Reaching Sustainable Development Goals: Different Approaches and Mutual Benefits between Switzerland and China
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important due to human-driven environmental changes. This analysis compares sustainability efforts in China and Switzerland, using companies from these regions as examples, to identify best sustainability practices that can be shared among these countries.
Olga Osipova, 2023
Bachelor Thesis, China Center FHNW
Betreuende Dozierende: Yufan Jiang
Keywords: SDGs, sustainability, GHG emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, gender representation, China, Switzerland
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The increasing environmental impact of human activities has posed significant challenges to sustainability, leading to the creation of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals provide targets and time frames for countries to collectively work towards a better environment. As a result, companies worldwide have had to adjust their strategies accordingly. At that, companies from different countries prioritize different SDGs depending on cultural heritage, economic conditions, and other factors. Their approaches towards reaching the chosen SDGs may also vary.
This report examines sustainability initiatives among three company pairings from China and Switzerland, representing the food, tech, and pharma industries. The focus is on evaluating their approaches, accomplishments, and challenges to identify best practices and areas for improvement. To conduct the analysis, historical data from their sustainable development reports, which are available online, was gathered. Parameters such as GHG emissions, energy and water consumption, and gender representation in the workforce were used for comparison in connection to SDGs.
The analysis revealed that all the companies are making efforts to prioritize sustainability. However, there is room for improvement.
It seems that all companies do not have a standardized approach to data disclosure. They may choose to disclose only certain data that is favorable to their image, leaving out other information. This selective disclosure may not provide a complete picture of their sustainability efforts. It would be beneficial for companies worldwide to agree on reporting standards, including the data they share and the terminology they use. Inconsistent terminology mainly impacts water and energy data. This may hinder global sustainability progress if unaddressed.
To sum up, the findings show that Swiss companies are more open with their data and have successfully reduced GHG emissions, water and energy consumption, while Chinese companies face challenges in managing water resources, impacting their reporting and data sharing on water usage. At that, the Chinese tech sector is performing well in adopting renewable energy sources, and the pharma sector provides detailed air and water pollution data. Gender equality is well-documented and acted upon in both countries.
Studiengang: Business Information Technology (Bachelor)
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