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Taiwan's industry has entered era of socially responsible investment

Speakers at the Global Corporate Sustainability Forum laud the commitment to corporate responsibility in Taiwan

Yong-Shuen Shen

Yong-Shuen Shen (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At the Global Corporate Sustainability Forum held in Taipei this week (Nov. 22-23), the Secretary General of the Taiwan Academy of Corporate Sustainability, Yung-Shuen Shen, and the Senior Executive Vice President of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Rebecca Chen shared an optimistic view on Taiwanese industry and the countries commitment to corporate sustainability.

“Taiwan has already entered an era of socially responsible investment,” declared Shen during his keynote address. This kind of business climate will encourage positive feedback within Taiwan's industrial ecosystem, spurring more companies every year to adopt principles of SRI and work towards sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Shen briefly examined the history of corporate responsibility reporting in Taiwan in his address. He explained how the growth of corporate community awards, like the Global Corporate Sustainability Awards, which has created a corporate environment that not only recognizes, but actively encourages socially responsible investment (SRI) and business practices in Taiwan.

On behalf of the Taiwan Academy of Corporate Sustainability, Shen expressed his gratitude to the Chairman of the Alliance for Sustainable Development. Eugene Chen, for his role in encouraging Taiwanese corporations to pursue SRI over the past 18 years.

At the first corporate community awards ceremony held in Taiwan in 2000, there were only 16 candidates to be recognized for potential awards, according to Shen. This year, there were over 150 corporate candidates who had pursued reporting on corporate sustainability, and invested in pursuing SDGs.

Even more encouraging, Taiwan now ranks as 10th in the world for the highest number of Gold Class sustainable companies, according to the Sustainability Yearbook. Taiwan possesses 5 gold class sustainable companies, and 17 companies total listed in the 2018 Yearbook.

Taiwan's industry has entered era of socially responsible investment
(Taiwan News Image)

Following Shen, Rebecca Chen from the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) discussed how they actively encouraging companies in Taiwan to adopt Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards as a meaningful step towards promoting sustainability.

The TWSE has an advantageous position in Taiwan's corporate culture, as they can encourage industries and investors to move increase corporate sustainability.

Currently, Taiwan is the third fastest growing country in terms of companies engaging in corporate sustainability reporting, according to Chen.

Another speaker at the forum, representing PwC UK, Alan McGill, praised Taiwan's performance in this regard, noting that in Taiwan 86 percent of companies are engaged with corporate sustainability reporting to some degree.

These are excellent indicators of Taiwan's firm and growing commitment to pursuing SDGs and encouraging socially and environmentally responsible corporate activity.

Taiwan's industry has entered era of socially responsible investment
Rebecca Chen, TWSE (Taiwan News Image)

Taiwan's industry has entered era of socially responsible investment
(Taiwan News Image)