BEIJING & KUNMING (Oct. and Nov., 2015) – In order to improve the sustainability of Chinese companies abroad, Global Environmental Institute (GEI) has been conducting research on investment risks and problems and giving workshops for Chinese companies on corporate social responsibility. In October and November, the GEI’s Overseas Investment Trade and the Environment Program hosted two trainings with key partners to help companies mitigate and manage environmental and social risks in foreign locations.
The capacity building workshops are a key element of GEI’s Investment, Trade and the Environment program, which aims to improve the sustainability of Chinese companies abroad. Along these lines, the workshop aims to improve the capacity for environment compliance in related environmental protection authorities and institutions.
GEI incorporates the workshops’ discussion and feedback to make suggestions for Environmental Protection for 13th Five Year Plan. Chinese firms benefit from the workshop’s focus on enterprises overseas’ investment and its methods that enable enterprises to cope with environmental and social risks.
“Capacity Building in Environmental Compliance for Chinese Outward Investors” October 25, 2015, Beijing
The executive training in Beijing welcomed nearly 80 executives from a total 50 companies and research institutions to learn how to manage corporate social responsibility both internally and in their foreign investments. This training utilized GEI’s specific “Going Out Guide” that emphasizes how corporations seeking to implement invest abroad can reduce risk in investments, trade and environment as well as any social risks.
Along with GEI, the training was co-hosted and supported by three government agencies: Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection Environmental Engineering Assessment Center, China Environmental Protection Industry Association and China Association of Social Work Committee of Corporate Citizenship. The workshop consisted of five sessions on topics including corporate social responsibility, governance of international environment and environmental impact assessment.
YANG Chaofei, Chairman of the China Environmental Protection Agency and Former Chief Engineer of Ministry of Environmental Protection:
“The past ten years has seen rapid growth of Chinese investment in ASEAN countries. In fact, in the ten years from 2003-2013 investment rose from USD 200 million to USD 57.4 billion and this growth trend is expected to continue. However a series of environmental impacts of Chinese firms operating abroad has raised the concern of individuals and governments. In fact, the Myitsone Dam in Myanmar and the Leipzig copper mining activities were both halted due to such concerns. The relevant Chinese companies in these and other scenarios importantly not only lost money but also seriously tarnished the reputation of Chinese companies abroad,” said YANG.
GEI Executive Director Madame JIN Jiaman:
“With the implementation of the Central Government’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, over 56 countries are interacting with and developing their perspective on China. We hope that this is not only an opportunity for China to share its technology and expand investment but also to increase the importance of corporate social responsibility and benefit local environments…I hope today’s workshop can set a precedent for more harmonious interactions between researchers, businesses, governments and NGOs and establish a platform to help enterprises going outward.”
HWANG Zhen, project manager of The Asia Foundation
“This is the first time for these organizations to work together and based on the success of this training, I am hopeful that there will be further developments in the content so that the trainings can happy throughout the country. It is important to encourage enterprises to do better in this area.”
“Capacity Building for Environment Compliance” November 21, 2015, Kunming
GEI co-hosted over 100 executives from Chinese companies and research institutions in Kunming for the workshop, “Capacity Building for Environment Compliance.” The objective of this workshop is to help Chinese companies going abroad increase their ability to mitigate and manage environmental and social risks in their foreign locations. The workshop took place as part of the Yunnan Society for Environmental Science’s annual academic conference.
Four major Chinese institutions, in addition to GEI and Yunnan Society for Environmental Science, co-hosted the workshop: these institutions are Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection Environmental Engineering Assessment Center, China Environmental Protection Industry Association, China Association of Social Work Committee of Corporate Citizenship and China Council for Industrial Environmental Protection.
Ms HWANG Zhen, the project donor representative and Project Manager of The Asia Foundation, opened the workshop by thanking all the participants for attending and expressing her hope that such relevant trainings will promote enterprises to develop in relevant fields.
During the workshop, several distinguished guests gave presentations on the significance of and means to have sustainable business abroad.
The presentations were as follows:
- LIU Weihua, Vice President of the China Social Work Association of Corporate Citizenship Committee, gave an ‘Introduction to Corporate Responsibility’;
- CUI Shuhong, Director of Environmental Impact Assessment Center, spoke on ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’;
- REN Peng, GEI Project Officer, presented ‘Analysis of Case Studies of Environmental Impacts of Foreign Investment’;
- ZHANG Zhimin, former director of Emergency Center of Ministry for Environmental Protection, explained environmental policy toolkits.
To ensure understanding of the curriculum and to facilitate discussion, the respective lecture answered questions from the audience after each presentation.
About GEI’s CSR Workshop and Capacity Building Project
GEI’s CSR Capacity Building Project seeks to help Chinese enterprise understand and utilize the opportunities of “Going-Out’ through Guides and a workshop. The first step of the training was to develop training materials and case studies so to create a corporate capacity-building training.
The training has been successfully carried out for Chinese medium-sized state-owned enterprises and private enterprises invested in Southeast Asia in the sectors of hydroelectric power, mining and agriculture. The training aims to help businesses do good in terms of environmental and social impacts and to regulate foreign investment. Ultimately the workshop helps to reduce any negative impacts on the society or environment of the local country.