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Responsibility builds corporate resilience


Facing the global public crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises and organizations have entered a new period of reform. How to leverage responsibility to build corporate resilience has become a hot topic. The 15th International CSR Forum, held in Beijing from August 5 to 7, served as a platform of exchange and sharing of global CSR development trends and practices to explore the path of "resilient" development combining CSR fulfillment and sustainable business.

The Forum is hosted by China Sustainability Tribune and GoldenBee ThinkTank, co-hosted by CSR Europe and 
Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC), and supported by Embassy of Sweden in Beijing, China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) and China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.

The global opportunity, the burden of the times

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has had catastrophic impact on economies worldwide, the global CSR development trend shared during this forum, conveyed more firm confidence in sustainable development.

Lennart Nilsson, Counsellor of Economic and Trade Affairs, Embassy of Sweden in Beijing, said in his welcoming address that, some emerging trends which might shape the “next normal of business. These trends include digital transformation, consumer behavior change, remote working models, uncertainty in supply chains and huge stimulus packages from governments. These trends indicate both opportunities and challenges for sustainable business. But the attention to companies’ impact and responsibility to the environment and society is only likely to grow, both from the government, the society and the investors. It is rewarding to see more and more companies addressing sustainable business or corporate social responsibility as their business of the future. It is a way to strengthen competitiveness both for the country as a whole and for individual companies.

Yin Gefei, Founder and Chief Expert of GoldenBee, Secretary of ISO 26000 Stakeholder Global Network (ISO 26000 SGN), analyzed the five major trends of CSR development in China:

       1. The comprehensive index of CSR has been steadily improved;
       2. The strategy of CSR has been further valued;
       3. The index of corporate stakeholders has decreased;
       4. The level of corporate information disclosure has been significantly improved;
       5. The index of responsible competitiveness has remained unchanged.

Jan Noterdaeme, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, CSR Europe, Masao Seki, Steering Committee Chairman of Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC), and Carolyn Schmidt, Secretary of Stakeholder Global Network (ISO 26000 SGN), respectively shared the latest development and trends of CSR in Europe, Japan and the US. The green deal, human rights, biodiversity, education, responsible investment, "Society 5.0" and the new business culture are not only a response to global challenges, but also a path to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Business must be part of the solution," said Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature. She called for businesses to build resilient business by promoting collective and ambitious policies on nature. David Grayson, Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management, Chairman of the Institute of Business Ethics, believed that for the common challenges which face all of humanity, the "business leadership" for sustainable development is needed to help companies "Adapt, Survive, Thrive".

Focusing on the global CSR topics and approaches to building resilient enterprises, this forum also set up 8 panels to explore the optimal solution of sustainable corporate development in this special period.

       1. The Challenges & Coping Strategies to Combat COVID-19 on Supply Chains
       2. Role and Value of Central SOEs in Poverty Reduction
       3. Chinese Corporate Image from the Perspective of Overseas Stakeholders
       4. Responsible Competitiveness Investment Outperforms Average Socio-economic Development
       5. CSR Forges Sustainable Brands
       6. Responsible Competitiveness, the Business Rule to Build Corporate Resilience in the VUCA Era
       7. Visualization of Green Competitiveness
       8. Promoting Children’s Rights in Building Belt & Road Infrastructure

Seven new actions of GoldenBee Global CSR 2030 Initiative 

The year 2020 marks the fifth year that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has come into effect, and it is a critical period to promote the realization of 17 SDGs. Since 2016, as an important action for China to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the GoldenBee Global CSR 2030 Initiative has upgraded the power of the GoldenBee CSR 2020 Initiative. With the key words of "common vision, responsible competitiveness, targeted practices, cross-border cooperation and shared value", it call on GoldenBee enterprises to fulfill their social responsibilities at a higher, broader and deeper level and help the final realization of SDGs.

Facing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, GoldenBee 2030 Enterprises have been working hard to fight the pandemic, showing their pioneer roles. The new partners and issues add actions towards the sustainable future.

At the Forum, seven new actions of GoldenBee Global CSR 2030 Initiative with different themes were launched.

       1. Sennics Co., Ltd.: SCI-MAN 2030Empowers Sustainable Development of Polymer Additives Industry 
       2. ENN Ecological Holdings Co., Ltd.: Better Energy Use for a Better Future"--Build a Clean and
           Efficient Energy System
       3. PerkinElmer China: Technology Promotes a Healthy Society and Contribute to the SDGs
       4. Asia Symbo: Responsible Innovation for a Better Life
       5. RGE: Embrace the Sustainable Fashion
       6. China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, GoldenBee ThinkTank:
           Protect Bees! Build a Common Homeland for Human, Bees, and Nature
       7. Jiangsu Communications Holding Co., Ltd.: Sustainable Highway Network Facilitates Public Travel

So far, 34 companies and 4 organizations have become partners of GoldenBee Global CSR 2030 Initiative. They have carried out in-depth practice in China and contributed to the global transition to sustainable development with Chinese wisdom.

35 companies selected as GoldenBee Enterprises

At the forum, the 2020 GoldenBee CSR China Honor Roll was released. 35 companies have stood out from more than 300 candidates, and won the honors of leading enterprise, growing enterprise, GoldenBee awards for customer focus, sustainable product & service, responsible finance award, employee care, ecological civilization, harmonious contributor, overseas CSR practice, poverty alleviation. With the continuous efforts in the practice of responsible competitiveness, 32 old GoldenBee Enterprises were listed again, setting an example for more enterprises to carry out extensive and in-depth CSR practice in related fields. In addition, 12 companies won GoldenBee Honor Roll Listed Company Awards.

Since the release of GoldenBee CSR China Honor Roll in 2008, this event, aiming to look for bee-like companies in China who pursuit sustainable development with responsible management, has attracted more than 3,800 companies and organizations to participate. There are 364 GoldenBee Enterprises by now. As the representative and symbol of sustainable development mode, their wisdom and solutions for China's sustainable development epitomize a collective image of responsible enterprises.

To watch video playback of this forum, please click here.

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