On 12 September 2023, the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai (BritCham Shanghai) held its 3rd Sustainability and ESG Summit at the Suhe Centre MT, Shanghai.
Ted Wan, Vice Chair of BritCham Shanghai and President of Smiths Group China, addressed welcome remarks. Meng LIU, Head, China Office, United Nations Global Compact, Sohail Shaikh, Deputy HM Trade Commissioner for China, Ms Yi ZHU, Deputy Director, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce (SCOFCOM) attended and delivered keynote speeches.
In his welcome remarks, Ted Wan highlighted that ESG has become an integral part of responsible business conduct. Advancing decarbonisation and green finance will steer businesses towards a more environmentally, socially, and globally conscious direction, shaping a sustainable future for society as a whole.
Sohail Shaikh, stated in his keynote,
“The UK was the first major country to set a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 into law, and it set out its ambition to become the world’s first Net Zero-aligned Financial Centre. I am glad to see that the UK businesses are leading the way to take actions which are vitally important in achieving the UK’s goals to tackle climate change, from cutting emissions in their supply chains to opting for sustainable business practices. Sustainability is at the heart of the UK-China relationship, from pioneering collaboration to create the right policy frameworks as co-chairs of the original G20 Green Finance Study Group. The UK government will continue supporting businesses transition to a clean, green economy and helping them put in place environmentally friendly operations.”
To implement China’s national strategic decisions of emission peak and carbon neutrality, Shanghai is pacing up in the green and low-carbon transformation areas, including hydrogen, high-end energy equipment, low-carbon metallurgy, green materials, energy conservation, and environmental protection. Ms Yi ZHU stated, “Sustainable development and ESG are crucial areas for Shanghai, and SCOFCOM is closely working with government and British businesses to boost the city’s green and low-carbon transformation, sustainable economy and environmental quality through technological innovation, clean energy, carbon trading and green finance.”
As Pioneers to advance corporate sustainability, the United Nations Global Compact has facilitated the progress of responsible business across the globe. Meng LIU, shared during her speech, “We are calling on companies worldwide to achieve decarbonisation and net-zero goal ASAP. Through the ‘Science Based Target Initiative’ and the ‘Climate Action Accelerator’ projects, we, along with our partners, tirelessly support all businesses – both local and international corporates operating in China – to tailor their goals and decarbonisation plans.”
Representatives from sustainability, consumer goods, and consulting sectors shared their insights on ‘The Importance of Decarbonisation in achieving ESG Goals’, ‘Building A Roadmap For Decarbonisation’, ‘Dangers of Greenwashing’ and ‘Leveraging Green Innovation for Decarbonisation’. The speakers are from CDP, ERM China, Reckitt Greater China, Dow Chemical (China) Investment Co, Ltd., Aden Group, Jinko Solar Group, KPMG China, Tsinghua International Innovation Center Shanghai, SHINE Green Technologies and Akila.
The afternoon session saw representatives from the World Economic Forum, HSBC, BRE China, DI Asia Base, and Sedex delve into topics around green finance, supply chains, and future trends. Smiths Group and Nokia Shanghai Bell also shared their decarbonisation practices in the case-sharing session.
Following the roundtable discussions, Dr Jianzhong LU, ESG China Awards 2023 Chair, Board Member of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced the finalists of the ESG China Awards 2023. This year, a total of 102 companies, organisations and individuals have participated with 150 applications in 10 Awards categories. This vibrant community comprises entities both local and international businesses/organisations/individuals from 23 cities across China.
In closing, Stuart Dunn, Executive Director of BritCham Shanghai, shared heartfelt gratitude to speakers, partners and attendees.
This year, The Summit brought over 20 industry experts who participated in eight keynotes and three panel discussions. More than 100 attendees from local and international enterprises, organisations and universities.