Sustainable Business Focus Group Quarterly Update – Q4 2015

Published on 2016-03-03

In the last quarter of 2015, a significant development in the area of sustainability saw key agreements made at the Paris Climate Change G20 meeting.

In the last quarter of 2015, a significant development in the area of sustainability saw key agreements made at the Paris Climate Change G20 meeting. This will influence the business climate in China as for example, China pledged to achieve peak emissions target by 2030. China has made strong progress in terms of reducing its overall contribution to climate change, and is well on course to meet its peak emissions target for 2030. Nonetheless there is still a long way to go and environmental challenges remain significant to the country’s leadership.

  • To business, the impact of Paris Agreement will be huge but will only take effect gradually over the year, as companies start to understand what this means for them and how to implement changes.
  • 2015 has seen an increased pace of change in terms of environmental policy by the PRC government. Increasingly, the issues around poor air quality in major Chinese cities are not just health-related issues, but are also political issues and consequently this is focusing the minds of the country’s leaders. The ability to produce and use cleaner technologies has seen a real upswing in the development of the clean-tech sector during 2015. 
  • China’s economic growth remains relatively slow at GDP6.9%. The “New Normal” focused more on quality structure and output of industry. MNCs increasingly find China to be challenging. There is a focus now to improve domestic companies, both locally and on a global scale, on becoming more competitive and compliant. From the technology perspective, China is also becoming much more conservative and is trying to build stronger and more competitive domestic companies in this sector. Protecting information is the number one priority for the government, as they want domestic firms not MNCs to control China’s data.
  • The PRC’s 13th 5 Year Plan will set the basis for the upcoming years with a strong focus on environmental protection and a sustainable development path. 
  • The nation-wide awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development is continuously growing, many social and local NGOs are very active in advocating the concept of sustainability and related practices. Indeed, companies are under close watch by NGOs and the media - in particular, social media.