On November 17-18, 2022, the Responsible Business Conference (Konferencja Odpowiedzialnego Biznesu) was held at AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management (Wydział Inżynierii Lądowej i Gospodarki Zasobami). The conference was organized by the Student Scientific Circle Management (Studenckie Koło Naukowe Zarządzanie), with the partnership and substantive support of RaVeN. The conference was attended by over 60 people, including students, representatives of the Business World from Aptiv, L’Oréal Warsaw Plant, Philip Morris Polska, State Street, experts in the field of management and development of human capital, as well as AGH UST scientists.
The agenda was divided into four thematic sections: general, environmental, social and ethics, and corporate governance section; which were conducted in the form of lectures – supplemented by workshops. The aim of the event was to educate and promote activities undertaken by companies related to the implementation and fulfillment of sustainable development assumptions.
The Conference was opened with the inaugural lecture of PhD Arkadiusz Kustra (associate professor and coordinator of RaVeN) entitled “The education for a sustainable raw materials industry in and for Europe – the RaVeN project “. RaVeN was introduced to the audience as a new two-year M.Sc. degree scheme that builds the capacity of higher education in the RIS and ESEE regions considering the wide geographical spectrum, and diversification and needs of social inclusion. He also pointed the main strenght of the program, which is its innovative approach to teaching through an active learning path by integrating the KTI along the value chain through the involvement of non-academic experts, mobility exchanges, industry, and start-ups.
After that, there was a general section with the participation of representatives from Aptive and L’Oréal. Aptive – a manufacturer of parts for the automotive industry, was represented by Mrs. Helena Starowicz-Rajca, who explained to the audience how the systems created by Aptiv help to create a safer, greener and better-connected future. During her talk she introduced Aptiv mission: “We make products and solutions of the highest quality — designed, developed and manufactured responsibly — that transform society by enabling safer, greener and more connected mobility. In doing so, we take care of our people and communities, minimize our impact on the planet and manage our company according to an enduring ethical platform”.
L’Oréal Warsaw Plant was represented by Anna Hiszpańskika-Małek and Paweł Kucharczyk. The talk covered a prelection entitled “Sustainable development and CSR activities at L’Oréal Warsaw Plant”, and they presented groups of actions taken as part of “The L’Oréal for The Future” commitments in the areas of climate, water, waste, and biodiversity. In addition, the initiatives inviting the company’s employees, their families and their surroundings were introduced. These initiatives also have an impact on raising qualifications, shaping environmental awareness, or promoting gender and race equality. After that, the following projects were presented, among others: eco-education, rainwater catching, EHS days, citizen day, bank of initiatives.
The environmental section was entirely led by representatives of Philip Morris Polska (PMI). The first lecture in this section was given by Iwona Rudnicka, Jolanta Zawitkowska and concerned issues related to sustainable water management on the example of the implemented AWS (Alliance for Water Stewardship) standard at the company. The second lecture was given by Andrzej Gerhardt, Hubert Michalik and concerned issues related to the reduction of CO2 emissions by PMI.
The social section was led by Ms. Nina Krystoń, an expert in the field of management and development of human capital with many years of managerial experience in strategic HR, internal communication and corporate social responsibility CSR. Mrs. N. Krystoń gave a lecture entitled “Helping without borders”, in which she talked about her company RAJS, and participants were familiarized with the essence of HR and CSR trainings that she conducts. The speaker also presented her Mentoring Program, which relies on sharing of knowledge, history, and mission – and it is the inspiration for wise help.
In the ethics and corporate governance section, Ms. Renata Broszkiewicz from State Street gave a lecture entitled “State Street Bank Poland – ESG perspective”. At the beginning, Ms. R. Broszkiewicz presented the company itself as the world’s leading provider of financial services for institutional investors, as well as a global organization, with full dedication serving the needs of markets and customers. Next, Ms. R. Broszkiewicz talked about the company’s policy and how it makes sure that State Street is a friendly working environment for the employee.
The prelections were complemented by professional development courses with three non-academic and one academic stakeholders.
The first development course was conducted by Iwona Rudnicka, Jolanta Zawitkowska, and Stanisław Kozioł – from Philip Morris Polska (PMI) – in which participants were familiarized with the subject and methods of risk management in water management. PMI has shared its experience, which it has been gaining since 2017, when it introduced alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification to its main sustainability pillars in order to reduce the water footprint of its factories and promote sustainable water management in local territories around the world.
The second development course was entitled “Biodiversity – get to know and you will like it! “, carried out by Anna Hiszpańskika – Małek – L’Oréal Warsaw Plant. The L’Oréal Group has presented its way to obtain 100% sustainable plant ingredients. Currently, the company uses about 1600 raw materials from nearly 350 plant species, and biodiversity is an important source of innovation for a company.
The third development course was entitled “Creative problem solving” and was conducted by Mrs. Nina Krystoń, who has taught how to solve the problems in the company with use of couching and psychology elements. Mrs. Nina Krystoń is ICF Coach, Certified HR Business Partner, Certified CSR Manager, Assessor in AC/DC competence assessment processes, Psychosocial Skills Workshop Trainer, FRIS® Trainer and Moderator Design Thinking.
The fourth development course was entitled “How to recognize a company operating according to the concept of sustainable development? Sustainability auditing.”, conducted by Paweł Bogacz, PhD, Eng., prof. AGH – WILIGZ AGH Krakow. The professor has shared his experience built based on Górnictwo OK (Mining Ok), which is a group that brings together representatives of the Polish mining industry – created by the professor. The main objective of the initiative is to conduct a common, effective policy of social support for mining as a responsible, modern, strategically needed industry, both in the local, regional, nationwide, European, and global spheres.