XIAMEN, China, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On September 17 (GMT-5), during the UN General Assembly Week and SDG Summit, Zhao Dong, Chairman and Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines, as the only Chinese board member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), was invited to attend the UNGC board meeting to provide strategic and policy advice on behalf of the Chinese business community. The meeting was attended by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and presided over by the Assistant UN Secretary-General and CEO & Executive Director of UNGC, Sanda Ojiambo.
At the meeting, Sanda Ojiambo introduced the new version of United Nations Global Compact 2024-2025 Strategy Extension, which aims to consolidate the achievements made from 2021 to 2023, and accelerate corporate sustainability and principles-based business actions on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through five priorities: ambitious, accoutable companies, enabling environments, measurable impact in prioritized, thematic areas, regionalization and localization of UNGC portfolio and partnerships, and investing in our digital transformation. Zhao gave a positive comment on the new strategy, and stressed the importance of continuing to promote the Africa strategy and China strategy in the new stage. He hoped that the UNGC would integrate the priorities of the host countries and the United Nations through its networks around the globe, and expand cooperation with enterprises and stakeholders from China and other countries to benefit the world. Zhao also introduced how Xiamen Airlines promoted “Initiative of Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic” to improve the ecological environment and boost green economy. Since 2019, Xiamen Airlines has gradually replaced 88 plastic-related items, and changed paper cups, lunch boxes, snack bags and other items on the plane into supplies made of bamboo pulp, reducing plastic waste by nearly 1,547 tons every year and saving 84,245 trees of 20 years old. Assuming an average of 33.3 trees are planted per acre of land, it is equivalent to an increase of more than 2,530 acres of trees a year.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that according to the mid-term evaluation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development this year, only 15% of SDGs indicators are expected to be achieved; nearly 48% of SDGs are off track, and about 37% are stagnant or regressing. In that case, UNGC can play a unique role in motivating enterprises to accelerate SDGs actions and help them better respond to challenges. Given the challenges of net-zero emission, Zhao said that in order to achieve net zero emissions in the civil aviation industry, which accounts for about 3% of global carbon emissions, the key is to make disruptive breakthroughs on the technologies of aircraft and engine to meet the needs for using clean energy. He suggested that the United Nations should focus on high-carbon emission industries in the future and carry out effective technical cooperation. As for promoting SDGs-aligned investment, Zhao advised that the UNGC can raise capital for SDGs with the help of multilateral development banks, especially the New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank from the Global South, to fill the SDGs funding gap.
The UNGC is currently the world’s largest and most influential organization aiming to promote corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. As of now, it has more than 23,000 corporate members from 170 countries, including 875 Chinese corporate members. The board of UNGC is an important part of the UNGC governance structure. It is chaired by the UN Secretary-General and has a total of 25 members, including 10 from the global business community. Zhao is the third Chinese member. The first one is Fu Chengyu, the former chairman and Party Secretary of Sinopec Group, and the second one is Ren Hongbin, a member of the 20th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and former deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
In the future, Zhao will fulfill his responsibility as a UNGC board member, actively participate in UNGC affairs, and further unify the concepts of “Global Development Initiative” and “A Community of Shared Future for Mankind” with UNGC’s “Sustainable Development Goals” and “Ten Principles”, share China stories and speak up for Chinese enterprises.
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SOURCE Xiamen Airlines