Event Roundup: The 25th Sino-European CSR Roundtable Forum



On 2 December 20221, amfori and China Sustainability Tribune co-hosted the 25th Sino-European CSR Roundtable Forum. The event themed “Global Green Trade and the 30•60 Decarbonisation Goal” was moderated by Mr. Yu Zhihong, President and Editor-in-chief of the China Sustainability Tribune and held virtually, attracting over 140,000 online audience from China and other parts of the world.

Mr. Xu Hua, Director of the General Office, Department of Industrial Policies, Laws and Regulations of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), emphasised in his opening remarks that carbon peak and neutrality revolutionise the global society as they play an important role in the construction of a low carbon economic system and society.

To achieve the 30•60 decarbonisation goal, MIIT joined China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and People’s Bank of China to publish a guidance to provide clear direction for the industrial sector on green development with a focus on eight areas, while it will continue to foster the concept of low carbon and green development. MIIT has also spared no effort in enhancing international exchange and cooperation for sustainability and reassuring the global community that Chinese businesses and stakeholders will continue to fulfil their social responsibility and further integrate into the global supply chain system to provide high quality products and services to the world. MIIT looks forward to working with stakeholders around the world on the road to a green and low carbon society.

Mr. Richard Dictus, President of amfori, reiterated in his opening remark that collaboration of all stakeholders is needed to live up to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. In this context, world leaders met in Glasgow at the COP26 to explore sustainable solutions for the climate emergency, and countries agreed to implement a series of measures including accelerating the phase-out of coal, curtailing deforestation, speeding up the switch to electric vehicles and encouraging investment in renewables energy with an aim of achieving net zero emission by 2050 and keeping the global temperature within 1.5 degrees rise. On the other hand, the business community has a key role to play here to implement practical and sustainable solutions to properly mitigate their environmental impact. To address this, amfori has designed the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (amfori BEPI) to support its members in improving their environmental performance across the whole supple chain, which also allows businesses to collaborate with industry peers to save time and resources and reduce duplication of efforts as well as enhance their business resilience to industry and market changes. To this end, amfori encourages its members to continue to explore renewable resources to lower their carbon emissions in their supply chain journey and nurture responsible production. Through partnership, a greener post pandemic economic recovery can be built together.

Mr. Du Yonghai, General Manager of the Green Living & Innovation Division of Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) highlighted that the concept of low carbon and the 30•60 decarbonisation goal have become increasingly important in Hong Kong in view of the regulatory requirements, customer expectations and competitiveness. Mr. Du pointed out a few business opportunities for SMEs to enhance not only their green development, but also business performance and competitiveness under this trend, such as technological development, green financing support, supple chain requirements and brand image. HKPC is committed to supporting SMEs to seize the opportunity by providing professional services including technological support, trainings, and funding schemes so that SMEs could start their journey towards the low carbon era while enhancing their business performance.

Mr. Michiel Lips, Compliance Manager of ANWB Retail, shed light on how businesses could manage their supply chains by making good use of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (amfori BSCI) and amfori BEPI to identify and address risks to comply with the government requirements. Mr. Lips also highlighted a few steps to enhance environmental performance in the supply chain, such as mapping carbon footprint, adoption of more sustainable energy and compensating for residual carbon emissions.

The keynote speech was followed by a panel discussion with the participation of Mr. Du Yong Hai, Mr Michiel Lips, Ms. Wang Wenhua, Deputy Secretary General of China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) and Mr. He Hongliang, Deputy Director of Industry Management Development Centre at China Electronics Standardization Association (CESA) to discuss how sustainability especially the concept of low carbon emission could be incorporated in business strategies, and the policies their organisations are in place to support their corporate members’ goal to achieve carbon neutrality and foster green global trade.

In view of the growing importance of decarbonisation and the goals set out by the EU and Chinese government to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 & 2060 respectively, the business sector needs to work collaboratively with stakeholders in order to improve the environmental performance of their supply chains. amfori is committed to support its members on the quest of greener global trade.

Recording of the event can be viewed here.

Highlights of the event from GoldenBee Consulting can be viewed here (Chinese only).

Further Reading:

amfori Responds to Commission Consultation on Trade and Sustainable Development

Event Roundup: The 24th Sino-European CSR Roundtable Forum