Representatives of business associations from Canary Islands, Philippines, Aeolian islands, and Mauritius join the Island Companies Committee’s Advisory Board
A new committee focused on the islands’ private sector was launched on Wednesday at INSULEUR’s General Assembly which took place on June the 28th in Brussels, Belgium, at the European Economic and Social Committee of the European Commission. The Network of Insular Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the European Union (INSULEUR) is a strategic partner of Greening the Islands.
This new operative group within the Greening the Islands (GTI) Observatory, called the Islands Companies Committee (ICC), will be composed of companies based in islands worldwide and dedicated to addressing islands’ private sector needs, and providing input to the Observatory’s agenda.
The ICC is the first entity representing island companies worldwide with focus on the circular economy.
Pressure is growing from regional and national institutions to accelerate the sustainable transition of islands worldwide. International industry and technology leaders are offering sustainable solutions that are highly competitive and able to generate significant savings, reduce carbon emissions and improve resilience.
However, the question arises: what is the role of island companies and islanders in this new economy? Local businesses should be empowered to play an active role in planning, developing, and maintaining new projects. Building capacities for the private sector to actively participate in this sustainable transition would allow islands to differentiate their economies and create local jobs.
The main goal of the new Committee is to represent islands’ companies from all over the world and engage them around the circular economy topic, within the GTI Observatory and beyond. It will also activate support from the key global institutions when required. The members of the Committee will cooperate to identify key priorities in order to allow islands to fully exploit opportunities of the green transition.
“We are always looking for ways to strengthen the private sector’s contribution to islands’ sustainable transition. Our planet is heading towards a climate catastrophe that none of us can ignore, and islands are already disproportionately affected by its disastrous effects”, said GTI Foundation Chair Gianni Chianetta. “Our priority is to ensure islands have an equal seat at the table with key international institutions and decision-makers, and today we seek to give voice to their private sector as it plays a crucial role in making the transition happen”.
The initiative has already attracted companies from islands around the world, and an Advisory Board was formed to set the priorities and coordinate the actions of the Committee. Current members of the Advisory Board are Joseph Borg, President of INSULEUR; Tetchi Capellan, Chair of the Philippine Solar and Storage Energy Alliance; Santiago Marrero Jaimez, President of the Solar Industry Association Gran Canaria; Christian Del Bono, representative of Federalberghi Italian Minor Islands; Aurèle Anquetil André, Chair Discovery Rodrigues Company Ltd.
Joseph Borg, President of INSULEUR, said: “The Islands Companies Committee within the Greening the Islands Observatory is an important milestone in recognising the importance of businesses on islands to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable environment. Islands are being affected significantly by the impact of climate change and islands\’ companies have a lot to contribute. The workings of this Committee will be recognising their active contribution”.
Santiago Marrero Jaimez, President of the Solar Industry Association Gran Canaria (SORECAN), said: “Local companies are strategic and necessary actors for change. The participation of all possible sectors is important, and we believe the ICC is the ideal vehicle to find the right solutions together, with the collaboration of diverse actors”.
Christian Del Bono, representative of Federalberghi Italian Minor Islands said: “The ICC will take on the responsibility of gathering and uplifting the true voice and instances of islands’ companies to relevant decision makers”.
Aurèle Anquetil André, Chair Discovery Rodrigues Company Ltd, said: “The ICC can help islands claim back their natural role as hotspots for sustainable, creative, collaborative and innovative projects”.