2020 theme: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year.
It will bring together 3,000 participants from around the world, and aim to give concrete meaning to “stakeholder capitalism”, assist governments and international institutions in tracking progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and facilitate discussions on technology and trade governance.
The Forum’s first meeting in 1971 was established to further the idea put forward by Professor Klaus Schwab that business should serve all stakeholders – customers, employees, communities, as well as shareholders. It was reaffirmed in 1973 in the “Davos Manifesto,” a document that has shaped the work of the Forum ever since. In a major update, this year’s Annual Meeting will see the publication of a universal “ESG scorecard” by the Forum’s International Business Council, which is currently chaired by Brian Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America.
- Climate change a key topic at Davos 2020.
- Leaders of some of the world’s biggest companies will be there.
- Summit host invites all of them to set 2050 net-zero emissions target.
All companies coming to Davos have been asked to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier.
Acting on Climate Change
Dear Participant to the 2020 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
The opportunity and the need for companies and investors to show leadership on climate change is more eminent than ever before.
Making a commitment to help tackle the urgent issue of climate change is also in line with the stakeholder imperative of the 2020 Davos Manifesto and the theme of the 50th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.
Consequently, as a leader of one of the world’s foremost global companies and a valued partner of the World Economic Forum, we encourage you to use the opportunity of your upcoming participation to make a commitment to act on climate change.
If you have not done so already, we invite you to set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. A short accompanying note to this letter provides some options to help you in this regard.
This initiative will be addressed at various Community Meetings taking place at the Annual Meeting.
We look forward to the Annual Meeting 2020 being a breakthrough moment for business action on climate change and thank you in advance for your consideration and leadership in helping the world address this urgent global issue.
Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO, Bank of America, Chair of World Economic Forum International Business Council 2019-2020
Feike Sybesma, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Royal DSM, Member of World Economic Forum Board of Trustees; Chairman of World Economic Forum Climate and Sustainability Initiatives
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
In an accompanying note, the authors of the letter recommend companies publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions and disclose their climate-related financial risks and impacts. They also suggest companies “consider including a 2030 milestone target”.
In a letter sent to company leaders on their way to the summit in Switzerland, Klaus Schwab, the Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, and the heads of Bank of America and Royal DSM, say this year’s meeting is a perfect opportunity to show leadership on climate change.
While the world continues to heat up, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase at 1.5% per year, whereas they must fall by 3-6% per year between now and 2030 is needed to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
A more sustainable Annual Meeting
The 2020 Annual Meeting will be among the most sustainable international summits ever held. Awarded the IS0 20121 standard for sustainable events in 2018, the Annual Meeting is fully carbon neutral through reducing, calculating and offsetting event-related emissions.
Initiatives put in place to achieve this goal include using locally-sourced food suppliers, introducing alternative sources of protein to reduce meat consumption, sourcing 100% renewable electricity, and reducing or eliminating the use of materials that cannot easily be recycled or re-used, such as carpets and introducing more electric vehicles.
The Programme for the Annual Meeting will prioritize several key areas:
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