8th Stakeholder Council under the motto “SDGs meet RBI”
The eighth RBI Stakeholder Council, held in mid-November at the Sky Conference, was attended by more than 80 people from various stakeholder groups – customers and business partners, employees and owners, the financial community and sustainability rating agencies, education and research, interest groups, the media, politics and administration, NGOs and NPOs. The aim was to shed light on RBI's possible contribution to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the international community in autumn 2015. The event was therefore held under the motto "SDGs meet RBI".
One of the most important communication formats from a sustainability perspective is the annual Stakeholder Council, in which representatives of internal and external stakeholder groups enter into dialogue with members of the Board and the senior management as well as with internal experts. The objectives of the event are the exchange and knowledge transfer, informing participants about progress achieved, discussing options for action, joint reflection and addressing current sustainability issues.
CEO Johann Strobl greeted the numerous participants and thanked them for the time they spend on our issues. He expressed his satisfaction with the many suggestions generated annually by the Stakeholder Council.
Andrea Sihn-Weber, Head of RBI Group Sustainability Management, presented current developments in sustainability management and suggestions from former stakeholder dialogues that have already been implemented. With regard to RBI's comprehensive sustainability reporting, she reported that it documents which activities were implemented in the past year. This year's award at the annual Austrian Sustainability Reporting Award (ASRA), where RBI's Sustainability Report was awarded third-best sustainability report by large companies in Austria, showed that the performance is right. Various sustainability ratings and the renewed inclusion of RBI in the VÖNIX sustainability index on the Vienna Stock Exchange as well as a new Carbon Disclosure Project award due to the high quality of the measures to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the group were also cited.
Keynote Speaker Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), professor in retirement for power industry at the Vienna University of Technology and author of numerous scientific publications, highlighted the "great transformation towards sustainability for all" in his presentation. He sees the implementation of the global SDGs as a social contract with the world. From his point of view, there is no plan B, because there is no planet B either. The implementation of SDGs will only be possible if the financial sector also participates in the transformation. In the last 200 years, major changes have already taken place in the areas of mobility, production and services. He is therefore convinced that the economy can be transformed into a "low-carbon economy" by 2050.
James Niven, Head of Corporate Affairs of the Triodos Bank – the only paneuropean sustainable bank – reported about the approaches and efforts of the Triodos Bank to manage and communicate its impact.
Intensive team discussion
The aim of the subsequent workshop groups was an intensive discussion on what concrete contributions RBI can and should make to the SDGs in the future:
- No Poverty
- High Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Measures for Climate Protection
The results of all five working groups were then presented in the plenary session and prioritised by means of real-time voting.
In his final summary, CRO Hannes Mösenbacher stressed that the Stakeholder Council has provided many interesting and constructive suggestions that will lead to further discussions. For him, they are an expression of the great interest on behalf of the participants in the various sustainability topics of RBI. Andrea Sihn-Weber concluded by thanking all contributors for the intensive discussions and the many questions that had been raised. The proposals will be analysed in the coming weeks before they are incorporated into the sustainability strategy and the next Sustainability Report.