Friday 21 March 2023 marked the launch of the House of Sustainability at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
A joint initiative between the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts, in partnership with the INDR, the House of Sustainability aims to accelerate and facilitate the sustainable transition of companies in Luxembourg. This initiative aims to guide, inform, raise awareness, train and support Luxembourg companies through the key challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. In order to achieve these objectives, the House of Sustainability is offering a range of services in collaboration with its partners.
Its launch on Friday brought together nearly 350 people, including His Royal Highness Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and a diverse panel of representatives of companies and institutions. Prince Guillaume commented: "Investing in sustainability is investing in the future of our economy and our businesses."
In his opening speech, Fernand Ernster, President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, reaffirmed the need for the initiative, noting that sustainable development has reached the heart of our society and economy. Insisting on the essential role to be played by companies, as true architects of sustainable development and sources of solutions, he explained that the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce hopes to provide support to its member companies by creating a platform to share experiences, exchange best practices and work together for a sustainable future.
In his keynote speech, Prof. Dr Christian Berg, former Chief Sustainability Architect at SAP, explained how sustainability can drive innovation and support business development by increasing profitability. Valérie Arnold, independent sustainability consultant, then presented how the sustainability agenda is already helping to accelerate business transformation.
Participants subsequently listened to a presentation of the House of Sustainability, with an introduction by Marc Lauer, President of the governance body of the House of Sustainability. Anne-Marie Loesch, Head of Sustainability and Business Development at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Morgane Haessler, ESR Programme Coordinator at INDR, and Gilles Reding, Consulting and Services Director at the Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts, discussed, among other things, the origins of this project as well as its missions, service offer and all the participating players in the ecosystem.
The panel that followed, moderated by Bérengère Beffort of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and entitled "The role of companies in the transition to a more sustainable future: cross-perspectives from different sectors", brought together personalities representing various sectors of activity such as trade, crafts, HORESCA (hospitality) and transport. Debbie Kirsch, founder of Devï, Laurence Graff, Head of CSR of Sodexo Luxembourg, Jean Clement, CEO of Josy Clement, and Sébastien Jungen, Managing Director of Bamolux, shared their successful experiences of sustainable initiatives as well as the challenges and opportunities encountered in their transition to sustainable solutions.
Paul Nathan, Vice-President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts, closed the event. He expressed his delight over this new joint initiative, noting that the House of Sustainability is the ideal platform to guide companies on their path to sustainability. He noted that the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts has the ambition to develop adapted tools and instruments together with its partners.
After a networking lunch, the participants attended practical workshops focusing on the four pillars of sustainable development applied to the business context: governance; people; prosperity; planet.
With the House of Sustainability now officially launched, the teams working at the heart of this project will be able to communicate to companies all the solutions, means and tools available to them to integrate the challenges of sustainable development into their strategy.
The Sustainable Business Committee, the governance body of the House of Sustainability, will provide the guidelines and the strategic impulses of the activities of the House of Sustainability, composed of representatives of companies who face the challenges of sustainable development and who are developing solutions to meet them.
A series of events will launch in May 2023 and then, from June 2023, the "Sustainability Cycles" monthly loops will combine in-person and virtual events and other content in order to offer companies the opportunity to acquire expertise in the ten guiding principles of sustainable development. The month of June will focus on the sustainable development strategy, with a conference on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) organised on 30 May 2023 in partnership with the CNC and the INDR at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. On 21 June 2023, the Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts will host a workshop on the "Sustainable craftsmanship in three key stages" approach, in partnership with the INDR.