CEOs pledge action on sustainable devt

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Jun 1st, 2014
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About 31 chief executive officers of different leaders of major  businesses have agreed on the establishment of a common platform that will enable them to jointly promote sustainable development initiatives and programmes across the country.

The chief executives who attended a roundtable in Lagos decided to set up a council for sustainable development, which will be affiliated to the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The proposed council will work to arouse the interest of the Nigerian business community towards taking collective action for a sustainable future for society.

The Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, hosted the roundtable to introduce the idea to the CEOs.

He said: “There is no doubt that Nigerian companies support sustainability programmes in their respective areas of influence quite adequately, however, no platform currently exists for businesses across all industries to share experiences, best practices, and advocate for business positions that transform lives and communities from what they are today to the greatness they can be, tomorrow. If there is one area we do not need to compete as businesses, it is in the goodness of our heart to our society and environment.”

The Managing Director and CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Bola Adesola, described the idea as innovative and desirable. “It is important that the organised private sector shows interest in the challenging operating business environment,” while the Chairman, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Chief Keith Richards, said: “We look forward to contributing and devoting our time and energy in actualising the goals of this intervention, which will impact Nigerians positively and sustain business development.”

The Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria, Wolfgang Goetsch, said: “I am looking forward to a business council that works, through proper management and commitment by members.”

A lecturer at the Lagos Business School, Sir Chris Ogbechie, also made a presentation in which he outlined the justification and modalities for setting up the council.

The roundtable agreed that there would be a governing council to oversee the organisation, comprising CEOs of member companies and reputable international business figures, which will be committed to driving a positive sustainable future for society and the rapid development of the economy.

Rabab Fayad, Regional Director of the WBCSD, said: “We are committed to supporting this Nigerian vision, as it is our goal to establish vibrant networks on sustainable development across the globe.”

Companies in attendance include Accenture, Coca-Cola, Empretec Nigeria Foundation, Etisalat, First Bank, Flourmills of Nigeria, Heirs Holdings, Intel Corporation, Interswitch, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, the First Bank CSR Centre, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, Oando Gas and Power, UBA Group, Seplat Petroleum, Chevron, Stanbic IBTC, Afren Nigeria, Access Bank, Nigerian Breweries and BusinessDay newspapers.

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