Yesterday morning kicked off the start of the British Chamber’s season of sustainability with the China Sustainability Conference. The participation showed that sustainability is an important concern for many.
We were delighted to invite Michael Blythe, Chief Economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to open the Conference. He highlighted the growing financial and social costs of natural disasters, and the urgent need to work on sustainable development. Dan Wang, reporter at EIU then led the first panel discussion around Green Finance, where speakers compared the green finance development in China and Europe, and discussed the need for more consistent global standards and greater development for new investment tools to help industries that are carbon heavy to transition into lower carbon industries. Thank you to our panelists Grace Guan, Mark Peacock and Jason Yu for such an insightful discussion.
Moving on to the topic of retail waste, Arnold Wang from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation led the presentation and delivered some stark details on the current plastic usage in our economy, 95% of plastic material value globally is lost every year, and a truck worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute, stressing the urgent need to tackle plastic waste in China and internationally. Dr. Peter Schrooyen delved into Unilever’s commitment to reduce plastic waste through the use of new technologies and innovative design, in order to then increase the ability to recycle the waste that is still essential. Lastly, Maxime Van’t Klooster focused the conversation on China and its’ waste produced in the country’s burgeoning e-commerce sector, such growth has led to a huge strain on China’s recycling capacity, and the need for government enforcement of green policies is never stronger than before.
The final panel discussion shed light on the future of transport and logistics. We invited Tian Ying, Senior Reporter at Bloomberg to moderate the expert panel with Gloria Zhou, Josh McBain and Boyong Wang, where we heard a thought-provoking discussion that looked at the progress of decarbonisation in the energy sector, as well as 100 years into the future of flying. We collected insights on the contribution to lowering global carbon emissions from the freight sector and the progress of looking into more sustainable air travel in the future, including the shift to electric aircraft and rechargeable batteries and solar-powered engines.
Rounding up the event we were honoured to invite Danae Dholakia, Minister Counsellor Prosperity at the British Embassy, who introduced the Embassy’s initiative ‘Green is Great’ that aims to promote greater knowledge and cooperation in the field of sustainability.
Once again we would like to thank to all the esteemed speakers and the crowd of 90 who attended the inaugural Sustainability Conference co-organised by the British Chamber of Commerce and the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce. We are organising a series of workshop and talks around sustainability in coming months, and we hope to continue to raise awareness of sustainability and social responsibility in China. The 2019 China Social Impact Awards, organised by the British Chamber, in partnership with the United Nations celebrates the achievements that corporates and organisations contribute to marking positive impact on our society and environment in China. Enter the Awards now and share your inspiring stories to making our world a better place! 7 days until application closes, visit www.socialimpactawards.cn for more information!