BEIJING--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On June 27, the Sino-German Sustainability Summit hosted by TÜV Rheinland Group (hereinafter referred to as “TÜV Rheinland”) 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.
China and Germany work together to advance 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.
In his speech at the summit, Ralf Scheller, Member of the Executive Board of TÜV Rheinland, stated that, “Sustainability is vital to the planet we live on. Nations are closely connected and cooperate with each other in today’s world, where stable and win-win international partnerships are the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The close ties between China and Germany in trade and investment, as well as the friendly relations between the leaders of the two countries, have laid a sound foundation for bilateral cooperation in sustainable development. In addition, the willingness of the Chinese and German governments and enterprises to engage in mutual support and cooperation, as well as the complementarity of the industrial value chains in the two countries, have engendered huge space and opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.”
The summit received great supports from the Global Compact Network China, China Business Council for Sustainable Development, Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business (econsense), German Council for Sustainable Development, and Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development. Among the other speeches delivered at this summit were addressed by Zhu Hongren, Executive Vice Chairman and Director General of China Enterprise Confederation, Johannes Regenbrecht, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in China, and Wang Jiming, President of China Business Council for Sustainable Development and Former Vice Chairman and President of Sinopec.
“Germany and China work together on sustainable development within the framework of their longstanding bilateral partnership,” stressed Johannes Regenbrecht. “The respective governments address many topics pertaining to sustainable development: Environmental Protection, Climate Change, Agriculture, Science, Finance … Enterprises are key actors in addressing social, ecological, and economic challenges faced by countries worldwide. This applies to German and Chinese companies in particular, since many of them are doing business all over the world. These companies have a special responsibility to not only contribute to sustainable development at home, but also in other countries.”
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, Hagen Ettner, German Director of the Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development, 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,” “The Role of German Businesses Regarding the Sustainable Development Goals,” and “Sino-German Cooperation on Sustainable Development in Africa and Asia.” 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.
Cooperation in all fields to fully tap potential
“Sino-German relations, based on a strategic partnership, have maintained a high level of development momentum,” said Ralf Scheller. “Germany has been China’s largest trading partner in Europe for more than 40 years, and China became Germany’s largest trading partner globally in 2016. China and Germany have strong complementarity and significant potential for cooperation in numerous fields like machinery, environmental protection, medicine, and automobiles. In addition, collaboration in innovative areas such as intelligent manufacturing, new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving is also on the rise.”
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.
“TÜV Rheinland is a German company with deep roots and more than 30 years of operational experience in China,” said Ralf Scheller. “We are well aware of the opportunities that exist between the two countries. The Sino-German Sustainability Summit is committed to building a multi-party communication platform to conduct extensive, in-depth discussions of theoretical and practical issues, experiences, innovations, and other matters related to sustainable development. We are honored to organize this event and aim to leverage our technical resources and global networks to achieve our common SDGs in China, Germany and beyond.”