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News & Events

October 1, 2009

Speaker to Discuss Sustainability as Source of Profit, Advantage in Business

Ecological sustainability as a source of profit and competitive advantage in business will be the topic of a presentation Oct. 8 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Gunnar Andréen, former executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sophus Berendsen AS and former president of Tvattman AB, two leading European companies, will present "Necessity, Opportunity, Profit: A Winning Combination for Environmental Sustainability in Business" from 2-3:15 p.m. and again from 3:15-4:45 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. The event, sponsored by UW-Eau Claire's College of Business, is free and open to the public.

Under Andréen's leadership, Berendsen—a leading European supplier of textile, hygiene and safety solutions for industry, public institutions, hotels, restaurants and health care facilities—reduced its consumption of water, energy and chemicals by almost 50 percent, making the company a pioneer in protecting the environment.

In his presentation, Andréen will discuss how companies like Scandic Hotels, a Swedish hotel chain that began using green business principles in 1994, view sustainability as both good for society and business. He will introduce The Natural Step framework and discuss how companies use it to integrate ecological sustainability into their business strategies and operations. Andréen also will discuss his experience at Berendsen, including how The Natural Step principles inspired him to gain consensus among his employees, benchmark energy consumption and increase energy efficiency while reducing the company's CO2 emissions.

In 2004, Andréen founded G. Andréen AB, a consulting firm based in Sweden. Andréen's clients include Eau Claire-based Huebsch Services. Andréen holds a master of business administration degree from the Lund University School of Economics and Management in Lund, Sweden. An entrepreneur and innovator, Andréen also has received several U.S. patents for equipment he developed for the textile rental industry.

For more information about Andréen's presentation, contact Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean for external affairs in the UW-Eau Claire College of Business, at 715-836-5930 or hutterga@uwec.edu.

Source: UW-Eau Claire News Bureau

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