This Summer, the Spanish GC Network gave a training and awareness seminar with the “Fundación para la Sostenibilidad Energética y Ambiental” (Foundation for Energy and Environmental Sustainability), Funseam, entitled “The role of companies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

At the opening of the event, Juan Gandarias, Caixabank’s territorial director, highlighted the bank’s commitments with environment, among other pillars, for its sustainability actions. “We want to be a carbon neutral entity in 2018”.

The seminar went ahead with the speakers’ presentation about the energy sector´s role in the SDGs. "Energy is very present in the Agenda 2030 which has a very inclusive approach and, therefore, requires us to participate, the private sector in particular," explained Joan Batalla, director of Funseam, "It is possible to reconcile energy renewal with sustainable growth," he added.

On the other hand, Àngel Pes, president of the Spanish Network, emphasized that “The SDG approach is directly related to the strategy of a company and, from my point of view, the strategy is crucial  and much more from the field of energy”. Pes has broadened this reasoning, as the key that can unlock the decision-making of companies that, in situations of uncertainty, instead of continuing to behave the same or want to return to past models, suggests that the challenges must be seen from the prism of SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals, backbone of 230 Agenda

Pes, regarding 2030 Agenda, whose backbone are the SDGs, said that “this Agenda speaks the language of companie, while it has a great social legitimacy” . It is based on the challenges we all have, people, companies and public and private organizations. In addition, it offers an opportunity for the future of companies.

“The pillars of sustainable development from a business perspective rest on three concepts: productivity, decarbonization and equity”, said Pes. Elements closely linked to the company without which the challenges of sustainable development will not be achieved.

According to Pes, the spanish energy sector has a margin of action to contribute to sustainable development and encouraged attendees to move from “the attitude of fulfilling to leading”.

Isabel Garro, general director of Spanish Network of the Global Compact, explained some guidelines to implement the commitments to the Agenda, as well as the trands that in which some large companies are working: specially the working with the supply chain and the respect for human rights among stakeholders.

About the keys to reach the Goals, Garro highlighted transparency and technology.

SDG 7: " Affordable and non-polluting energy"

The Sustainable Development Goals are a new paradigm of action and collaboration that opens up for the responsible entities. The energy sector has in SDG 7 “Ensuring access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all”, the first step of its roadmap towards sustainable development.

The Goal 7 aims, in the short term, to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy to improve the living conditions of millions of people. In the long term, the aim is to increase the use of renewable energy to the detriment of fossil fuels and to promote energy efficiency, creating a completely sustainable economy that first and foremost benefits society and the environment.

The private sector plays a key role in this regard, investing in clean energy sources, such as solar, wind or thermal, betting on technologies that reduce the world consumption of electricity in buildings and factories and projects that contribute to energy to the most disadvantaged local communities.