GLOBE EU event: “Navigating the Shifting Landscape: Developing Skills and Education for a Sustainable European Future”

On November 15, 2023, GLOBE EU board members Sirpa Pietikäinen and Paul Tang welcomed speakers from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the All European Academies (ALLEA), as well as representatives from Bee Group members Dow and Nestlé, and Microsoft and Lenovo.

During the meeting, participants discussed the integration of sustainability and digital skills into the European education system, the challenges faced, and potential solutions to support the European Green Deal and sustainable development.

Key points included:

  1. The need for a comprehensive approach to education that includes sustainability and digital skills across all levels, from early education to lifelong learning.
  2. The importance of teacher training and professional development to equip educators with the knowledge and confidence to teach sustainability and climate change topics.
  3. The role of universities in embedding sustainability into their curricula and fostering interdisciplinary approaches that include social sciences and humanities.
  4. The challenges of aligning educational content with national curricula and ensuring that sustainability topics are assessed to incentivize teaching.
  5. The potential of digital technologies, such as AI, to transform education but also the need to consider ethical implications and the environmental impact of digitalization.
  6. The significance of partnerships between educational institutions and the private sector to bridge the gap between education and industry needs.
  7. The European Commission’s Erasmus+ program’s focus on supporting green initiatives, including increasing mobility opportunities in forward-looking green domains and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders.

Overall, the meeting highlighted a collective ambition to advance sustainability and digital education but recognized the need for coordinated action, practical tools, and systemic change to achieve these goals.



Bios participants

Presentation Emily

Presentation Andreea

Presentation Rasmus

Presentation Cliona

November 23, 2023

Securing the EU’s Resource Efficiency – A Systemic Approach, September 26, 2023

The GLOBE EU conference of September 26 focused on the need to secure the EU’s resource efficiency and prevent its economy from becoming reliant on non-energy natural resources.

Sirpa Pietikäinen, President of GLOBE EU, welcomed Stientje van Veldhoven (WRI) who emphasized the need for sufficiency in her keynote address, and Peter Handley (DG GROW) who presented the proposed Critical Raw Materials Act.  The conference aimed to address targets set by the CRMA for 2030, including a 15% target for strategic materials supplied through recycling and a 40% target for raw materials processed within the EU.

A panel of experts (Zero Waste Europe, Leiden University) presented diverse perspectives and provided concrete recommendations on meeting these targets, while also considering industry input.  Key issues addressed included funding availability, waste shipments within Europe, and sustainable design.

Industry representatives (Umicore, C&A) highlighted regulatory obstacles impeding the scaled-up development of recycling and processing capacities. The ensuing discussion focused on overcoming these obstacles to ensure the EU’s resource efficiency.

The conference provided a platform for experts and industry representatives to collaborate and work towards a more sustainable approach to resource management in the EU.


Presentation Stientje van Veldhoven

Presentation Aline Maigret

Presentation Wouter Ghyoot

Presentation Arnold Tukker

Presentation Isabella Maurizi

Speakers’ bios

Presentation Eline Boon (who had to cancel her presentation due to illness)

October 4, 2023

A blueprint for sustainable chemicals in a circular economy – May 24, 2023

GLOBE EU organized a conference on May 24, 2023, to examine the EU’s chemicals policy and regulatory framework, emphasizing the importance of science-based decision-making to achieve systemic change.  Following case studies presented by GLOBE EU Bee Group members Dow, Tarkett, and Sherwin-Williams, speakers from the European Commission, the OECD, and ChemSec discussed how sustainability should be fostered, exposure control improved, and innovation promoted throughout the chemicals value chain.

Maria Spyraki, MEP and rapporteur on the CLP Regulation (on hazard classification, labeling, and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures) in her conclusion emphasized the importance of streamlining standards to create criteria for sustainable products, setting global standards, and raising consumer awareness with a mandatory digital labeling system.

Program and speakers’ bios

Presentation Beth Uhlhorn

Presentation Myriam Tryjefaczka

Presentation Aliette Brochier

Presentation Eeva Leinala

Presentation Roberto Rinaldi

Presentation Jürgen Tiedje

June 1, 2023

GLOBE EU event marking EU Overshoot Day – May 2, 2023

GLOBE EU members Sirpa Pietikäinen, Martin Hojsík, and Margrete Auken welcomed students of the European Schools in Brussels and their teacher, Matthew Pye, who coached the students for the event.

Matthew is a philosophy professor and founder of The Climate Academy, which provides a systemic understanding of the current sustainability crisis for students from ages 14 to 18.

Overshoot day is the moment when mankind has consumed all ecological resources that the earth can regenerate in the entire year.

This year, the Global Footprint Network calculated that Overshoot Day for the EU fell on May 2, the same as last year.

GLOBE EU is grateful to President Metsola, President von der Leyen, Commissioner Sinkevičius, and Mathis Wackernagel, founder and president of the Global Footprint Network for their video messages, which were shown at the start of the event.


GLOBE EU Overshoot Day

GLOBE EU Overshoot Day

GLOBE EU Overshoot Day


May 9, 2023

After the UN 2023 Water Conference – Fighting Water Pollution, March 28, 2023

Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP and President of GLOBE EU, and Catherine Chabaud, MEP welcomed Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, a GLOBE EU partner organization, for the keynote address.  Ani emphasized the need for national governments to prioritize water as a crisis issue and the impact of water scarcity on poor communities.

His comments on the outcome of the UN 2023 Water Conference were followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Catherine Chabaud, with interventions by UNEP, the European Commission (DG ENV), Bee Group member Ecolab, and The Ocean Cleanup, touching on microplastic pollution, extending producer responsibility, and recognizing water as a common good of humanity.





10h00   Welcome – Sirpa Pieikäinen, MEP and President of GLOBE EU

10h10    Introduction – Catherine Chabaud, MEP and member of GLOBE EU

10h15    Keynote Address – Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute

10h30    Panel Discussion

  • Veronika Hunt Safrankova – Head of Brussels Office UNEP
  • Veronica Manfredi, Director, DG ENV-C, European Commission
  • Tiffany Atwell, SVP Global Government Relations, Ecolab
  • João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, General Counsel & Director of Global Public Affairs, The Ocean Cleanup

11h10    Discussion with the audience

12h00   End

Speakers’ bios

Presentation Dasgupta

Presentation Safrankova

Presentation Ribeiro-Bidaoui

April 3, 2023