The first Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Conference was held successfully in Chania on Friday, May 10th. The Conference that took place as an ‘EU Green Week’ 2019 Partner Event, with the theme of how everybody has a responsibility to ‘Take The Initiative’ to enact EU environmental laws. The conference focused on sustainability in the sectors of tourism, energy, transport and nutrition, and was organized by Global Sustain and the European Sustainability Academy (ESA) at the ANEK Lines conference center.

The participants learned about international emerging trends, new technologies and innovation that are being applied to addressing the challenges of sustainability. Expert speakers explained about specialized issues including the introduction of artificial intelligence in internal management systems. Speakers focused on the most pressing issues of, how to effectively enact sustainable development in a way to strengthen the local economy and improve quality of life within the constraints of the natural environment and limitations of natural resources.

Michael Spanos Managing Director of Global Sustain quoted: “It is important that the people of Crete are aware of issues related to sustainability, especially after the latest disasters. I am particularly pleased that the first Chania Conference passed a very optimistic message about the environment. I would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters who have helped to implement the event.

Sharon Jackson, Founder of The European Sustainability Academy – Crete said: “We have been delighted with the positive outcomes from this first event in Chania at a time when countries across the world are declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’. Crete is experiencing firsthand the devastating impact of climate change and it is imperative that more action takes place for sharing combined local and international expert knowledge and experience. Business leaders and policy makers have a moral responsibility to be fully educated in these matters and to develop the necessary skills for adaptation and mitigation in the face of increasing climate change catastrophe and environmental degradation. Enacting exiting environment policy and laws is a good start. The results of EUGreenWeek in Crete have been sent in a report to the EU Commission, Directorate General for Environment”.

The event was organized under the auspices of the Region of Crete – Regional Unity of Chania, the Municipality of Chania, the Technical Chamber of Greece and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania us an official European Commission, EUGreenWeek Partner Event.

Among the speakers were representatives of the European Commission and political leadership, including MEP, Mrs. Eva Kaili. She told the audience: “Automation and the capabilities of even more sophisticated technologies are changing everything. It is important for us in the European Parliament, but also for operators and industry, to go for a purpose, to promote sustainable development not only by maximizing profit but also by helping the environment and by improving our quality of life. Being more human in a world that engines have an increasingly powerful role.

The chairman of ANEK Lines, George Katsanevakis gave examples of ancient Greek and Minoan civilization, that had a special belief in foreign people, with unstable cities, which testifies to the values ​​of that period, with the 1000 years of peace. Historically Crete has been self-sufficient in products and spiritual ideas, serving as a foundation for the development of Western culture. Furthermore, he referred to the healthy Cretan dietary culture as an ultimate element of sustainability which has prevailed since antiquity. He closed his speech with a traditional Cretan “mantinada” poem: “No matter how big dark is, the sun will find the way to rise.”

Collaborating Organization: Youth Entrepreneurship Club

Sponsors: Alpha Bank, Gaia Business, GEP GROUP, Goldair Handling, Metaxa Hospitality Group

Hospitality Sponsor: ANEK Lines

Travel Partner: Ask2Travel

Print Partners: Pressious Arvanitidis

Logistics Partner: ITALY LINES

Rental Partner: Europrent

Supporter of Carbon Neutralization: Green Evolution

Supporters: Women’s Entrepreneurs Development Club, Biolea, CEO Clubs, Dourakis Winery, Fisika, Reload Greece, Salis Restaurant

Communication Sponsors: ANT1, CretaLive, epixeiro