• ReThink, Hong Kong’s new sustainable business forum, draws over 700 business leaders

    2 November 2020

    (2 November 2020, Hong Kong) ReThink 2020 came to a close last week, and as over 700 of the city’s top business leaders came together, it was clear that Hong Kong needs to expediate the adoption of  sustainabilty practices.

    ReThink HK has been designed specifically for Hong Kong business leaders, sustainability practitioners and those responsible for researching and resourcing new sustainable strategies. The aim is to uncover best practices and empower leaders to create significant change within their organisations and along their value chains.

    80 speakers, across the two-day agenda, including from The Airport Authority, Business Environment Council, Cathay Pacific, Coca-Cola, CLP Group, Impossibe Foods, Invest HK, JP Morgan, L’Oreal, SAP, Swire, University of Hong Kong and WWF-Hong Kong, amongst many others, the C-suite and sustainability elite of Hong Kong heard from MNCs, start-ups and experts from across a diverse range of industries.

    The conference focused on four key themes; sourcing & manufacturing, waste & resource management, people & culture, and distribution & changing markets.

    With rich debates and conversations across two days, there were some clear best practices and learnings:

    “Sustainability teams have to remember that those that sit on Boards are extremely busy, covering multiple, interrelated and complex issues, placing significant demands on their time and expertise.  ESG is one, albeit increasingly significant issue, for them, so getting the data and language right, and presenting often technical information it in a way that speaks to them and at a time where you have their full attention is not easy.  Be clear, concise, ensure what you provide is relevant to the business and make sure you make the most of the opportunity when given a window to make an impact.”

    Dr. Mark Watson, Group Head of Sustainability, John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd.  

    Decarbonisation action must start with citizens.  Government and Legco will only act at the scale and speed needed if the public press for this.  Companies will only invest at the scale and speed needed if Government regulation makes doing so competitive and lower risk than inaction.”

    J. Robert Gibson, Adjunct Professor in the Energy and Sustainability Division of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

    On current trajectory, our planet by 2100 will likely be uninhabitable. We need to start now; collectively, decisively, consistently, forcibly and collaboratively in getting carbon emissions down, so that there will be future generations for us to pass wealth and wisdom to. My suggestion is that asset owners and managers can support the transition to carbon neutrality, or help businesses move across the spectrum of ‘green’, through allocating capital and engaging with companies, the government can take a holistic green approach in urban development, while financial institutions can be more innovative with green mortgages, green home insurance, and lending towards retrofitting older buildings.”

    Agnes K Y Tai, Senior Partner, Yaozhi Asset Management International Co., Limited

    HK$120,000 was raised from the conference with all proceeds going to charities FeedingHK and Soap Cycling. 788 trees have since been planted by EcoMatcher, in the Philippines, to create a ReThink forest which will result in 12,554 Kg of CO2 sequestration in an attempt to make the event carbon positive, and 268 business leaders made a personal pledge to start a change conversation within their organisation.Chris Brown, Founder of ReThink commented: “Our aim is to help business, NGOs and society to make choices that will see collective change, so we can accelerate action along the path to a sustainable future for Hong Kong. ESG has never been as important and we want to help guide and support businesses to make operational changes that will impact the world by changing the way we use resources, stabilising the environment and improving the lives of all.”

    For more information please contact [email protected].

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