Renowned French lawyer Romain Gerardin-Fresse attends COP28

The famous strategist was present at the Climate Conference on December 4, where he met several leading figures

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Published: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 3:53 PM

Immersed in a day dedicated to the critical realms of 'finance, trade, gender equality, and accountability', Romain Gerardin-Fresse seamlessly navigated through these domains, drawing upon an intimate familiarity stemming from his current role. As the summit unfolded, on the periphery of official discussions, he engaged in a dialogue with the press, offering insightful reflections on the intricacies of sustainability in world trade.

Romain pointed out that, “In our contemporary world, rife with rapid technological advancements and ceaseless innovation, one might be tempted to believe that success is purely a function of who's the most technologically advanced, who's the quickest, or who's the most disruptive. Yet, I stand before you today to champion a different, deeper force propelling modern entrepreneurship: Sustainability."

"When we speak of sustainability, it's often misinterpreted as just another corporate buzzword or a trend that companies hop on for positive public relations. But in its essence, sustainability is the recognition that our resources— be it environmental, social, or economic are finite. It's the understanding that our actions today will shape the world of tomorrow. In the entrepreneurial realm, sustainability isn't just an added bonus or a CSR activity. It is becoming a core tenet of how businesses operate, innovate, and thrive. Why? Because businesses that prioritise sustainability are not only safeguarding the future of our planet but are also resonating more deeply with their stakeholders – from consumers and employees to investors and partners."

The lawyer added: "Look at the changing consumer dynamics. Today’s customers, especially the younger generations, are no longer just swayed by flashy advertisements or celebrity endorsements. They want to support and engage with businesses that reflect their values, businesses that are genuinely committed to making a positive impact. A product or service's quality is, of course, paramount, but its environmental footprint, the ethics behind its creation, and the company's broader societal contributions have become equally crucial deciding factors."

He concluded by recalling, “But let me emphasise: Sustainability is more than just eco-friendly packaging or renewable energy sources. It encompasses social equity, fair trade, community welfare, and much more. A truly sustainable business considers its impact on all fronts and strives for a balance that benefits not just the company but society at large."

Moreover, the intersection of sustainability and technology offers a particularly fertile ground for innovation. From AI-driven solutions for optimising resource usage to blockchain ensuring fair trade, technology empowers businesses to implement sustainable practices more effectively and transparently.

Now, integrating sustainability into the very DNA of a business comes with its challenges. It might require rethinking supply chains, redefining partnerships, or even reimagining product lines. But the rewards — a loyal customer base, a motivated workforce, reduced risks, and a positive brand image far outweigh the initial hurdles."

Romain Gerardin-Fresse was also presented with the Emirates Finest Awards 'Outstanding European CEO Achiever of the Year' on November 30 by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi in recognition of his achievements over the past year.


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