BEIJING–On June 27, the Sino-German Sustainability Summit hosted by TÜV Rheinland Group was held at the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel. More than 200 representatives from Chinese and German companies, financial institutions, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations came together to exchange their insights and practices on corporate social responsibility under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) was passed at the UN Sustainability Summit in September 2015 and officially launched on January 1, 2016, calling upon every nation to strive towards implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the launch of the Agenda 2030, China and Germany have taken active steps to combine the strengths of all parties to promote sustainable development across the globe.
The summit was supported by Global Compact Network China, China Business Council for Sustainable Development, Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business (econsense), German Council for Sustainable Development, as well as Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development, as one of CSD’s concrete efforts to foster development partnership with businesses.
“Germany and China work together on sustainable development in the framework of their longstanding bilateral partnership”, introduced Mr. Johannes Regenbrecht, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in China in his opening speech. “Our governments address many topics of sustainable development: environmental protection, climate Change, agriculture, science, finance.”
Meanwhile, enterprises have a considerable amount of influence on the conditions under which work, production and consumption take place. “They provide strong leverage for development. Their engagement and creativity also generate results in areas where the state has barely an influence”, Mr. Hagen Ettner, German Director of the CSD explained the importance of business partnership to global sustainable development.
To create synergies of public and private sector efforts, the CSD builds a platform for Chinese and German businesses and government cooperation in third countries by offering support in varied cooperation models, including fostering Responsible Business Conduct, facilitating business sponsoring to development cooperation projects, and bridging Chinese and German businesses cooperation in the Strategic Alliances framework financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (click here for more information on the cooperation models). “Cooperation can bring a benefit for developing countries, but also for Chinese and German enterprises. Win-win-win cooperation is what we are looking for in the trilateral context”, said Mr. Ettner.
Among the other speeches delivered at this summit were addressed by Mr. Ralf Scheller, Member of the Executive Board of TÜV Rheinland, Mr. Zhu Hongren, Executive Vice Chairman and Director General of China Enterprise Confederation, and Mr. Wang Jiming, President of China Business Council for Sustainable Development and Former Vice Chairman and President of Sinopec.
In addition, Zhao Qingbo, General Manager Assistant of State Grid Corporation of China, Han Bin, Executive Secretary-General of Global Compact Network China, Nadine-Lan Hönighaus, Executive Director of econsense, and other important guests delivered keynote speeches. They analyzed the current implementation of the Agenda 2030 in China and Germany from the perspectives of “Accelerating Energy Transformation and Achieving Sustainable Development,” “Chinese Perspective on the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals,” and “The Role of German Businesses Regarding the Sustainable Development Goals.” They also exchanged insights on how China and Germany can work together to advance the Agenda 2030.
As China and Germany have joined hands in advancement of the Agenda 2030, more and more businesses have heightened their focus on the quality and sustainability of their industry development. The transformation, innovation, and sustainable development of the business community have attracted much attention. A panel discussion was specially organized for the summit at which enterprise representatives were invited to share their practical experience in achieving SDGs.
Frances Luk, Head of Corporate Affairs Greater China, BASF, Huang Wensheng, Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Directors of Sinopec, and Joachim Schlange, Managing Partner of Schlange & Co., discussed the challenges and rewards of managing SDGs. Sun Yiting, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Finance Forum, Dr. An Guojun, Deputy Secretary-General of the Green Finance Commission of the China Green Finance Institute, Dr. Priscilla Lu, Managing Director of Sustainable Investments, Alternatives (Asia), Deutsche Asset Management (DWS), and Robert Emanuel Bopp, Director of Sustainable Finance, EMEIA Financial Services, EY Germany, exchanged views on ESG dynamics in capital markets and the supporting role of finance for sustainable development, with the session chaired by Yvonne Zwick, Deputy Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development.
At the parallel discussion in the afternoon, focused on the topics “Transformation Through Transparency: The Role of Non-financial Reporting in Supporting Sustainable Development ,” “Green Manufacturing: Trends in China and Germany,” “Future Mobility: The Keys to Sustainable Transport,” “Sustainability in Global Value Chains – A True Business Advantage,” “The Importance of Responsible Manufacturing in order to Achieve the 2030 SDGs” and “Responding to the Expectations of Capital Market on Sustainable Development,” representatives from government authorities, enterprises, universities, and research institutions exchanged their views on sustainable development, shared their unique insights, experiences, and practices from the Chinese and German perspectives, and discussed how best to tap the potential of China, Germany, and third-party countries in managing SDGs.