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HKBU School of Business hosts international workshop on “China and the World: Growth, ESG outcomes and impact investment”

22 Feb, 2023
img The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) of the HKBU School of Business organised an international workshop themed “China and the World: Growth, ESG outcomes and Impact Investment” on 21 February 2023. The one-day event gathered distinguished academics, researchers from influential think tanks and experienced practitioners in impact investment to share ideas and experiences on China’s ESG efforts, outcomes and impacts after decades of high growth.

Prof. Ed Snape, Dean of the HKBU School of Business, welcomed the guests to the HKBU campus, highlighting how this important topic resonates with the School’s long-standing commitment to inspire and promote corporate sustainability. ‘As part of the School’s endeavour to nurture ethical business leaders with global vision, the CSDS was founded to conduct research and organise knowledge transfer activities related to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This workshop provides a platform for stakeholders to examine the evolving ESG practices of Chinese companies and to consider next steps.’

Sharing insights on China’s ESG practice and outcomes, speakers assessed the latest developments and discussed recent findings on the performance of China’s ESG investment, the nexus between common prosperity and China's current economic slowdown and the implications of the rapid expansion of China’s renewable energy industry. To channel more funding for sustainable development, the importance of adopting a common policy framework for sustainable finance across countries was highlighted. Speakers also discussed the ESG impacts of Chinese companies in overseas investments in the context of the government’s “going out” strategy. A number of case studies helped analyse how the growing concern for ESG impact created opportunities and challenges for China’s outward investments and overseas infrastructure projects.

The panel discussion on “China’s ESG practice and impact investment from the perspectives of practitioners” featured panelists working on projects aimed at generating social and environmental impact with positive financial returns. Speakers from global and Chinese impact investing networks assessed the development and prospects of impact investment in China as well as around the world. Experts on microcredit and financial inclusion shared their changing practices in response to the rapidly evolving social and economic environment in China.

Established in July 2022, the CSDS focuses on how institutions, policies and practices affect the achievement of the selected SDGs in the global and local context. The Centre is currently working on projects in two major areas: poverty, inequality and mobility (addressing SDG 1 “No Poverty” and SDG 10 “Reduced Inequalities”) and climate policy, clean energy and environmental protection (addressing SDG 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy” and SDG 13 “Climate Action”). Visit the Centre’s website for more details on its research and future activities. 
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