As the globalization of manufacturing has accelerated over the past decade, it has become clear that the greatest share of a company’s environmental footprint is in its global supply chain.
With the climate crisis, trade wars, and now the shock waves of the pandemic impacting companies both large and small, people are becoming acutely aware of how much we all rely on global supply chains — and how much risk that poses to workers, communities and the environment. China is at the epicenter of these three challenges. As the country begins to recover from the pandemic in particular, how can it build a stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economy at the same time?
We spoke with China's leading environmental activist and director of the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), Ma Jun, as part of our Ceres 2020 digital program: Greening Supply Chains in China.
“The central government doesn’t want pollution to again get out of control,” Jun said. But balancing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution while also recovering from the pandemic, “will be quite the challenge,” he added.
“I believe market-based solutions are the best way to balance it.” Jun told Ceres 2020 participants. “Through green supply chains, green finance, and public supervision, we can erase the cost of bad behavior and reward those who want to be responsible. I think there’s a major opportunity there.”
Hear more from other influential investors, companies and sustainability thought leaders as part of Ceres 2020 in the coming weeks. We will continue to call for an equitable, sustainable economic recovery, and discuss the necessary steps we need to take to address the devastating social and environmental impacts of the climate crisis that still lie before us.