NFU News

NFU Participated in the Greenfin Conference in Dublin

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The NFU secretariat had the privilege of participating in an interesting conference for the GreenFin project in February, where NFU stands as one of the associate partners. The project is EU-funded and is being run by First CICL Italy together with Adapt and the University of Lodz. The project’s core aim is to promote transnational cooperation between social partners to enhance workers’ involvement in actions within companies to implement the European Green Deal.

At the conference taking place at Eurofound headquarters in Dublin, researchers from ADAPT and the University of Lodz shared their findings from a survey and interviews conducted at the end of last year. The report aimed to gather information and opinions on the role of the insurance and financial sectors in the ecological transition and the new European regulatory provisions. It also assesses the level of knowledge of green finance issues at national and organisational levels, reviews the activities undertaken to implement green finance in organisations, and identifies competence deficits in the area of green finance.

The report concluded that there is a considerable remaining effort for social parties to guide and manage the transition. Among the various challenges that emerged, there is a notable lack of comprehensive information on this matter, especially concerning the relationship between companies and sector employer associations. Consultations or relevant details are significantly absent, posing the apparent risk that the union is not involved upstream in the decision-making processes about the transition. Similarly, the European and national regulations that support transformation and reconversion paths often do not include trade union associations.

Additionally, the report provides some recommendations, such as:

  • Closer cooperation between banks and SMEs in the area of ESG reporting.
  • Successful workplace restructuring, especially in the brown sector, will require the active engagement of employment services, including a prominent role in active labour market policies. Policy action should focus on providing inclusive social protection, education and training, individualised re-employment support, temporary job subsidies, and effective regional development policy.
  • Trainings considering green economy topics play a crucial role in raising awareness of environmental challenges and shaping the attitudes and behaviours that can make a difference. As the green transition accelerates, all companies from the financial sector and from SMEs will face significant pressures to equip their workers with the green skills necessary to carry out green functions.
  • Transversal skills are crucial to prepare responsible and critically-thinking workers with awareness and understanding of the causes and consequences of environmental problems, as well as with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to find more sustainable solutions. All sectors will need to incorporate relevant transversal skills such as environmental awareness and sustainability.

Those eager to dive into the details can access the full report here: GreenFin Report on the survey and interview findings.

The GreenFin project is set to continue this spring and summer, with a training session scheduled for April for trade unionists and EWC members. The project will culminate in a final conference in October. NFU is thrilled to be part of this crucial project, contributing towards building a more sustainable future.

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