The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce intends to encourage all its members to adopt sustainability principles in their strategies. For Luc Frieden, chairman of the chamber, this is obvious: "We must not wait for Europe to impose sustainability measures on companies, we must anticipate them,” he said at a press briefing on Monday.
The chamber launched a working group dedicated to sustainable development in autumn 2020. The group is chaired by Geoffroy Bazin, former CEO of BGL BNP Paribas and independent consultant, assisted by Anne-Marie Loesch, head of CSR at the Chamber of Commerce, Valérie Arnold, sustainability partner at PwC Luxembourg, and Norman Fisch, secretary general of the national institute for sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, INDR.
The group has developed the "Luxembourg sustainable business principles", 10 major guiding principles that should guide the strategy of Luxembourg companies in the future. They include ESG, responsible investment, taking into account all stakeholders rather than just shareholders, the circular economy, and even the main principles of human rights.
We did not create these principles in isolation.
"We did not create these principles in isolation," says Bazin. "In order to bring the process back to basics, we involved 23 companies from particularly exposed sectors: transport, industry and banking/insurance.”
Principles already exist. To give them substance, the Chamber of Commerce intends to act as an intermediary for companies to facilitate the process. It is counting on the support of the INDR.
"We will be very active in bringing these 10 principles to fruition," confirmed Marc Lauer, president of the INDR and CEO of the Foyer Group.
"Now that we have developed these principles, we will accompany companies to ensure sustainable growth", Frieden added, insisting that sustainability should not act as a brake on on the need for economic growth.