06/07/2021

BforPlanet offers the keys to developing sustainable activity in the business world

Tomorrow sees the start of BforPlanet, the new event organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with Barcelona City Council. The event held over two days will debate the main challenges for promoting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the business world. The congress, which will take place at the Montjuïc venue, will bring together experts and business representatives with the aim of promoting sustainable economic activity.

With the slogan: “Planet in Need, Business in Action”, BforPlanet brings together more than 70 national and international speakers and executives from 40 companies in the first edition of an event that aims to become an international benchmark in the debate on policies and practices to promote sustainable development, and which has the support of the Spanish Government, the Catalan Government and Barcelona City Council.

Thus, members of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Union, the World Bank and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), together with representatives from major companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Aigües de Barcelona, Danone, Unilever, Renfe and BBVA, will be taking part in the conference to be held on the 7th and 8th and which can also be followed via streaming. During the conferences, the participants will explain their strategies to promote the rapid implementation of the SDGs in the business world.

The Chairman of Fira de Barcelona, Pau Relat, points out that “we are promoting a new event to contribute to economic recovery based on sustainability, respect for the environment and the application of the Sustainable Development Goals in order to ensure a better world for future generations.”

As for Francisco Lombardo, Chairman of the Water Economy Forum and Co-founder of BforPlanet, he states that “BforPlanet is a truly global summit where experts and representatives of companies and organisations will lay the groundwork and make commitments to advance SDG 17, which calls to Revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.” He then adds, “only with strong global partnerships and cooperation can we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.”

SDGs in the Business World
The opening of the first edition of the event, which will take place at the Montjuïc venue’s Conference Centre, will be run by the Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera; the First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni; and the Chairman of Fira de Barcelona, Pau Relat, among others.

BforPlanet begins tomorrow with a talk by Biologist and Scientist, Odile Rodríguez de la Fuente, President of the Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente Foundation. This will be followed by the Manager of the World Bank’s Carbon Markets and Innovation Group, Wendy Hughes; Gabriela Uchoa, representative of UN Habitat, and the Global Leader of Climate and Energy at the WWF, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.

The first day will be topped off with various sessions with the presence, among others, of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto; the Chairman of Aigües de Barcelona, Ángel Simón; the Director of Environment of the OECD, Rodolfo Lacy; the Secretary General of Danone, Mathias Vicherat; the former President of the WWF, Yolanda Kakabadse; the Consumables Director for Amazon for Italy and Spain, Giorgio Busnelli; and member of the European Commission’s Energy Directorate, Yolanda García.

The event will continue on the 8th with presentations by the Bolivian Economist and Executive Director of the Global Governance Forum, Augusto López-Claros; and the young German Environmentalist Felix Finkbeiner, creator of the Plant-for-the-Planet foundation, which BforPlanet is collaborating with in a joint initiative to gain donations for reforestation projects. Similarly, the event will also address issues such as business innovation, food safety and the global water supply with, among others, the Chef of Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca; gender equality with Anna Kuriakose from the World Bank; strategies to reduce pollution with the Director of Environment of the OECD, Rodolfo Lacy; the Director of Sustainability of Coca-Cola, Carmen Gómez-Acebo; and the Chairman of RENFE, Isaías Táboas.

Next Generation, Barcelona Green Deal and Start-up Companies
In addition to its outstanding programme of presentations, the congress also aims to contribute to the sustainable reconstruction of the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic. For this reason, various projects within the framework of the European Union’s Next Generation funds will be presented in a session with Javier Rivera Jornet, Head of Corporate Strategy at SEAT, who is responsible for promoting the project ‘Future: Fast Forward’ on electric car manufacturing as well as representatives from Eurecat, EcoRegió and the Fostering Arts and Design (FAD) in Barcelona.

Moreover, the third Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council and Director of the Agenda 2030 department, Laia Bonet, presents the Barcelona Green Deal, the urban economic agenda for the next decade that aims to strengthen the city through competitiveness, equality and sustainability. The City Council will present at its booth the main projects of the city linked to the SDGs. For example, Más Barcelona, a project to deploy photovoltaic panels in buildings for free, Edolla’t Barcelona, the country’s largest public electricity recharging network; Biomarket, Mercabarna’s new wholesale market for organic, ecological and sustainable products, and Barcelona Activa services for companies, such as CleanTech, or the Besòs Axis revitalization project, and others focused on sustainability.

The presentation of the projects participating in the congress’ “startups pitch competition” will bring the first BforPlanet event to a close. The software developed by Gabriel Hurtado de Mendoza to monitor the carbon footprint will also be unveiled, along with micro-algae to fertilise crops presented by Elihú Pinedo, a Biotechnology Engineer from the University of Zacatecas in Mexico; and the start-up company, Designable with the Architect Andrés Perales, who designs customised houses and sustainable buildings.

BforPlanet is a totally sustainable event, as it applies the Zero Waste policy, promoted by Barcelona City Council, with the elimination of single-use plastic, the separation of waste and the use of reusable bottles for filtered water, among other measures. In addition, in order to guarantee security, the congress will follow the Covid-19 prevention and security protocol that Fira de Barcelona has developed under the advice of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.