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看英国如何助力中国可持续商业模式 | How the UK is contributing to sustainable business models in China

看英国如何助力中国可持续商业模式

文:司徒谋 (Simon Stewart)英中贸易协会(中国区)教育、培训及人才发展总监


据报道,二氧化碳水平已经处于历史高位。在中国,关于污染的新闻已经司空见惯,以致于我们对这些消息透露出来的严峻形势渐趋无感。在商言商,问题的重点不是争论我们是否正处于环境恶化当中,而是企业是否有意愿采取行动解决环境问题。如果有意愿,又该如何去做?

英国的教育机构一直致力于在中国推动跨国企业思维模式的转变,即从传统的商业决策模式转向可持续模式。目前这一工作已在政策层面取得了一些进展,同时也有越来越多的国内外企业开始支持可持续事业。尽管像渣打银行和联合利华这样的跨国巨头都在对传统模式的质疑中引入了可持续的实践,然而,现实情况是,愿意为实质性的改变做出必要牺牲的政府、企业和消费者还不够多。

那些在成功实现商业增长的同时还能造福社会以及环境的企业都明白:可持续性不能作为一个孤立的政策支柱去争夺优先权,而是必须要完全整合到政府、企业以及消费者的决策中去。这说起来容易做起来难,因为要把可持续性的复杂风险和机遇融入到政策和战略之中,就必须有多个独立决策者的参与,但这些参与者往往有着各自的动机、目标以及利益相关方。而帮助政府、公司和个体工商户协调好盈利能力和可持续性之间的关系正是英国教育机构擅长的领域。

自2005年起,剑桥大学可持续领导力学院(CISL)就在中国同来自政府和商界(特别是金融界)的领袖合作,帮助他们确立应对可持续挑战的战略对策,并将新的知识和意识付诸实践。

CISL战略与运营主管林赛·胡珀表示, “中国有着巨大的全球影响力。” 她还说道, “中国领导层采取的行动将会影响全球许多地区和组织的行为。我们正致力于帮助中国实现其成为一个可持续经济体的雄心。”

CISL正在着力支持中国的一系列事业,其中包括建设与 “一带一路” 倡议相关的可持续基础设施;建立可持续的弹性供应链;实施建设可持续低碳城市的新型城市化战略;建立 “绿色” 金融体系;以及促进工商业增长——在这些事业中,都需要同时顾及中国政府提出的环境保护与社会融合目标。

英格兰及威尔士特许会计师协会(ICAEW)也在发挥着自己的作用。会计部门看起来可能不像可持续事业的支持者,但他们之中有很多关键的决策者。归根结底,企业考量的是它们所关心的东西,即盈亏,以及客户和员工的满意度。为了帮助公司在清楚的数据基础上作出决策,首席财务官们需要对可持续性领域有较深的了解。

ICAEW在其 “可持续商业计划” 中描绘了财务人员在实现可持续性中扮演的不可或缺的角色。他们在评估机会和风险、监控标准和运营政策、以及向利益相关方提供关于公司政策对商业和环境影响的可靠信息等方面有着重要的作用。他们也必须向公司董事会和客户提供可靠的信息,即公司的可持续政策进展如何,以及与行业标准之间的对比情况。同时,我们所处的监管环境也在不断变化,新的法律法规可能会在可持续方面增加税收或补贴;财务人员可以作为预警系统,提醒管理层及时注意到这些法律法规。

ICAEW可持续部门负责人理查德·斯宾塞表示, “可持续一词经常在许多不同场合被提及。” 他还说道, “对于很多企业而言,只有具备足够的时间和资金,可持续才是一件值得去做的事情。但是在ICAEW,我们却不这样认为。我们相信可持续性是核心,而不是可有可无的。为了应对社会和环境方面的挑战,我们必须改变我们经营企业和发展经济的方式。”

高层级的战略能否成功取决于整个公司的贯彻执行;在中国,这意味着要培养人们在可持续方面的意识。CISL等英国机构推出的教育和培训研讨会可作为政策制定和执行之间的重要纽带,而ICAEW等同类组织提供的标准和资格认证则有助于培养能为可持续项目提供数据支撑的人才。

这是英国的教育机构在中国政府政策、企业战略和经营决策之间搭建起的一座桥梁,这座桥梁将使得企业能够执行和跟踪那些有利于企业股东、客户和环境的可持续项目。

了解更多相关信息,请联系作者:simon.stewart@cbbc.org.cn


 

How the UK is contributing to sustainable business models in China

Simon Stewart, Director, Education, Training & Talent Development (China), China-Britain Business Council

27 February 2017


Carbon dioxide levels are reportedly at historic highs. News of pollution has become so routine in China that we risk becoming immune to the urgency of the message. In a business context, the question is not whether we are experiencing environmental degradation, but rather whether companies have the appetite to do something about it – and if so, how?

The UK’s executive education sector is working in China to encourage international businesses to shift their mindset from traditional business decision-making models to sustainable models. There has been progress at a policy level and an increase in the number of domestic and overseas companies championing the sustainability cause. However, the reality is that not enough governments, companies or consumers are yet willing to make the sacrifices required to create real change, although international leaders such as Standard Chartered and Unilever are questioning the traditional model to introduce sustainable practices.
 
Businesses that are successful in delivering commercial growth alongside social and environmental well-being understand that sustainability cannot be a separate policy pillar that creates competing priorities. It must be wholly integrated into the decision-making of governments, businesses and consumers. This is easier said than done because the integration of complex sustainability risks and opportunities into policy and strategy requires the engagement of multiple individual decision-makers, all of whom have their own motivations, targets and stakeholders. But helping governments, companies and individual businesses to align profitability and sustainability is an area where UK education providers excel.

UK organisations in China

The Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has been working in China since 2005 with leaders from across government and business, especially the financial sector, helping them to develop strategic responses to sustainability challenges and to translate new knowledge and awareness into practice. 
 
“China has significant influence globally,” says Lindsay Hooper, director of strategy and operations at CISL. “The action taken by leaders in China will shape the actions of many regions and organisations internationally. We are committed to supporting China’s ambition to achieve a sustainable economy.”
 
CISL is working to support a number of China’s commitments, including the development of sustainable infrastructure in relation to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative; the realisation of sustainable, resilient supply chains; the implementation of new urbanisation strategies to build sustainable low-carbon cities; the establishment of a ‘green’ financial system; and the promotion of business and industrial growth – all while meeting Chinese government targets for environmental protection and social inclusion. Some case studies of CISL’s work in China are given below.
 
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is also playing its part. Accounting departments may seem an unlikely champion in the fight for sustainability, but they contain many key decision-makers. Ultimately businesses measure what they care about: profit and loss, customer and employee satisfaction. CFOs need to be conversant in sustainability to help companies make decisions based on clear data.
 
ICAEW’s ‘Sustainable Business Initiative’ describes the integral part that accountants play in realising sustainability. They have an important role assessing opportunities and risks, monitoring standards and operating policies, and providing reliable information to stakeholders on the business and environmental impact of company policy. They must also provide reliable information to the board and customers about how the company’s sustainability policies are progressing and measuring up against industry standards. And in an ever-changing regulatory environment, they act as an early-warning system to alert the management to new regulations which may give rise to sustainability-related taxes or subsidies. 
 
“Sustainability is one of those words that gets used a lot and in many different ways,” says Richard Spencer, Head of Sustainability at ICAEW. “For many businesses it is still something that’s good to do if you have the time and the money. At ICAEW we take a different view. We believe that sustainability is core and not optional. We have to change the way we do business and run our economies in order to solve social and environmental challenges.” 

Concluding thoughts

The success of high-level strategy hinges on how it is applied throughout the company, which in the Chinese context means fostering awareness of sustainability. Education and training workshops delivered by UK institutions such as CISL provide the vital link between policy development and execution, while standards and qualifications offered by the likes of ICAEW foster staff who can provide the data on which sustainability programmes are based. 
 
This is the bridge that British education is building in China between government policy, corporate strategy and business decision-making, which enables companies to execute and track sustainability programmes that benefit corporate stakeholders, consumers and the environment.

If you are a UK educational organisation and are interested in learning more about developing your business in China, contact simon.stewart@cbbc.org.cn in China or nathalie.cachet-gaujard@cbbc.org in the UK.

CBBC would like to thank the following contributors to this article:


Case studies of CISL’s work in China

  • The Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership delivers education programmes for Beijing Municipality and the Provincial Government of Guangdong, which are designed to support mayors and senior officials lead the development of sustainable, low-carbon cities and effectively meet their 2020 targets on infrastructure and the environment. Speaking about the programme, the deputy mayor of Beijing’s Miyun County said, “From the theory and guidance to the specific applications and practical support, this programme allowed us to fully understand the concept of sustainable development.”
  • In 2014, the China’s fifth-largest bank, the Bank of Communications, commissioned CISL to design and deliver an education programme for executives and help them promote innovation and strategic management within the bank. The course raised awareness of changes in the business operating context and identified how issues such as climate change present risks and opportunities. It examined the skills required to anticipate and adapt to these changes, drawing on expertise from academics, thought-leaders and businesses, to structure different types of conversation with clients. Speaking about the programme, Mr Yin, head of the delegation, said: “The course highlighted what our strategic approach needs to be and demonstrated how we can equip our clients to deal with this complexity and continue to grow.”

This blog was first published on the China-Britain Business Council website.

About the author | 关于作者

文:司徒谋 英中贸易协会(中国区)教育、培训及人才发展总监

Simon Stewart

Director, Education, Training and Talent Development (China), China-Britain Business Council

 

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剑桥大学可持续领导力学院(CISL)博客刊登的雇员撰文不代表该学院或剑桥大学确认或赞成其观点。

Articles on the blog written by employees of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) do not necessarily represent the views of, or endorsement by, the Institute or the wider University of Cambridge.