On Friday, July 21, AmCham China hosted the “Promoting CSR: Empowering Change for a Sustainable Future” event at Tianjin TEDA. Around 70 attendees from member companies, AmCham China’s Leadership Development Program and the wider community joined us for this meaningful gathering. This event was funded as a gift from the US Government. AmCham China and the US Embassy in China are in partnership with the aim to promote people-to-people exchanges.
The event began with Chairman Marcus J. Williams from AmCham China Tianjin welcoming guests and sponsors, including the US Embassy in China. Williams emphasized that US enterprises in China are not just profit driven, but also dedicated to make contributions to the wider community, with the hope to create a sustainable future by implementing CSR initiatives.
The first keynote focused on NGOs Operating in China with Ira Ovesen, Deputy Representative from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Ovesen introduced the organization’s work in China, emphasizing their three main goals: ending unmet family planning needs, reducing maternal mortality, and combating violence against women and girls. She also discussed UNFPA’s strategic plan for 2022-2025, which focuses on inclusive strategic partnerships with various stakeholders, including governments, academia, civil society, and corporations. Ovesen highlighted UNFPA’s work in China, including integrating population dynamics into policymaking, improving access to sexual and reproductive health services, empowering youth and women’s rights, and promoting international exchanges.
The second keynote focused on local NGOs’ operation with Jia Hou, Director of the Social Innovation Lab at China Social Entrepreneur Foundation. Hou shared insights into China Social Entrepreneur Foundation’s work in China, particularly their “Eagle Project,” which provides training to young people in rural areas, leading to improved social status and values. Hou also discussed the “Falcon Project,” focusing on rural development through business training, education, and medical care opportunities. Hou expressed gratitude for AmCham China’s role in connecting their foundation with American enterprises and hoped for further collaboration in social responsibility efforts.
Grace Liu, from AmCham China’s government affairs and policy team, presented a comprehensive introduction to the Chamber’s Social Impact Initiative (SII). Liu highlighted past events that promoted public-private partnerships during the pandemic, as well as the new mission for the 2022-2023 SII: Emphasizing sharing, dedication, collaboration, and win-win cooperation. She went on to discuss engagement with stakeholders through various activities, such as webinars, seminars, and special reports showcasing member companies’ case studies. Liu ended by outlining some of the future events from SII in 2023.
The next panel focused on American Enterprises’ CSR practices, moderated by Michael Fu from PPG Coatings (Tianjin), who was joined by Lydia Zhou, Vice President of Human Resources and Communications at ConocoPhillips China, and Jane Peng, Director of Customer Services at ExxonMobil. Peng shared her company’s initiatives aimed at maintaining a healthy educational environment and providing various services, such as dental care for laborers, support for disaster-stricken areas, and rural education development. Zhou emphasized ConocoPhillips’ mission of helping those in need, with programs focused on education, environmental protection, healthcare, and funding for disaster-affected regions and children with congenital heart disease. Michael Fu also shared their green initiatives at PPG Coatings (Tianjin) such as its ‘colorful community’ project during which staff used eco-friendly products to paint walls for schools and communities in poor mountainous areas.
All three speakers discussed their companies’ roles in advocating CSR, emphasizing sustainability and emission reduction goals. They also highlighted their efforts to integrate charity and volunteering actions into their corporate cultures, promoting employee engagement and involvement.
Next, Shaolu An, Vice President of the TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital discussed the opportunities and challenges for CSR projects with local entities. He provided an overview of the hospital’s work, its accomplishments, and collaborative efforts to provide medical care and treatment to orphaned children with congenital heart disease.
After wrapping up these informative sessions, participants had the opportunity to visit the TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital. The tour included a visit to the Pediatric Ward, which features hand-painted walls to create a comforting environment, the ‘Smart Ward’ with interactive patient monitoring systems, and the ‘Smart Pharmacy’ which provides automated medicine dispensing.
Following the tour, the event concluded successfully, leaving attendees inspired to take meaningful action in their own CSR practices and help contribute towards a more sustainable future.