustainability and Harm Reduction was co-organised by Swisscham Hungary. The title of the event was inspired by the fact that the global headquarters of the companies invited to the panel discussion are all located in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva. The programme is a further confirmation of the Chamber’s commitment to a more sustainable future. The main sponsor and partner of the event was Philip Morris Hungary Ltd.
Thinking ahead: sustainable solutions and harm reduction initiatives
The past decades have seen many changes in different industry sectors, with advances in scientific research, technological innovations and evolving consumer habits fundamentally changing our future – with many social, economic and quality of life impacts already being felt.
“This kind of innovative modernisation will be even more pronounced in the future, which is one of the reasons why this event was created in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the work going on in different industries and the latest scientific advances in technologies in the context of sustainability and harm reduction.” – said Dr István Béres, President of Swisscham Hungary.
At the event, Daniella Deli, Deputy State Secretary for Climate Policy of the Ministry of Energy, welcomed the participants on behalf of Minister Csaba Lantos, and underlined that energy efficiency, environmental awareness and sustainability are among the most important issues of the present and the future, and therefore the Ministry of Energy is working on policy measures that link economic development with ecological development. The Deputy Secretary of State pointed out that climate change is also affecting water management and the water balance of the Great Lakes, making it increasingly necessary to effectively implement climate adaptation measures, in addition to emission reductions,.
As part of the professional programme, executives of Philip Morris Hungary Ltd., Nestlé Hungária Ltd. and MSC Hungary Ltd. spoke about their own industry experiences. Although these are different sectors, several parallels can be drawn between them, as science, technology, innovation and the pursuit of progress are all industry independent concepts.
„There is a paradigm shift taking place in the world, and the change has already began in Hungary. Whatever the sector, developments are pointing towards harm reduction, while it is also becoming clear that people, including smokers, increasingly need to do something for themselves and their environment. However in order to achieve this, it is essential to recognise that thanks to science, a lot of things are no longer what we thought they were, and we need to start by breaking down long-held and outdated myths and secondly to start a social dialogue based on shared interests.” – said Péter Szlávik, Director of External Relations and Communications, Philip Morris Hungary Ltd.
“Nestlé is the world’s largest food company, over 150 years old. Our core values include creating shared value and being responsible for society and the environment. We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to net zero across the value chain by 2050. In Hungary we are pursuing these targets by continuously reducing our use of plastics, running our factories on green electricity, introducing regenerative farming methods together with our domestic suppliers, while we educate our consumers together with our trading partners on the basics of selective waste collection and avoiding food waste. Our aim is not only to balance our environmental impact, but to have a positive impact on the planet, on environmental resources and on society”, said Péter Noszek, Managing Director of Nestlé Hungária Kft.
As the world’s leading shipping company, we strive year after year to be even more visible and transparent with supply chain actors on what measures we are taking to accelerate our transition to zero emissions and how we are contributing to a sustainable global trading system. In the case of Hungary, nearly half of carbon emissions from overseas transport are resulting from land transport and not on the sea. We can only achieve significant emission reductions by working together with cargo owners.” – added László Jánovszky, Managing Director of MSC Hungary Ltd.
The event was also attended by Jean-François Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary,who expressed his delight at the implementation of the programme. He stressed how important it is for Switzerland to build on reliable and long-term partners. Switzerland wishes to promote the partnership with Hungary through the second Swiss Fund and to contribute to the fight against social and economic inequalities. In this endeavour, it can also rely on Swiss economic operators, which have long term plans in Hungary and already provide well over 30,000 people with secure and attractive jobs. In addition, Swiss companies, with their innovative strength and access to global distribution networks, represent a high added value for the Hungarian economy.
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