27
Jan

B20 Conference on Responsible Business Conduct and Anti-Corruption From Aspiration to Business Action: The Agenda 2030 as driver for responsible business and anti-corruption in infrastructure development

In cooperation between B20 Germany, Emerging Market Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) and Alliance for Integrity, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the B20 Conference “From Aspiration to Business Action: The Agenda 2030 as driver for responsible business and anti-corruption in infrastructure development” took place on January 27th, 2017, in Berlin.

The conference aimed to link the B20 agenda with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations. Its objective was to identify concrete steps for businesses to put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action, focusing on infrastructure. The opening panel discussion was followed by various break-out sessions on specific challenges within infrastructure development like voluntary industry standards, financing, and compliance. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to discuss elements of the latest draft of B20 policy recommendations vis-à-vis responsible business conduct and anti-corruption.

Under Germany’s G20/B20 presidency a B20 Cross-Thematic Group (CTG) on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) and Anti-Corruption (AC) has been initiated. The creation of this extended CTG underlines the commitment of business not only to join the fight against corruption but also to recognise the responsibility arising from the important role of business in society. Large infrastructure projects have substantial impact on the society as a whole by shaping social, economic, and environmental conditions. Making infrastructure investments (more) sustainable will bring major benefits to society, through enhanced inclusiveness, transparency, environmental protection, and climate-friendliness. Promoting sustainable infrastructure development contributes to achieving the SDGs overall by simultaneously ensuring inclusive growth, climate-friendliness, environmental consciousness /awareness, and social sustainability.

The B20 Conference on Responsible Business Conduct and Anti-Corruption brought together key G20 leaders from business, government, international and national organizations, civil society, and academia. It featured C-level and sustainability managers, senior experts/officials, selected civil society, and think tank representatives to:

  • Link the B20 agenda with the Agenda 2030;
  • Discuss and identify B20 recommendations for G20, in particular concrete steps for policymakers to create a conducive framework for responsible business conduct and anti-corruption.
  • Identify concrete steps for businesses (actions plans) to put the SDGs into action (jointly with international development cooperation efforts), with a focus on SDG 8, SDG 9, and SDG 12.
  • Possibly identify (sub-)topics of common interest and forming communities of practice, possibly jointly with corresponding B20 task-forces/cross-thematic groups to take this forward in separate sessions to be fed into the B20 and/or the Development Working Group (DWG). 

 

Agenda

8:00 – 9:00 Registration & Coffee/Tea

9:00 – 9:30 Setting the Scene (Rotunde)

  • Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)  
  • Jürgen Heraeus, B20 Chairman 

9:30 – 10:30 Keynote (Rotunde)

Moderator: Amar Bhattarcharya, Brookings Institution

Speakers:

  • Stormy-Annika Mildner, B20 Germany
  • Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens, South Africa
  • Edda Müller, Transparency International (TI)
  • Astrid Skala-Kuhmann, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

10:30 – 11:00  Coffee Break/Networking (Rotunde)

11:00 – 12:15 Breakout Session

Session 1

Standards, Certification and Finance in Infrastructure Development (Rotunde)

Moderator: Philipp Kruschel, Emerging Market Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD)

Speakers:

  • Roel Nieuwenkamp,  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 
  • Steven Tebbe, CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project)
  • Andreas Georgoulias, Harvard University
  • Hans-Peter Egler, Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation
  • Corinne Lagache, Safran Group
  • Sean Gilbert, World Resources Institute (WRI) (tbc)

Session 2

Quality and Anti-Corruption in Infrastructure Development (4th Floor: Conference Room 4.022)

The transformative power of finance: sustainable infrastructure financing

Moderator: Noor Naqschbandi, Alliance for Integrity

Speakers:

  • Tidhar Wald, Better Than Cash Alliance
  • Ana Novik,  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Alexander Geschonneck, KPMG
  • Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens, South Africa

12:20 – 13:20 Closing Panel & Closing Remarks

Moderator: Klaus Moosmayer, Siemens

Speakers:

  • Dirk Schwenzfeier, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Corinne Lagache, Safran Group
  • Andreas Georgoulias, Harvard University
  • Ana Novik,  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Alexander Geschonneck, KPMG

13:20 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 End of Conference

14:00 – 15:15 Internal Meeting of the CTG RBC and AC 

  • 4th Floor: Conference Room 4.022

Conference Summary 

The B20 Conference on Responsible Business Conduct and Anti-Corruption “From Aspiration to Business Action: The Agenda 2030 as driver for responsible business and anti-corruption in infrastructure development” organized by the Emerging Market Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD), the Alliance for Integrity and B20 Germany took place on 27 January 2017 at Allianz Forum in Berlin, Germany.
The conference brought together around 100 key actors from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academia in order to link the Business 20 (B20) debates on infrastructure with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responsible Business Conduct in infrastructure projects is one of the key focal areas of the B20 Cross-Thematic Group on Responsible Business Conduct & Anti-Corruption (CTG RBC & AC).

Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development and Jürgen Heraeus, B20 Chair, opened the conference with high-level statements. Both speakers highlighted the importance of the B20 and the key role of the private sector in achieving progress towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the ambitious targets of the G20. “B20 can play a crucial role in finding concrete answers to bring the SDGs to life. With regards to infrastructure we (B20) recommend to increase transparency and accountability at all stages of the project cycle. Only by doing so businesses can reduce the risk of corruption and increase efficiency.”, Heraeus said. Furthermore, they stressed the timeliness of the conference as a valuable input for the work of the B20 CTG RBC&AC, underlining the increasing importance of the topics on the international agenda.

Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair of the Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct at the OECD, presented in his key note address the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and shared his views on how the B20 can drive the agenda of RBC & AC.

 

The ensuing panel discussion moderated by Brookings analyst Amar Bhattacharya featured input from Stormy-Annika Mildner, B20 Sherpa; Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens Chief Executive Officer in Southern and Eastern Africa; Edda Müller, Chair of Transparency International Germany and Astrid Skala-Kuhmann, GIZ Director for the Belt and Road Initiative. The panel agreed that further harmonization of frameworks for RBC & AC can help shape a level-playing-field amongst G20 members and beyond. Furthermore, the panel emphasized that implementation of such frameworks is key.

The opening panel was followed by parallel break-out sessions on the topics of Standards, Certification and Finance in Infrastructure Development and Quality and Anti-Corruption in Infrastructure Development, providing an opportunity for a more focused in-depth discussion.

The session on Standards, Certification and Finance in Infrastructure Development, moderated by EMSD Deputy Director Philipp Kruschel, showcased ideas of leading standard setters for sustainable infrastructure development such as Andreas Georgoulias of Harvard University and Hans-Peter Egler of Global Infrastructure Basel. With Steven Tebbe of CDP and Sean Gilbert of the World Resources Institute, it also featured representatives of institutions that link investors with implementers in order to provide a more conducive framework for sustainable infrastructure finance. Corinne Lagache of Safran Group and Roel Niewenkamp of the OECD completed the panel sharing their views on the status of implementation of standards, certification and finance for sustainable infrastructure. The break-out session highlighted the achievements in fostering responsible business conduct for sustainable infrastructure and made recommendations to further strengthen related aspects in the recommendations of the B20 CTG RBC & AC.

The break-out session on the topic Quality and Anti-Corruption in Infrastructure Development was moderated by Noor Naqschbandi, Director of the Alliance for Integrity. The experts Tidar Wald, Better Than Cash Alliance; Ana Novik, OECD; Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa; and Alexander Geschonneck, KPMG agreed that infrastructure is a key area for achieving progress on sustainable development and simultaneously highly affected by corruption risks. Strategies such as digitalisation efforts and clean tender processes were featured in the session alongside ideas on how governments can improve their investment policy. The speakers emphasized that Collective Action between all relevant stakeholders is key to clean infrastructure development.

In the closing panel, moderator Klaus Moosmayer, Chair of the B20 CTG RBC & AC and Chief Compliance Officer at Siemens, debated with representatives of the break-out sessions how responsible business conduct can be implemented in practice and what the private sector can contribute towards achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. “Compliance incidents always happen. This is human nature. I get suspicious when people in high risk countries say there is nothing. It is better to talk about it in order to be able to respond and mitigate the risks”, Moosmayer said. Dirk Schwenzfeier, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), thanked speakers for the valuable input given throughout the B20 Conference and established links between the B20 agenda and the SDGs.

The conference was followed by an Internal Meeting and discussion of the draft policy paper of the B20 CTG RBC & AC, including the discussio
n of key findings of the conference.

 

 

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