On May 6th 2019, Thrive Together Ltd. as the Greater China member office of The Natural Step, was invited to the CUHK Sustainability Conference – one of Asia's largest annual conference on CSR and Sustainability, hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School. It was venturing into its 12th year in 2019, and the theme of the year was CSR & beyond: The Quest for a Sustainable Future. This was the fourth time of The Natural Step being invited to the conference as keynote speaker and round table moderator. In the past four years, we have participated and witnessed CUHK Business School and the conference itself transitioning their understandings on CSR from social responsibility to corporate full sustainability that derives innovation and profit.
The conference contained a series of panel discussions, changemakers talks, and parallel workshops. Sustainability experts and business leaders came across different areas, industries and disciplines were drawn together to communicate their understandings of sustainability and to discuss what is required for the business going beyond traditional CSR practises to achieve full sustainability. Other distinguished speakers included Genevieve Hilton, BASF; Hanna Hallin, H&M; Mark Harper, Swire & Sons; Sebastien Pivet, A.S Watson Group; Venisa Chu, New World Development; Alessandro Bisagni, BEE Inc; Tony Verb, Greater Bay Ventures, etc.
At the conference, Patrik Sandin shared his insights on sustainability for business. For business transition towards a sustainable future, strategic approach of transformation is required, and it is a must to plan based on system thinking. At the conference, Patrik presented The Natural Step’s Sustainability Framework and Principles, and how we successfully helped 100s clients became industrial leaders and paradigm shifters using our framework. Patrik also presented two global business initiatives: Future-Fit Business and Benefit Corporations (B corps), both with significant influence from and continued support by The Natural Step.
The Future-Fit Business Benchmark offers a holistic framing for companies to follow and examine all of their social and environmental impacts against the 21 Future-Fit business goals derived from The Natural Step's Sustainability Principles.
Benefit Corporations (B Corp) is another global business movement that uses business as a force for good. Certified B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
The Natural Step has advised B Lab, the B Corp certifying body, to ensure alignment between their B Impact Assessment (BIA) and The Natural Step's Sustainability Principles or Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Our Italian member firm, Native, was one of the first certified B Corps in Europe. Later, Nativa worked with the Italian legislators to establish Benefit Corporations as a legal entity in Italy. in China, TNS China (T2L) works with B Corp China to help companies achieve B Corps status.