On 1 December, Suma Capital and E5T Foundation held our third annual meeting in Barcelona to accelerate sustainable investment. The event, entitled “The challenge of sustainability in the next decade”, brought together more than 150 professionals from various sectors to discuss the challenges of sustainable development and essential factors for achieving it, such as innovation in the field of the circular economy, its impact on business organisations, and new forms of mobility.
Suma Capital’s President Enrique Tombas and Myriam Maestroni, President of E5T Foundation, were in charge of welcoming the attendees and introducing the different topics that were discussed during the meeting.
The first speaker was the renowned economist and writer Fernando Trias de Bes, who focused on what companies and citizens understand by sustainability, and raised issues such as sustainability emanating from externalities in a context of exponential population growth, or the need to evolve from the concept of the citizen to that of “homo sostenibilis”.
The event continued with a panel discussion moderated by Mariluz Castilla, member of the Advisory Expert Panel of the EIT Climate KIC, with the participation of Eva Saldaña, Executive Director of Greenpeace Spain, Ana Rivero, Global Head of ESG and Investment Content at Santander Asset Management, and Óscar Hernández, Director of Public Affairs and Communication at Grupo Pascual.
They discussed issues such as the need to redesign the economy with a focus on the common good and preserving ecosystems, and the key role of the economic and financial sector in meeting the Paris Agreement goals of no more than a 1.5 °C increase in global temperature and complying with the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
They also addressed the need for new financial and fiscal regulatory frameworks that are sustainable and protect the most vulnerable in the ecological transition, or the need to curb greenwashing and promote real action plans and transparent accountability through common standards and science-based criteria.
Carlos Sotelo, founder and CEO of Silence, continued the event with a speech focused on the innovations that the company promotes in the field of urban electric mobility, and explained how this type of mobility is growing rapidly in Spain and Europe, as well as the significant cost savings that the alternatives focused on eco-mobility represent.
The block dedicated to innovation in the field of the circular economy featured a presentation by Celina Tamagnini, co-founder and CEO of Circoolar, who focused on the problems stemming from the linear production model, based on produce, use and throw away, as well as the need to promote the transition towards a circular model that is more efficient in the use of resources.
The final presentation was given by Lisa Hehenberger, Head of the ESADE Center for Social Impact, who addressed the impact of sustainability on business organizations. She highlighted that the increasing focus on social impact, inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), stems from a societal need to tackle important challenges in new ways, trying to understand what works and what doesn’t, and the importance of measuring this.
Overall, the meeting concluded that moving towards sustainability will require a collective commitment for companies to assume their share of responsibility as part of the solution to the challenges it poses, and to act forcefully from the role they play for the common good, and for the construction of a more sustainable, fairer and more inclusive future.
Photo: Myriam Maestroni, E5T Foundation’s President, and Enrique Tombas, Suma Capital’s President, during the meeting “The challenge of sustainability in the next decade”