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Towards a brighter future: Key takeaways from Topco Media's Sustainability Summit

The Future of Sustainability Conference, hosted by Topco Media, culminated in two days of insightful panel discussions and visionary addresses aimed at reshaping the narrative around sustainability and fostering actionable strategies for a greener future.
Towards a brighter future: Key takeaways from Topco Media's Sustainability Summit
Towards a brighter future: Key takeaways from Topco Media's Sustainability Summit

Esteemed guests, including government officials, industry leaders, and sustainability advocates, convened at the Empire Conference and Events venue in Johannesburg on 19 and 20 March 2024 for this impactful event.

Setting the tone for transformation

The conference kicked off with a compelling Welcome Address by Clay Tsapi, the Project Manager at Topco Media, on behalf of Ralf Fletcher, CEO. Tsapi set the stage for the conference by highlighting the imperative of embracing sustainability amidst disruption. He emphasised the pivotal role of businesses with an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) approach in rewriting the rules for responsible corporate citizenship. Tsapi underscored the conference's commitment to championing sustainable practices since its inception in 2011 and fostering partnerships for collective impact and growth.

In his address, Tsapi stated, "Businesses with an ESG-minded approach are not just leading the charge. They are rewriting rules and leaving a lasting mark on the world." The sentiment echoed throughout the conference, resonating with attendees and setting the tone for collaborative action towards a brighter, greener future.

Towards a brighter future: Key takeaways from Topco Media's Sustainability Summit

Coca-Cola's commitment to sustainability

Following Tsapi's address, Karyn Harrington, vice president of public affairs communications and sustainability at Coca-Cola Africa, delivered a keynote that illuminated Coca-Cola's unwavering commitment to sustainability. Harrington showcased Coca-Cola's sustainability priorities, spanning areas such as reducing added sugar, water leadership, packaging, climate, sustainable agriculture, people, and communities. She underscored Coca-Cola's dedication to packaging sustainability and investment in empowering women economically, affirming the company's commitment to a sustainable future.

Harrington remarked, "Sustainability is embedded in all that we do, and partnerships are at the heart of our efforts." Her address elucidated Coca-Cola's holistic approach to sustainability, emphasisng the creation of both social and business value simultaneously.

How do we propel collective action towards sustainable development?

Dr. Achieng Ojwang, executive director of the UN Global Compact Network South Africa, delivered a keynote address that propelled attendees towards collective action for sustainable development. Ojwang emphasised the indispensable role of businesses in addressing societal challenges and advancing sustainability. She underscored the need for inclusive collaboration and strategic action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, citing insights from the Private Sector Voluntary National Review on SDGs in South Africa.

Ojwang urged, "Our impact must contribute to global collective progress, emphasising the interconnectedness of our actions in a global village." Her address galvanised attendees to join the UN Global Compact and integrate ESG principles into their business strategies, fostering impactful progress towards a sustainable future.

Expressing gratitude and commitment

Topco Media extends heartfelt gratitude to all partners and sponsors for their invaluable support in making the Future of Sustainability Conference a resounding success. Special thanks to Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, bronze partners OMI Solutions, The Spar Group (Ltd), Nestlé South Africa, South African Breweries and Old Mutual Insure; showcase partners, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA and CIMA), Envision Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd, and Amalooloo; strategic partners including the UN Global Compact Network South Africa, Primedia Outdoor, Good Governance Africa, British Chamber of Business in South Africa and Women in Mining (WiMSA); and lifestyle partner, Sade J UAE Fine Fragrances.

“I would also like to thank the talented, award-winning broadcaster presenters Carol Tshabalala and Leanne Manas, for being fantastically engaging masters of ceremonies across the two days,” concludes Tsapi.

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25 Mar 2024 14:00