Mondi, the international packaging and paper group, and IUFRO, the global network for forest science cooperation, will co-host an open dialogue at the IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress this September in Freiburg, Germany.
The aim is to identify strategies and options for long-term structured collaboration between business and science towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mondi and IUFRO are both committed to the important role of business and science in advancing action towards sustainable development, especially to combat climate change and its impacts, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable economic growth worldwide.
The IUFRO 125th Anniversary Congress on 18-22 September 2017 in Freiburg will highlight the contribution of forest research to answering questions of global relevance in the past, present and future. A series of Science in Dialogue sessions will offer opportunities to strengthen the interaction between science and important national and international policymakers and stakeholders, and to build bridges to other sectors such as water and energy from local to global levels.
One of these sessions will be the Science meets Business dialogue on Tuesday, 19 September. It will focus on challenges faced in reaching the SDGs and consider how science can address the needs of the private sector. It will also examine whether there is a gap between the requirements of the private sector and the knowledge, skills and competences delivered by forest-related education.
Christian Skilich, Operations Services & Technical Director, Mondi Group will represent the forest-based private sector. He stated, “Mondi is actively collaborating with the scientific community and intends to support joint strategies and actions. We share with IUFRO a commitment to structured collaboration on global key challenges, such as climate change, sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources and product innovation. Our ‘Growing Responsibly’ model is closely aligned with the SDGs and we see value in collaborating with scientific experts to deliver these goals.”
Prof. Mike Wingfield, IUFRO President, confirms: “Business and industry are major players in promoting sustainable pathways. It is essential for science to effectively identify and address information requirements of business and industry in order to create science-based solutions for a sustainable future. Mondi and IUFRO, who coincidentally are neighbours in Vienna, jointly have the expertise, knowledge and capacity to contribute to identifying pathways for sustainable development and options for the way forward.”
The Science meets Business dialogue will feature a keynote speech by renowned Cambridge University Professor Bhaskar Vira that will set the scene and address interlinkages and trade-offs between SDGs. This will be followed by statements of three high-level panellists representing the forest-based, food and energy sectors, who will then engage in discussion with scientists and the audience.
This collaboration between business and science aims to create a platform for linking their perspectives on key sustainable development challenges and to identify opportunities for knowledge exchange and mutual learning among scientists, young professionals and business leaders.