Sustainability Leadership Forum: Integrating Technology and People to Lead Hong Kong Beyond 2020

Business Environment Council (BEC) held a high level conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 25 March 2011. Over 150 business leaders, academics and broader society participated to discuss how to lead Hong Kong to a sustainable future through bold action today. Speakers discussed corporate sustainable development covering best practices and business strategies, which integrate technology and talents to sharpen Hong Kong’s competitive edge.

Renowned economist, Prof Fangfang Tang, Director of National Policy Laboratory, China Centre for Economic Research, Peking University pinpointed that in the recently released China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, the National Government is committed to developing a resource-saving and environmental-friendly society. In 2011, there were proposals raised in the National People’s Congress and National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference to encourage Social Security Funds and other insurance capital to invest in the environmental industry funds. “In trying to further reduce the carbonfootprint, it has been proposed to establish Carbon Offsetting Scheme and pilot Carbon Trading Scheme.” He continues, “One should not underestimate the carbon footprint embedded in the product life-cycle; carbon footprinting and life-cycle analysis tools would be effective in informing the market of this invisible carbon emission."

In reflection to the theme of the forum, Prof Joseph Lee, Vice-President for Research & Graduate Studies, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, also one of the recipients of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, emphasised on the importance of grooming local R&D professionals with regional andglobal exposures, “Grooming talents is at the top priority to help Hong Kong stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in China. Besides, we also need inter-disciplinary researches for energy and sustainable development to solve the global challenge, such as integration of ICT, smart sensors and nano-technology.”

Prof John Chai, Chairman of BEC, highlighted the importance of furthering cross-border collaboration. “Clearly, huge investments on environmental related technologies will be committed, creating more business opportunities and transforming our existing business model. Hong Kong, as a major gateway to China should take lead in this transition period to promote the uptake of new technologies and development of human capital”, Prof Chai envisaged.

The forum demonstrated that investment in human capital and technological advancement is essential for Hong Kong’s leadership in practising and enabling sustainable development in Asia.

About the EnviroSeries Conference

It is an annual flagship event organized by the Business Environment Council, since 1992. Every year, government officials, business leaders, academics and broader society will have dynamic idea exchange to address sustainability issues and future challenges.