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Sustainability and Architecture: Opening speech

Speech by Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess at the opening of the seminar "Sustainability and Architecture" at Pannon, Hungary, September 2009.

Your excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

According to the magazine The Economist, “Performing with purpose” is the new challenge in international business. In their 2008 annual forecast, they suggest that companies’ focus will manifest itself along three lines: First, ensuring that their products contribute positively and responsibly to sustaining human civilisation. Second, operating in a way that approaches a net-neutral impact on the environment – and third, cherish their people; taking care of their employees.

As countries worldwide are faced with the threatening effects of global climate change, it is crucial to find new and more efficient ways of utilising energy from renewable sources. Gradually we must change the way we develop and use technologies to make the transition to a low carbon world possible.

Today’s seminar is an important initiative. The topics Sustainability and Architecture will give examples of how business and industries can address the challenges of climate change and contribute to the reduction of CO² emissions through innovative technological solutions.

The expression Sustainable Development came into being in 1987 with the publication of the Brundtland Report also known as Our Common Future.

The report alerted the world to the urgency of making progress toward economic development that could be sustained without harming the environment. It consequently led to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report highlighted three fundamental components to sustainable development: environmental protection, economic growth and social equity. As such, green architecture and technology are core elements to reach the goals. As patron of Norwegian Design, I am following closely how innovation in design and architecture consistently focus on protecting the environment. New architecture that does not consider environmental aspects is rarely observed today.

It is of great importance that we promote research, innovation and development that take sustainable solutions into account. We need to keep a strong focus on renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar and hydro power that can help to achieve the goals towards a less carbon-intensive economy.

Pannon is taking these aspects seriously. Today we celebrate the opening of the most environmentally friendly office in Hungary. Pannon House also represents a good example of successful cooperation between our two countries.

The Crown Prince and I look forward to having the opportunity to learn more about the issues discussed here today, where Hungary and Norway share a common interest.
Thank you for your attention.

22.09.2009

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