Lessons from ABB’s Sustainability Leaders Virtual Summit

Industry leaders from companies including GSK, World Trade Organisation, ERM & Dow join Industry IoT & ABB to share insight on sustainability initiatives

It is widely agreed that collaboration, communication and shared expertise is one of the easiest ways that companies, governments and organisations can advance achievements in sustainability and work to reduce the impact of climate change.

Events like Sustainability LIVE are extremely beneficial for leaders looking to advance their sustainability journey, and Industry IoT provides a global executive community covering the latest trends, challenges and opportunities. The company, alongside ABB, hosted the Sustainability Leaders Virtual Summit uniting leaders from companies including GSK, World Trade Organisation, ERM and Dow in the completely live virtual event. 

Two keynotes and two panels, introduced by Industry IoT CEO Dan Phillips, share expert insight on topics including balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship, renewable energy, circular economy and sustainability in the supply chain. 

Building a Greener Future: Innovations in Sustainable Manufacturing

The opening keynote was delivered by Tomás Zaborowski, Global Head of Sustainability Excellence at German life science company Bayer Crop Science. A global leader in healthcare, Bayer is headquartered in Germany and has 35,000 employees worldwide. 

Tomás Zaborowski, Global Head of Sustainability Excellence at Bayer Crop Science

Tomás highlighted the importance of cultivating a nature-positive future through regenerative agriculture, and looked at it from an ESG perspective.

The keynote covered five key topics: 

  • Planetary boundaries: Biodiversity at risk 
  • Call to action for nature positive
  • ESG perspectives and frameworks/TNFD 
  • Regenerative agriculture as solution 
  • Bayer’s approach to regenerative agriculture

The Path to Net Zero: Leading the Transformation

Speakers from a wide range of industries came together to share the challenges and pathways to net zero for their companies and their industries, again highlighting the benefits of collaboration not just between companies but between sectors.

The panel speakers were:

  • Francesco Perlini, CFO, Audit ESG & Sustainability at World Trade Organization
  • Anna Richardson, Sustainability Programme Director, Supply Chain at GSK
  • Aris Vrettos, Director Sustainability Strategy and Transformation at Croda
  • Helen Hudson, Sustainability Partner at ERM

“The financial industry is a key enabler in reaching net zero,” Francesco stated.

“We not only aim to generate return on investment, but we’re also looking to develop a sustainable objective – ESG has become an element of risk management in all industries.”

Forging Sustainability: Strategies for Industrial Resilience

Digitally enabled solutions supporting companies on the path to net zero, process automation systems to engineer tasks, and create a digital ecosystem for innovation and accelerating uptake of sustainable technologies were the key themes from the second keynote of the event. 

Pier Vittorio Rebba, Global Head of Sustainability Business, Digital Energy Industries at ABB

Pier Vittorio Rebba joined ABB over six years ago, and became the Global Head of Sustainability Business, Digital Energy Industries in 2023. With a background in engineering, Pier moved to ABB from GE where he spent nearly a decade heading up the Turbo Machinery Digital Services

Empowering Tomorrow: Advancements in Sustainability Technology

The final session of the event naturally followed from Pier’s exploration of digital development for sustainability. Themes of connectivity and partnership continue throughout as the panellists from Fujikura Automotive, Jacobs, Sika, ABB & Dow explore how technology can empower a green tomorrow, and support the achievement of the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement.

The panel speakers were:

  • Stephen Tonks, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Fujikura
  • Julien Armandet, Africa Area Head Sustainability & Quality Management at Sika
  • Suzanne Greene, Environmental Sustainability Director at Dow
  • Sleman Saliba, Global Product Manager Energy Management at ABB
  • Vanessa Walsk, Head of Sustainability at Jacobs

The panel believes that, instead of waiting for technological developments, we need to act now and use what we have available to us. How can technology be used now with long term positive environmental impacts, and how can this positively impact the bottom line. 


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