On September 13th, the "2023 ESG Global Leaders Conference" opened in Shanghai.
Distinguished participants engaged in in-depth discussions on topics such as "sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection." The discussions revolved around key themes, including China's pursuit of high-quality development in alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the pathways to ESG sustainable development, and the exploration of global ESG theories and practices.
During this conference, the progress of the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, China's vision for sustainable development, and the efforts made by various enterprises in the realm of ESG were analyzed and interpreted. There are four main highlights of this event.
Global ESG Leaders Attend the Conference, Guiding the Future Development Path of ESG. During the keynote forum segment, international dignitaries in attendance included former United Nations Secretary-General Kim Won-soo, Nobel laureate in Chemistry Michael Levitt, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chairman of the Green Earth Foundation, Rajendra Shende. Sustainable development has become a crucial factor in shaping the future of humanity and the planet on a global scale. "Many companies are investing in ESG, and investing in net-zero projects can yield better income and returns, with solar energy becoming more affordable. If we can reduce costs for businesses, investors can obtain higher returns, which could be a breakthrough in future ESG investments." Rajendra Shende stated.
Standardizing Domestic and International ESG Rating Criteria to Facilitate Communication Between Investors and Companies. When discussing ESG rating standards, a recurring debate revolves around localization versus internationalization. "We should emphasize not the localization of international standards but the internationalization of Chinese practices."Feng Wen, General Manager of Morningstar, stated. Regarding the purpose and responsibility of ESG rating agencies, Feng Wen stated, "Rating is not the end goal but a means to better engage with investors, providing a communication tool for companies and investors to achieve more substantial results in the practice of ESG."
Renowned Entrepreneurs Share ESG Concepts and Practices. Many companies are continuously exploring ESG practices and how to excel in them. Zhangjiayin, McDonald's China CEO shared the importance of "her" strength. GuangXiaohui, Executive Director of Fosun Pharma, discussed inclusive healthcare, emphasizing the significance of improving the accessibility of medicines within Fosun Pharma's overall ESG efforts. The practice has shown that ESG can stimulate increased investment in research and development, the adoption of digital and green low-carbon technologies, enhance a company's innovation and competitiveness, and create a synergistic effect with improved corporate performance.
Green Finance Supports ESG Development. Several domestic financial institutions, including the Agricultural Bank of China President Fu Wanjun, Bank of China President Liu Jin, and HSBC China President and CEO Wang Yunfeng, shared insights on ESG. Through avenues like green loans, green bonds, and green investments, financial institutions can encourage companies to proactively disclose ESG information. This allows them to access more inclusive, precise, and efficient financial services while reducing their own risks, thereby driving corporate green and low-carbon transformation.
ESG is experiencing rapid global growth, and although responsible ESG investments in China started relatively late, they are gaining momentum as China's green financial system continues to improve and develop, the process of two-way opening-up, and regulatory policies from relevant authorities are gradually introduced. ESG is increasingly becoming a significant force driving high-quality economic and social development in China.