Sustainable development for the future global conference Global choices and challenges Historie and thought-provoking were among the accolades given to Rabobank International as we marked our centenary. The event that drew such praise was, of course, the global conference on sustainable development. The people who gave us that praise are some of the world's top captains of industry. A photo impression of the people who made this a celebration that could prove a milestone in our own development, but more importantly in ensuring the planet remains a source of profit and sustenance for people for many millennia to come. Exhausted planet Survival demands 4 What sNewS Issue 6'June 1998 Sustainable development is fast becoming the key to unlocking our future success. The awareness of preservation and responsible husbandry of natural resources is becoming crucial - and nowhere more so than in our core focus area, F&A. Our global centenary conference, held in the Netherlands May 28 and 29 was attended by over 250 international colleagues, clients and prospects. It created a rich and informative discussion platform for authoritative speakers from multinational corporations, governments and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). Former chairman of our managing board Arthur Arnold opened on a positive note: 'Just a few years ago, the subject of sustainable development was considered a daring one. Today, it is centre of attention for so many. For Rabobank it is imbedded in our mission; our commitment to our customers, our society, and our environment.' Ten years ago, sustainable development was a non-issue,' said bierman Wijffels in his closing address. 'Today, it is a major policy issue for the future.' Sustainability/sustainable development - the terms were coined in 1987. In the past, environmentalists have often been perceived as unrealistic dreamers, earning sobriquets such as 'tree huggers'. Their notions of saving this, that or other flora or fauna were usually unacceptable to One of the highlights over the two days was top motivational speaker and special envoy to the director generaI of UNESCO, Antarctic explorer Robert Swan, the first person in history to have reached both the North and the South Poles - on foot. Swan, with his passion for the last remaining wilderness on earth, shared his Antarctic adventures. In his captivating and contiguously enthusiastic manner, Swan demonstrated his commitment to preserving the environment and educating the world about the importance of sustainable development. the serious business community or ridiculed as unprofitable, not viable. Times change and the perceptions of an increasingly exhausted planet, the growing numbers of people who live on it, and the frightening reality of declining natural resources have gradually pushed their significance into the limelight. And R1 is not the only organization which has noticed. Unilever's Ian Anderson flev^B in to explain what his multinational is doing to conserve the raw materials on which the Anglo-Dutch conglome-rate's survival depends. The fact that this

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1998 | | pagina 4