As the world emerges into a post-COVID world, clearly there is a strong need for our economies to recover and for our communities and social fabric to be rebuilt. At the same time however, the world has been in the midst of a spiralling environmental crisis that needs to be addressed to ensure the survival of our communities.
People talk of returning to normal after Covid however, if normal is what we were doing before Covid, we cannot return to normal. We must strive for higher. We must reset our economies, our business practices, our habits so as to ensure a more sustainable environment. We need to strive not just to be carbon neutral, because others will not be, and we need to aim for being carbon negative.
On the 1st July 2021, Rotary adds protection of the environment as one of its areas of focus. Combining environmental protection with economic and community development provides the triangle of sustainability.
The Rotary Presidential Conference, being held either in Venice, Italy or on-line between the 6th and 7th November 2021, is not an environmental conference; there are many of those. The “Economy and Environment in Harmony” conference is about how businesses need to transform for significant, and not just incremental improvements. The President of Rotary International 2021/22, Shekhar Mehta will introduce the rationale behind why Rotary is prioritising protection of the environment. Dr Roberta Metsola, the First Vice President of the European Parliament, will explain how the European Green Deal will help companies become world leaders in clean products and technologies. We will understand how the agri-food sector is evolving, how conscious consumption patterns and investor demands are forcing change and how the energy and transport sectors must continue to evolve, only faster.
Leaders of business from across Europe and leaders in Rotary will share their experiences and projects. We will hear about tangible action which is occurring both in and out of Rotary. We will follow how you, as an individual, and your business can accelerate this much needed change. The conference programme is rich with content.