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Zhu Hongren: The responsibilities and tasks of enterprises in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

2020-08-25

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President Xi Jinping pointed out at the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2019: In the face of changes, teamwork and win-win cooperation are the right choices for all parties. Looking at the world, sustainable development is the point where the best interests of all parties meet and the best entry point for cooperation. In 2015, the United Nations "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" focused on coordinating the harmonious coexistence of man and nature, taking into account the development needs of today's human beings and future generations, and proposed the three tasks of coordinated promotion of economic growth, social development, and environmental protection, drawing a new vision for global development , Has become the direction of the joint efforts of all stakeholders in global sustainable development.


Sustainable achievements


Since the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for more than four years, countries are constantly internalizing this common vision into national development plans and strategies. Through the joint efforts of all parties, certain progress has been made on the 17 sustainable development goals identified in the agenda. . Globally, extreme poverty has been drastically reduced, labor productivity has increased, and more than 100 countries have formulated relevant policies and measures for sustainable consumption and production; the number of deaths of children under the age of 5 decreased by 49% in 2017 compared with 2000; Ninth of the population has access to electricity, and renewable energy accounts for 17.5% of the total final energy consumption.

However, nine out of ten urban residents in the world still breathe polluted air; the number of undernourished people increased by tens of millions in 2017 compared to 2015; land degradation is affecting one-fifth of the earth’s land area and 1 billion people life. The realization of the 2030 sustainable goals requires all stakeholders, including enterprises, to strengthen cooperation, establish cooperative partnerships, and take more active measures.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to sustainable development. The new development concept of “innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and sharing” and the overall layout of “five in one” are highly compatible with the overall design of the 2030 Agenda to adhere to the economic, social and environmental trinity. China is the first country in the world to publish the "Country Program for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" and the first country to publish the "Progress Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The second progress report was released in September 2019. .

The implementation of my country's 2030 Agenda has been organically integrated with the "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan" since its inception in January 2016, ensuring a comprehensive, practical and efficient implementation. At the beginning of 2016, China established an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism composed of 45 member units, which divided the 17 goals and 169 sub-goals of sustainable development into various departments according to work areas, and coordinated the implementation of the work. The overall goal of adhering to and improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities put forward by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee is of great significance to the realization of sustainable development.


Typical actions of companies emerging in China


The majority of Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs uphold the concept of sustainable development, actively promote the construction of ecological civilization, and strive to practice sustainable production and consumption practices to help global sustainable development. There are many examples of this.

Sinopec fully fulfills its economic, environmental and social responsibilities in Saudi Arabia, and is committed to promoting the organic connection between China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and Saudi Arabia’s “2030 Vision”; to achieve sustainable development as the main line, disclose Sinopec’s 20-year performance in Saudi Arabia Practice has aroused great resonance among the Saudi government, enterprises and citizens.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has established a leading group for financial poverty alleviation work to coordinate and improve the poverty alleviation work mechanism, continuously increase financial support and targeted assistance, and accurately match the needs of poor areas, and strive to play its due role in poverty alleviation.

As the first company in China to sign the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity "Business and Biodiversity Commitment", Yili advocates the development concept of "green production, green consumption, and green development", and makes nine major commitments for biodiversity conservation. Continue to practice biodiversity protection in the "green industry chain".

The actions of these companies have demonstrated the active and responsible attitude of Chinese companies in contributing to the sustainable development goals and have set an example for the majority of companies.


Corporate responsibilities and tasks


Enterprises are an important force in promoting social and economic development and shoulder important responsibilities and tasks in achieving sustainable development goals.

1. Strengthen compliance management and lay a solid foundation for development

Strengthening compliance operations has become a general consensus of global companies, and it is an inevitable requirement for companies to prevent operational risks, enhance their own credit, and achieve sustainable development. Strengthening compliance management not only helps companies prevent and control compliance risks, but also provides a fundamental path for companies to cultivate global competitiveness and integrate into the global value chain. More importantly, strengthening compliance is not a matter for one or several companies, but a major issue related to whether all companies can achieve healthy and sustainable development. Companies should improve compliance systems, strengthen compliance responsibilities, improve compliance mechanisms, establish a compliance culture, and create a complete corporate compliance management system.

2. Build innovative capabilities and enhance development momentum

In today's society, the development of science and technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the ability of independent innovation has become the core driving force of an enterprise's development. Practice has proved that without the core scientific and technological foundation and independent innovation ability, it is impossible for an enterprise to remain invincible in the fierce market competition and achieve sustainable development in the true sense. The majority of enterprises should use the conversion of new and old kinetic energy as an opportunity to focus on cultivating and expanding emerging industries; to accelerate the upgrading and transformation of digitalization, networking, and intelligence, and promote the development of emerging industries under the digital economy; and to deeply grasp the integration and development of digitalization, networking and intelligence The opportunity to create a new business management model that adapts to the development of emerging industries.

3. Optimize the business environment and improve the quality of development

Optimizing the business environment is an institutional and institutional arrangement for development. The quality of the business environment directly affects the rise and fall of market entities, the accumulation and dispersion of production factors, and the strength of development motivation. The optimization of the business environment requires not only the government's protection of policies and regulations, but also the joint efforts of various market entities. Enterprises should sort out internal management processes, improve management levels, strengthen their own business capabilities, improve the quality of business departments and employees, establish a good external image, promote the optimization of the business environment, and maintain a good business environment. Enterprises should actively promote and help suppliers, purchasers and other parties in the upstream and downstream of the supply chain to jointly build a safe and stable supply chain system, and improve the overall quality of the business environment while jointly preventing operational risks.

4. Strengthen cooperative relations and strengthen development forces

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals requires not only the government, the private sector and civil society to establish partnerships. At the same time, it is also very important to strengthen cooperation between countries and establish inclusive partnerships. China has always been committed to building an open economy, allowing more and more countries to share the dividends of China's development, so that the results of the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" will benefit more countries and people. As the pioneers of the “Belt and Road”, Chinese companies should unite all forces, advocate the concept of sustainable development, enhance the capacity for sustainable development, create a good environment for sustainable development, carry out sustainable development practices, and promote countries along the route towards a more balanced and sustainable development. Inclusive and sustainable development.


Leverage the platform advantages of the Global Compact China Network


In 2019, the Chinese network made new progress in the work of expanding the membership of the United Nations Global Compact. As of the end of November, a total of 75 companies have been promoted to join the United Nations Global Compact. Focusing on promoting the realization of sustainable development goals, it organized and participated in various Dozens of sustainable development activities.

For example, forum activities such as the 11th Global Compact China-Japan-Korea Network Roundtable, as well as selection activities such as the best practices of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through these activities, domestic and foreign companies have further promoted the sharing of practical experience, strengthened cooperation consensus, and promoted win-win cooperation between companies and the implementation of sustainable development goals.

Looking forward to 2020, the Global Compact China Network will further leverage on its platform advantages, promote exchanges and cooperation between domestic and foreign companies, assist companies in discovering new business opportunities in the process of achieving sustainable development, publicize and promote outstanding practices of sustainable development of Chinese companies, and showcase Chinese companies Contribute to the sustainable development of China and the world, and contribute Chinese wisdom and strength to the achievement of sustainable development goals.


Wen|Zhu Hongren

The author is the executive vice president and chairman of the China Enterprise Confederation, and the chairman of the Global Compact China Network Bureau


Source: Sustainable Development Economic Guide


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