European Sustainable Development Week 2019

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The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is starting today, and represents an initiative to stimulate and make visible activities, projects and events that promote sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It takes place every year from 30 May until 5 June. The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) is an initiative to facilitate the organization of activities that promote sustainable development and make these efforts visible on a common platform.

The recently adopted global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulates key issues that call for urgent action at all levels and by all stakeholders. The ESDW contributes to this ambitious, universal and transformative agenda by promoting the organization of bottom-up activities that have a thematic link to and support the SDGs. As such, the ESDW aims to raise awareness for the 2030 Agenda in Europe and calls upon local stakeholders to actively engage with sustainable development, in general, and the SDGs, in particular.

In Italy, from May 21st to June 6th 2019, Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) relaunches the Italian Sustainable Development Festival with a new and renovated edition to spread the culture of sustainable development, foster dialogue and celebrate innovative ideas and solutions, with new formats and contents. The third edition will feature hundreds of events aimed at promoting transformation and engaging civil society, while supporting at the same time the country’s leaders with new proposals to bring Italy on a sustainable development path.

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More than 200 civil society organizations, several Italian universities and different stakeholders engaged in contributing to the 2030 Agenda, will take part in awareness-raising campaigns and will contribute by launching their own events across the peninsula, North through South.

Fighting against climate change and energy transition, technological innovation and the future of work, fighting poverty and inequalities, health and food security, education and continuous training, international cooperation, infrastructure and sustainable mobility, inter-religious dialogue and the future of Europe, protection of the environment and economic development. The 2019 Festival faces the great challenges for Italy today and tomorrow that are at the center of the cultural and political debate, involving citizens and, in particular, young people.

The claim of the 2019 Festival “Let’s put our hands on our future” calls everyone to individual and collective action, from the economic and business world to that of politics and institutions, from schools to universities, from citizens to cultural and information operators. We are all invited to mobilize ourselves to help change the step towards sustainable development that leaves no one behind, as Agenda 2030 recalls.

This concept was strongly reiterated during the Conference “Businesses and finance for sustainable development. Opportunities to be seized and obstacles to be removed” held at the Assolombarda Auditorium in Milan. On this occasion, the ten most representative business associations called on the Government to accelerate Italy’s transition towards sustainable development and to open a working group on this topic with the Presidency of the Council.

The business associations adhering to the Milan Pact indicated in a joint document the lines of action necessary to accelerate the step towards the Sustainable Development Goals, affirming the need to “Create an environment suitable for sustainable development, accelerate the decoupling between economic growth and environmental pressure, addressing the social dimension of the ecological transition of the production system, favoring the development of territories and their resilience and promoting an economic model oriented to sustainable development”.

«Sustainability is increasingly considered a strategic factor by companies as well as being an important element of value and reputation – commented Pluluigi Stefanini, President of ASviS – At the same time, the world of finance is watching more and more carefully to innovative entrepreneurial realities, meeting the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. These criteria oblige a change of perspective and to invest not so much in the perspective of an immediate advantage, but in a medium-long term perspective».

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