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COP28 Global Innovation Hub – Companies as Solution Providers for Global Sustainability

November 30, 2023
Dubai, UAE
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Mission Innovation’s NCI and the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub co-hosted the event, ”Companies as Solution Providers for Global Sustainability” at COP28 in Dubai. The event gathered some of the most forward-looking companies and organizations in the world to discuss how the sustainability agenda can shift from a focus of reducing emissions to providing for human needs in a sustainable way with the goal of identifying best and next practices for companies as solution providers that move beyond traditional product substitution.

Panelists and topics:
Massamba Thioye, Project Executive, UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub
Dennis Pamlin, Executive Director, Mission Innovation NCI / Senior Advisor, RISE
John Kornerup Bang, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Transformation, Stora Enso
Dr Ganesh Das, Chief – Collaboration & Innovation, TATA Power
Viktoria Karsberg, Head of Corporate Identity and Group Communications, SSAB
James Varkey, CFO, Icebug
Alexander Nick, Senior Direction Climate Action, WBCSC

Massamba Thioye, Project Executive at UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub stressed the need to focus on “caring, sharing and daring” in order to reach the sustainability goals that relate to providing for core human needs, highlighting that the main driver for innovation will be the difference between what is needed and what is possible to achieve.

John Kornerup Bang, Senior Vice President for Sustainability transformation at Stora Enso, presented the challenge for a large company like Stora Enso, that already have sustainability solutions, to shift to delivering on human needs by restoring climate and relationships, that goes beyond reducing the negative. He also talked about the importance of internal reflection and collaboration with start-ups to ensure that they, along with many existing companies, balance traditional sales targets with investing in disruptive systematic change.

Dr Ganesh Das, Chief of Collaboration & Innovation at Tata Power, discussed the need for energy-focused companies to move from only providing energy to instead focus on including customers and more flexible businesses in areas such as water consumption waste management, where behavior will be highly impactful regarding how sustainable the sectors can become, while additional aspects such as biodiversity will affect sustainability. Their efforts include education and building awareness for these issues.

Viktoria Karsberg
, Head of Corporate Identity and Group Communications at SSAB talked about the history of going from traditional steel production into green steel, while also pushing the entire value chain by promoting sustainable practices.

James Varkey, CFO, Icebug, presented their work to develop clothing that encourages sustainable lifestyles through “wardrobe thinking” that includes products that one truly needs, in order to fulfill the “deep-seeded human need for connection with nature and physical activity” that is based on nearby environments, rather than chasing kicks.

Alexander Nick
, Senior Director Climate Action at WBCSC talked about their work in defining a standard on avoided emissions as a way of reporting business activities. WBCSC have collaborated with various solution providers to standardize support of the solutions that provide the real change that is needed for global sustainability.