Report: The Role of Companies in Shaping a Social Green Deal 2024-2029

Earlier this year, CSR Europe and GlobeScan, with the support of Solvay, ran their first Sustainability Leadership Salon event in a two-part series: a journey with CSR Europe Leadership Hubs’ member companies coming together with peers, civil society leaders, and policymakers to advance the Just Transition and create a Social Green Deal 2024–2029 for Europe.

Download this summary document which lays out the outcome of this event, the key topics discussed, and the opportunities for business and policy leadership moving forward.

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Context: Why a “Social” Green Deal Now

COVID-19. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Energy and the cost-of-living crisis. Inflation. Impacts of climate change. Upskilling imperative for a green and digital economy. Challenges to the social dimension of the EU’s sustainability agenda abound and make the Just Transition an imperative for the future of the Green Deal.

What Was Discussed During the Salon Event

How to Advance the Just Transition

As the 2024 EU elections are approaching, it is imperative to advance the Just Transition in Europe for the future of the EU Green Deal 2024–2029 and more broadly, to create the necessary foundations of the EU’s social contract moving forward.

Social Issues on the Public Agenda

Social issues are high on the public’s agenda as well as on businesses’ material issues list. Businesses are not currently seen as being ready to address these issues brought about by the Just Transition imperative. However, they are also not expected to address these issues alone and are instead expected to work in partnership with others, starting with governments and regulators.

Expectations Around the Social Green Deal

There are expectations and opportunities for both business and policy leadership in shaping a Social Green Deal. While businesses are expected to bring social issues back into the picture and speak up, be proactive, and aim to drive positive change along their value chains, EU policymakers are urged to adopt a more holistic approach to regulations and to focus on capacity building and innovation moving forward.

What’s Next

Building on the lessons learned from this initial salon event, the three CSR Europe Leadership Hubs are developing policy proposals for a Social Green Deal 2024–2029. Some of these proposals have already been further tested at the CSR Europe Conference and General Assembly on June 20, 2023. These proposals will then be further elaborated and discussed at a second Sustainability Leadership Salon on November 14, 2023, in Brussels. While the final policy paper for a Social Green Deal will be presented to the new European Commission, European Parliament, and EU governments in Q1 2024, stakeholders recommend sharing some initial reflections and recommendations earlier with the administration of the European Commission which is already preparing future directions and policies for the next commission term 2024–2029.

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About CSR Europe

CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. With its corporate members, National Partner Organisations (NPOs), and Associated Partners, CSR Europe unites, inspires, and supports over 10,000 enterprises at local, European, and global levels. CSR Europe supports businesses and industry sectors in their transformation and collaboration toward practical solutions and sustainable growth.

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