How can companies, citizens and governments work together to tackle climate change? Climate policies have to reinforce the social contract, supporting the EU’s desire for a “just transition” into a more sustainable economy. Such policies are necessary and will deeply affect citizens’ lives, and getting it wrong will provoke a backlash from citizens (as the gilets jaune protests in France demonstrated). This is why we have asked young Europeans what future vision of society these policies should be helping to construct.

In 2022, Debating Europe, in partnership with Coca-Cola, organised a series of online focus groups with 100 young Europeans to try and imagine a more sustainable future. The report summarising the output of our focus group discussions was published at Friends of Europe’s high-level State of Europe roundtable event in Brussels on Thursday 27 October 2022.

You can read the report here.

One of the key suggestions was for companies to take a bigger role in the green transition. This might, for example, mean moving beyond the traditional “profit motive” and towards a new model of stakeholder capitalism that considers more than just shareholder value.

Want to learn more about the role of companies in the green transition? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

We took some of the comments and ideas on companies and the green transition from our focus group discussions and put them to Thomas Block, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development & Professor for Sustainability and Governance at Ghent University, and Freek Vermeulen, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. How would they respond? Check out the video at the top of this post to find out!

What should be the role of companies in the green transition? Can companies move beyond the profit motive? What would “stakeholder capitalism” (i.e. a system in which corporations serve the interests not just of shareholders but of all their stakeholders) look like in practice? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Editorially independent content supported by: The Coca-Cola Company. See our FAQ for more details. Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

The Coca-Cola Company

2 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    The 27th of Oct 22 is already here & gone!

    What & which companies come to mind? Not only companies but governments as well! Expected to be led by responsible boards & equal accountable parliaments from:

    • the giants of big tech, the big pharma, the big old oil/gas, the big chemicals, the big armament, the big transport and all the big profit makers- (Fortune 500 etc. ). Not to forget to include the government’s role to oversee & set an ethical example- not to collude in global mischief-making.

    • Once more – profit per se- earned honestly & not greedily hidden in tax havens- should not be bashed as being evil. It is an essential and a welcome driving force to earn taxes for the state and an enabler for prosperity for all.

    • No profit, no tax revenue, no innovation, no development, no prosperity, but bad old communism, big bureaucracies, oligarchs, oppression, decay, & war!

    • Evil is when governments & their representatives do the opposite- deflect, waste, steal, lie, collude, and misdirect the state (our) tax revenue & nobody raises the red card or blows the whistle. The average citizen must not just lament but demand (referenda & voting) & high(er) standards of governance. And not fail when it’s high noon to replace any non-performing politician.

    • They ALL must feel the heat from us & nature!

    • More action, less rhetoric and speedy, efficient implementations to produce tangible projects/results- for all to see & admire.

    Now, let’s wait & see what all these experts, our reps etc. were capable of changing for the better!

  2. avatar
    JT HK

    Where is the green transition? Europe is returning to carbon fuel when you are turning a blind eye to the bombing of your clean natural gas from Russia? Try to respect intelligence of those who can resist brainwashing of political rhetoric and ideologies .

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