I welcome the BRAVO 2018 Annual Event, and I congratulate the participants from the bottom of my heart. Sustainable Development undoubtedly constitutes a top social priority and a pressing need for our country. The large number of Organisations, Social Partners and Active Citizens who participate each year in the procedures of BRAVO confirms how true the foregoing is, and indeed confirms the acceptance that the BRAVO initiative finds in our society’s conscience. The Dialogue of this year’s Initiative is related to climate change and the pressing situations this creates, as well as the collaborations that are required to properly handle these situations. Who can close their eyes to the new challenges? And on the other hand, what a hand they deserve, those who, through their action, prevent the developments and raise society’s awareness so that we can all shape the Greece of the Future which we desire. I hope that our Lord Jesus Christ generously blesses this year’s event.
Greece needs to turn to a new model of growth to build a better future for today’s generation, as well as for subsequent ones. In this context, the sustainable development initiatives ought to be at the top of the agenda. Because we cannot have a modern, healthy economy without having a sustainable economy, which progresses harmoniously with nature and environmental protection. Besides, this is what is happening in every developed nation. A prerequisite to achieve this is the exchange of views and ideas, as well as the adoption of best practices that have been achieved by other countries. The BRAVO Annual Dialogue contributes towards this end and aids, in an effective manner, in building the Greece we deserve.
Sustainable Development today proves to be a driving force in the trend towards changing the global developmental model. More and more companies around the world place Sustainable Development at the core of their activity, aiming to combine success in business with the creation of value for the societies in which they operate. The BRAVO initiative and the dialogue that develops within its framework constitutes effective confirmation that our country has values, responsible companies, which operate with a vision and a purpose. Companies which can lead the way in the Greek economy’s recovery, which can also support the effort to build a cohesive, prosperous society.
The SEV Council for Sustainable Development congratulates the BRAVO initiative for its consistent, long-standing contribution to the promotion of open, multi-stakeholder and scientific dialogue on the essential issues that concerns all of us today. Common ground is a concern for sustainable development, which is a necessary component of our country’s future. We are happy that the priorities of the SEV Council for Sustainable Development, such as preventing and tackling climate change, promoting a circular economy, protecting biodiversity and environmental compliance, are proven each year, also through the agenda of the BRAVO initiative.
By developing dialogue with social partners and bodies on issues of sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship, the QualityΝet Foundation comes to fill a gap in Greek society as the participation of stakeholders on issues of strategy and policy is still at a premature stage in many areas of activity. A technical know-how with regard to dialogue has been developed, to a great extent, with a large number of stakeholders, thus solidifying society’s trust in organizations and further promoting the development of the Sustainable Development agenda. The statistical monitoring of the maturation of the Greek market with regard to issues of Sustainable Development constitutes material for further procession and is useful both for Institutional Bodies as well as other Organisations in designing and redefining the developmental models.
The future of our planet in our hands!
The need to activate all the powers of society in order to face the effects of climate change, for the planet to move in a sustainable direction, is more crucial today than ever before. In this context, I welcome the BRAVO initiative and the sensitivity to the issue of climate change, by highlighting good practices and strengthening social dialogue for sustainable development, promoting public dialogue with the State, Bodies, Companies, Local Government and civil society. Climate change now represents the greatest danger to the planet and to man’s life and, for the first time, an “environmental” problem seems to be threatening the physical foundation of our societies. It leads to the desertification of entire regions, a reduction in agricultural production, a reduction in available water resources, an increase in forest fires, as well as mass migration. The battle to handle Climate Change requires the recruitment of all of society’s healthy forces, irrespective of political affiliation, as it affects all citizens as well as the future of the planet, and that of future generations.
The crisis that has plagued Greece was not solely a financial one, but a total crisis, a model crisis at the centre of which was the crisis of the productivity model. Today, finished with the Adjustment Programmes and leaving behind the austerity policies, we are designing the Greece of the future, laying the foundation for a new model of Fair and Sustainable Development. For this purpose, the government has developed the National Development Strategy, which was warmly received by our European partners and international Organisations. The Strategy represents the national developmental “road map”, incorporating the principles of sustainability in all three of its dimensions (economic, social, environmental), in conjunction with Greece’s commitment to the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Justice and sustainability of the developmental process constitute the two pillars which will ensure the stability of national progress, economic prosperity, and social cohesion in the decades to come.
The role of the business community and collaborations is an important factor in achieving the 17 Global Goals and in tackling Climate Change. Management of the risk created by Climate Change requires broader collaborations, both with regard to the management of adjustment as well as the opportunities that arise for the market, which are estimated internationally to amount to 21 trillion annually by 2030. The Bravo Sustainability Dialogue initiative is a vital tool for the promotion of dialogue and collaboration between all communities involved. Something that we need for the implementation of the Goals, as we all work with 2030 on the horizon.
Dialogue and consultation among various groups is a necessary and arduous process in the promotion of Sustainable Development. In this manner, a culture is shaped, as well as education, and collaborations are developed that can support a sustainable future. In this context, I especially appreciate the BRAVO initiative for its commitment to this goal. It is with great interest that we see the immediate implementation of programmes and actions as well as the involvement of such a large number of people in this process.
ESDN supports and congratulates the BRAVO initiative in Greece for its continuous effort to involve a large community of social partners in the dialogue process with an aim to improve the sustainable development programmes and initiatives of organisations in the country. In this manner, the initiative contributes to the creation of a broader culture of sustainable development as well as a plan for collaboration and action on a national level.