《中国日报》刊发周育先署名文章：ESG理念助推企业迈向“一带一路”国际化新征程来源：《中国日报》 集团党委宣传部/新闻办公室 发布时间：2023-12-29
ESG can lift enterprises participating in BRI expansion
By ZHOU YUXIAN
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative first being proposed, which has now become a global public platform where China and other countries and regions involved can expand opening-up and promote global economic growth. Additionally, the concept of environmental, social and corporate governance, commonly known as ESG that was proposed by the United Nations, has become a key objective that all companies should adhere to while achieving their sustainable development goals, as well as the mainstream consensus of the international community.
China National Building Material Group Co Ltd (CNBM) places a strong emphasis on operating in alignment with ESG concepts while contributing to the Belt and Road Initiative. This commitment is central to our mission "Better materials Better world" and our agenda as we strive to establish ourselves as a leading enterprise in our sector.
Green transition is what we think is necessary to build up an industry leader in the new era. That's because green development is now a common issue facing transformation of the global manufacturing sector. In addition, sustainable development of basic building materials also calls for green transition.
Cement and other basic building materials are the cornerstones of modern material civilizations, and have made important contributions to the progress of human society and economic prosperity. Cement is also a typical energy and resource-hungry product, and due to its production characteristics, it has also become a large carbon emitter.
With the tightening of global resource and environmental constraints and the nation's pursuit of the "dual-carbon" goals, many policies such as the "carbon border "adjustment mechanism have been introduced. With the BRI stepping into its second decade, green transition will undoubtedly become a key sector of cooperation under the initiative, as well as a key path to implement low-carbon emissions, environmental protection and an effective response to climate change.
Against such a backdrop, the basic building materials industry, as far as we are concerned, is at a historical turning point. Enterprises involved should ramp up green efforts in areas including design, products, services and investment, and step up carbon reduction along the whole production process.
Meanwhile, industry leaders — especially those engaged in helping build the BRI, such as CNBM — should play a bigger role in leading the green and low-carbon transformation of the global basic building materials industry. The process of applying basic scientific research achievements and innovation should be accelerated to have more energy-saving and environmentally friendly new materials available in the market as soon as possible.
Actually, in China, there have been some cases of advanced intelligent environmental protection solutions and services in building materials engineering successfully "going global", which means that effective transformation of the building materials industry into an environmentally friendly sector can be a path leading to growth. Enterprises should unswervingly stick to the road of sustainable development with ecological concerns being prioritized.
For CNBM and every other enterprise seeking an edge in the global market, high-end connectivity is of particular significance. Achieving sustainable and high-quality development is a long-term target, which requires sustained efforts to integrate innovation along with industrial and supply chains — vertical synergy of upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the industrial chain, and horizontal synergy of government, enterprises, universities, scientific research institutes and other entities.
By working together, all related parties as a whole are able to establish a good environment for industrial development, and determine where market players — customers, suppliers and other stakeholders — can play their respective roles and achieve a higher development level.
One major goal of the BRI is to promote common development and prosperity globally, which is also a major principle that CNBM has long adhered to while expanding its global footprint. We believe that through contributions to local development, cooperation with local enterprises, and care to all parties involved, we consider locals as being key to achieving win-win cooperation results.
In addition, enterprises, including CNBM, which are equipped with high-quality building materials, advanced technology and experience in global resource allocation, should pursue higher standards in building the BRI, and actively build a sound network where the environment, society and industry can function well and in unison on a development track. They should also further tap into local markets, learn about the culture and make more CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts so as to facilitate links among building materials industries, which will ultimately achieve joint construction and sharing, and improve livelihoods in countries and regions participating in the BRI.
Standardized governance is also a must-have for enterprises seeking pole position in the global market. Modern corporate governance capabilities are an important guarantee for a company's success, which has been proved by CNBM as it is one of the first batch of State-owned capital investment companies and has been maintaining its high position and high requirements related to its governance.
Enterprises should enhance their strategic management, and secure stable and rule-compliant operations to achieve sustainable and healthy development. Effective efforts should be made in curbing potential risks and controlling existing ones to improve governance efficiency.
Additionally, compliance with laws and regulations, credible management and high-quality services while participating in the BRI will help demonstrate the good image of Chinese enterprises and the country to local and international communities, and win the support of more countries.
Over the years, CNBM has been ramping up efforts to improve its governance, with such efforts bearing fruit. So far, the company has invested in 45 fixed-asset and equity acquisition projects in 27 countries, and is engaged in nearly 500 high-quality cement and glass projects around the world.
CNBM has also participated in, and presided over, the formulation and revision of 58 international standards, which has promoted the ESG development of countries and regions involved in the BRI.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the building of a global industry leader. And only those willing to take the most resolute steps can conquer whatever challenges standing in their way. The BRI is a path leading to a prosperous future while ESG supports people's yearning for better lives. To this end, it is a common mission and responsibility of mankind to promote sustainable development.