Partnering with the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, ECOHZ organized a mini-seminar the last week of November on Global developments within sustainable energy solutions for a high-level group of Chinese civil servants. The objective was to highlight how to create frameworks, policies, consumer demand and business solutions driving increased consumption of renewable energy.
Dr. Walter Steinmann, the Managing Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and State Secretary for Energy spoke at the seminar together with Nigel Topping, the CEO of We Mean Business. Preben Munch, Director, Corporate Customers and Strategic Partnerships at ECOHZ put the seminar programme together. He was also ECOHZ’ lead speaker at the event.
From left: The host of the Chinese delegation, Prof. Guido Palazzo, professor of business ethics at the faculty of business and economics at the University of Lausanne, together with Nicole Lörtsche, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Nigel Topping, We Mean Business, Tom Lindberg and Preben Munch, both from ECOHZ.
Dr. Steinmann is responsible for the conception as well as the implementation of Swiss energy policy and reports directly to the Swiss Government and Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard, the Swiss Energy Minister. He spoke about how the Swiss Government has adjusted its energy policies and plans in the wake of the Fukishima nuclear plant disaster in 2011. His presentation gave a powerful showcase of how a disruptive event impacted real change, lead to new plan and policies, and now is being supported by concrete solutions. Dr. Steinmann also brought in Nicole Lörtscher, Specialist for Renewable Energies, from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy to speak about how the Swiss actively use the system for Guarantees of Origin.
Nigel Topping is the CEO of We Mean Business – a coalition of organizations working on climate change with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors. Previously, Nigel served as CDP’s Executive Director and has helped to introduce several CDP programs, including supply chain and cities. Nigel Topping gave an optimistic message in front of COP 21, and spoke about how many large companies now are truly driving change. He portrayed a circle of positive reinforcement where politicians, policies, business, employees, investors and ultimately consumers drive change towards more and more renewable energy.
Preben Munch made the case for how various stakeholders respond to the renewable energy opportunity. He explained the backdrop of climate change and how the environment calls for more clean energy to be produced. “The business community needs the security of robust transparent standards to support their energy choices, producers need to meet customer demand and consumers need to be convinced that what they are being told is correct. The renewable energy certificate market place is the dynamic link between the stakeholders creating the virtuous circle necessary to drive the renewable development,” Mr Munch said.
The overall training program organized by the University of Lausanne focus on sustainable development and leadership skills. The partner of the University of Lausanne is the Academy of the Chinese Communist Party. All civil servants who make a career in the Party system are educated at this Academy. The University of Lausanne is the only non-Chinese organization and Switzerland is the only country in the world, having this direct and unique access to the Academy via this training program. Overall 600 civil servants will come to Switzerland to participate in the training program.