More than 100 senior European business leaders met in Amsterdam to outline their efforts to address the environmental and economic risks of climate change and to call on industry to take action.  The even's sponsor, Diversey, Inc., also released its 2009 Global Responsibility Report, detailing the company's achievements in sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility.

Speakers at the event included senior executives from leading European corporations, including Kempinski Hotels, Ahold, Bunzl, Check Safety First, Hectas, Inpacs, NH Hotels and OCS.  In addition, leaders from major international business associations participated, including ISSA, World Federation of Building Service Contractors, and SKAL, the international association of travel and tourism professionals.

Diversey Chairman Curt Johnson opened the Summit with a challenge to the international business community to rethink its approach to climate change.

"The ability of industry to successfully address climate change will hinge on creating a collective mindset that carbon emissions are waste," Johnson said.  "Every successful business finds ways to minimize waste.  By treating greenhouse gas as a form of waste, we create a sea change in our perspective on how to address climate change." 

The keynote speaker at the Summit was Donald Pols, a climate expert with World Wildlife Fund in The Netherlands.  Addressing the role of the private sector, Pols said, "If we want to do something about climate change, it will start in halls like this." 

To put into perspective the impact companies can have, Pols said the members of the WWF's Climate Savers program together reduced 50 megatons of CO2, equivalent to one-quarter of the emissions of the nation of The Netherlands.

Participants at the Summit highlighted their own companies‚ efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change through strong corporate sustainability programs. The group also agreed that long-term business strategies must include the recognition that sustainable practices can be a driver for corporate growth while also reducing the environmental risks associated with climate change.

"The companies and associations who joined us today agree that sustainability is good business and are pursuing it with excellence in their daily operations," said Diversey Chairman and CEO Ed Lonergan.  "We can make a huge difference in the world by reducing the environmental impact of our operations while also creating value for our shareholders."

To further demonstrate leadership on a range of sustainability initiatives, Diversey also released its 2009 Global Responsibility Report during the Summit. The report highlights a range of company initiatives that address climate change, most notably its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent by 2013. This commitment, first announced in November 2009, more than triples the original pledge Diversey made in 2008 as part of the World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Program.

Other highlights in the report include:

• Diversey's commitment to sponsor a four-year grant to establish the World Wildlife Fund's Global Water Roundtable to address water stress, river pollution and declines in freshwater-related wildlife;
• Significant performance improvement against key environmental measures, including a 17.1 percent reduction in energy and a 16.1 percent reduction in waste disposed;
• Partnership with global customers to help them improve the sustainability of their operations;
• Introduction of innovations that protect workers and save water and energy; and
• Expansion of the company's Global Children's Initiative.

The Global Responsibility Report content is tracked against The Global Reporting Initiative, a widely accepted standard of sustainability reporting. An interactive Web site featuring content from the report can be found at www.diversey.com/2009GRR.