Forum: China and Sweden Deepen Collaboration to Promote ESG and Workplace Safety in China’s Real Estate Sector

Published in NEWS on September 28, 2020

Forum

White Peak, together with the Embassy of Sweden in China, Business Sweden and Eco-city alliance, hosted a forum highlighting China and Sweden’s collaborations in ESG and workplace safety in China’s real estate sector on 22 September in Yantai, Shandong province.

ESG, or Environment, Social and Governance, is an increasingly important trend in China for companies, the government and other stakeholders who want to see all three elements integrated with companies’ operations. Sweden, a leader in ESG, and China, which is among the fastest-urbanizing countries in the world, are working together to adapt Swedish ESG best practices for China.

Keynote by H.E. Helena Sångeland, Sweden’s Ambassador to China

“I have taken notice of my host country’s ambitions to achieve long-term sustainable development and to reform for increased international cooperation. By working together, we can create a sustainable world, provide prosperity, health, safety, and opportunities for ourselves and future generations to come.”

——H.E. Helena Sångeland, Sweden’s Ambassador to China

As Chinese cities continue on the path of urbanization and the pursuit of high-quality growth, they are tackling the challenges of minimizing environmental impact, enabling citizens to enjoy a good living environment, and ensuring sustainable economic growth.

“As a company with Swedish origins, White Peak is focusing on sustainable urban development in China. Our stakeholders in Sweden and China expect adherence to ESG best practices. We believe this is one of the keys to our continued success, as evidenced by the issuance of our green bond in 2019.”

——Jesper Jos Olsson, White Peak Group CEO and Founding Partner

During the forum, company and organization representatives first discussed how foreign enterprises design and conduct their ESG programs in China to boost China’s sustainable development goals.

Keynote by Roy Yang, ABB Vice President of China Electrification Business Area

“Sustainable development and adherence to ESG best practices are essential to our communities and the keys to our long-term strategy and daily operations in China and the world for ABB. White Peak, our other Swedish partners, and our Chinese partners are dedicated to building the Hammarby Eco City into a world-class sustainable community in Yantai.” 

——Roy Yang, ABB Vice President of China Electrification Business Area

“Through China and Sweden’s longstanding cooperation in ESG, enterprises from both countries have an increasing number of tools available to develop and implement ESG practices from top to bottom. This includes our Sustainable Business Toolkit for Sino-Swedish Supply Chains, which is a practical tool for enterprises who are ‘in China, for China.’”

——David Hallgren, Vice President of APAC, Business Sweden.

“We view sustainability as a journey of continuous improvement. Our sustainability addresses the environment, our people, products, and our business partners’ agenda.”

——Bill Huang, Assa Abloy Regional Operations Director.

The ESG concept includes not only the better-known environmental protection and preservation elements, but the “social” and “governance” portions which are equally important to sustainable development for companies, investors, and countries.

As an event series, the ESG forum initiated by White Peak, along with the support of the Embassy of Sweden, Business Sweden, and companies from both China and Sweden, aims to address the most urgent issues in ESG, further inject vitality, and introduce development solutions for China’s rapid urbanization.

Panel discussion

This recent forum stresses “workplace safety,” a key issue of ESG. It is among the labor force’s fundamental needs that have seen less discussion in many societies. It takes years to build a well-performing workplace safety system and only a second to suffer from a safety flaw. The Swedish and Chinese collaboration to emphasize ESG and workplace safety is pioneering new models and practical applications for risk and safety management in China.

The forum concluded with the fifth annual White Peak Safety Day which awarded White Peak employees and local contractors with commendations for their success in ensuring safe working conditions for all stakeholders.

Empowered by domestic demand for sustainable living environments built by companies with demonstrated ESG practices, the Hammarby model will soon be introduced in more cities in China, starting in White Peak’s core markets of Shandong, Hebei, and Liaoning provinces.