By The Business Sustainability Committee
"Business Sustainability" can be a tough concept to really pin down. The Business Sustainability Committee first evolved from the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee in 2009, with a new name to reflect the more cutting-edge approach many businesses are now taking – one of shared value, not just philanthropy. Our active members hold leadership roles in business sustainability and corporate responsibility from AmCham China member companies such as Cummins, Motorola, Goldman Sachs and United Family Hospital.
“Sustainability” in this case isn’t intended as an empty buzz word. It means self-driven improvement in tangible actions that benefit the larger community over the long term. The committee’s goal is to support our members in learning and sharing the latest thinking in sustainable business practices. To do this, the committee regularly hosts workshops and events. In 2014, we had several major events from which members took away new ways of approaching philanthropy and CSR programs:
“The Future of Philanthropy: Five Ways to Ensure Corporate Philanthropy Does Not Backfire on Your Brand in China” on Sept. 16, 2014, featuring Wang Liwei of the Charitarian Group, Andrew Toles from Ellis, Li and McKinstry PLLC and Liu Yanhong of Beijing Endeilai Limb Production Company
“Engaging with Venture Philanthropy in China” on Oct. 22, 2014, featuring Doug Miller and Andrew Muirhead from the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
“Creating Shared Value: From Concept to Practice” on Dec. 1, 2014, featuring Elizabeth Walker Sobhani from Lotus Consulting Asia, Karen Guo of Dow Chemical, Jonathan Dong from Nestle China Ltd. and Sean Hinton of Terbish Partners
Sharing ideas and experiences hopefully will inspire AmCham China members and the broader business community to better understand business’ role in the sustainable development of China. The committee plans to continue supporting members in engaging with all key stakeholders, including the Chinese government, other business associations, academia and nonprofit organizations.
Besides sharing members’ best practices with the local market, AmCham China and the Business Sustainability Committee are working together with the 100,000 Strong Foundation (see page 23 for more). This partnership will bolster 100,000 Strong’s operations in China as well as demonstrate a commitment to continued and positive bilateral relations. Increased and sustained interaction between younger generations from China and the US will ensure that the two countries will continue to work together because they have invested in one another.
Sustainability requires joint efforts, and we welcome all to join our committee's future discussions.