CSR Congress 2007 in Athens a great success, with the participation of Mr. Ralph Thurm, GRI’s Chief Operating Officer

EuroCharity participated in and officially supported one of Greece’s most important Corporate Social Responsibility events of the year, focusing on “The Invitation of Quality to the Challenges of Society”

The CSR Congress 2007 was successfully held at the Stratos Vassilikos hotel in Athens on April 27-28, 2007, with the participation of many leading experts, senior managers and a number of special guest speakers from abroad. These included Mr. Ralph Thurm, Chief Operating Officer of the Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), MEP Mrs. Maria Panagiotopoulou-Kassiotou, and Mr. Thomas Achelis, a PR practitioner who serves as President of Romania’s Forum for International Communications and CEO of public relations firm Achelis & Partner G.m.b.H., with offices in Munich and Bucharest.

Athens-based Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE), which also maintains offices in Brussels and Dubai, was responsible for the scientific co-ordination of this two-day conference and exhibition. Organised by “Eco-Q” magazine, Greece’s magazine on quality, the conference was held under the auspices of Greece’s Ministries of Development, and Health and Social Solidarity.

In excess of thirty speakers addressed a wide range of issues to an audience of over 200 high-level delegates, while companies such as Siemens Greece, EuroCharity, CSE, Net Impact Hellas and numerous Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were dynamically present at the exhibition, which was running in parallel to the conference.

The conference was opened on Friday by Mr. Spiros Papadopoulos, General Secretary for Industry, Hellenic Ministry of Development, and chaired by Mr. Nikos Avlonas, Managing Director of CSE.

Conference speakers included senior executives of Greek and multinational companies as well as NGOs such as the Forum for International Communications, Halyps Building Materials S.A. (Italcementi Group), Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), Club Hotel Casino Loutraki, Siemens, Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP), Microsoft Hellas, Athens International Airport (AIA), Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), Attiki Bee Culturing Co. – Alex. Pittas, Vodafone-Panafon, TIM Hellas Telecommunications, Greenpeace Greece, Mediterranean SOS, Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Hellenic Advertisers Association (HAA), e-Isotis, Greek SaferInternet Awareness Node, Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF, Net Impact Hellas, and numerous others.

Microsoft Hellas and Siemens Greece were sponsoring the CSR Congress 2007, while the event’s Media Partners were EuroCharity, “Kerdos” newspaper, “go natural” magazine, Actclick and the Hellenic Centre for the Promotion of Volunteerism “anthropos.gr”.

About Ralph Thurn

Ralph Thurm is Chief Operating Officer of GRI, a position he has held since 2004. GRI is an international network of thousands from business, civil society, labour, and professional institutions create the content of the Reporting Framework in a consensus-seeking process. Thurn is responsible for GRI’s business plan and work programme co-ordination, internal controlling, quality management and additional external relations. He joined GRI in October 2002, as a Senior Associate for Stakeholder Engagement, where he was responsible for business engagement, structured feedback processes and other issues related to sustainability reporting uptake in different stakeholder groups and regions.

Thurm studied business administration in Nuremburg, Germany, before he joined Siemens in 1994. Within his role at the Siemens Corporate Office for Environmental Protection in Munich, Thurm was a team member and headed up many corporate projects. From 2000-2002 he chaired the Siemens Sustainability Council to promote sustainability within the company. He was a member of several national and international working groups on sustainable development and, in that function, was also a member of the GRI Measurement Working Group 2001, and Revision Working Group 2002. Thurm also consulted the German Federation of Industries in preparation for the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002.

The GRI’s vision is that reporting on economic, environmental and social performance by all organisations becomes as routine and comparable as financial reporting. GRI accomplishes this vision by developing, continually improving, and building capacity around the use of its Sustainability Reporting Framework.

For further information on GRI, please visit http://www.globalreporting.org/.

Ralph Thurn can be contacted at thurmglobalreporting.org.