Margot Wallström

SDR 2006-2007

« Sustainable development is a vision for the future and a long-term strategy to secure the needs, hopes and expectations of future generations. It is an overarching objective of the European Union set out in the Treaty and integrated into policy-making at all levels. It recognizes economic development, social cohesion and environmental protection must go hand in hand. It encourages the establishment and defends the stability of democratic institutions across the world, based on peace, security and freedom.
The Commission mainstreams sustainable development in its information, awareness-raising and communication activities. It organises events and stakeholders meetings on the European Union sustainable development strategy, to disseminate new ideas and exchange best practices, to promote coherence between local, regional, national and global actions, to enhance the social dialogue, corporate social responsibility and private-public partnerships.
I believe that the opportunities that can be found in a sustainable business approach are tremendous, both from a European perspective of competitiveness but also in a wider global context of progressing human development, especially if we look at the great potential of eco-technologies and mitigating climate change.
Today the climate has become hard core politics and how we act today will indeed determine our own and our children’s very near future. We have an enormous responsibility and it requires action and leadership. To go carbon neutral and invest in a low carbon economy should be a key objective in all management and governance strategies. That is what I call smart growth.
Business, in particular, has a special role to play by adapting production processes to make them more efficient, less resource-intensive, and producing goods and services that are sustainable – carbon neutral. Media companies can more specifically contribute to the knowledge society by actively taking a responsibility for communicating to citizens the key competences needed to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions: economic prosperity, social equity and cohesion with respect for fundamental rights and cultural diversity, environmental protection.
The truth is that these issues require action from all of us – irrespective of the different roles we have in society.
The choice is ours to make. »