CUHK Organizes 6th Annual CSR Conference
Team CUHK MBA CSR, (Left to Right) Alex Siu, Viola Qiu, Elena Rueckert, Amanda Chan, Nitin Damodaran, Vivian Lu, Christina Zee, Winky Ng, Angela Kuhlmann and Donald Tong
Chinese University of Hong Kong MBAs weren't afraid to tackle controversial issues at their recent Corporate Social Responsibility conference, where they invited executives from Apple's Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, Societe Generale Group, trading and logistics company Li & Fung Group, Asian power company CLP holdings, design firm EADG, Asian-based social investment company Avantage Ventures .
CUHK MBAs have hosted annual CSR Conferences since 2007. This year the day long event took place on May 10 and was hosted at the Hong Kong Convention Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
During the conference, participants were given the opportunity to question allegations of Foxconn’s poor treatment of its staff. The firm has been criticised for poor treatment of workers at its factories on Shenzhen, China, where there was a spate of suicides in 2010. Martin Hsing, Executive Director of Foxconn Global Social and Environment Responsibility Committee represented the company and gracefully answered participants questions.
Participants at the conference also discussed several other sustainability issues. Jeremy Hobbins, Chairman of the Li & Fung Group led the discussion on sustainable supply chain management, Patrick Lau, Chairman of EADG spoke on sustainable environmental planning; and Yvonne Li CEO and Founder of Avantage Ventures discussed how companies can create positive societal and environmental impacts that do not affect their financial bottom lines.
The Conference included an interactive afternoon workshop. Winky Ng, CUHK MBA and President of the CSR Conference said that the idea behind the interactive element was to create a forum where participants could challenge company policies and help to “realize a culture where CSR is the backbone of every business in Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of Asia.
Nitin Damodoran CUHK MBA and Vice President of the CUHK CSR Conference said that he was pleased with the turnout at the event and the professionalism of the speakers, moderators and participants. The aim of the Conference, to get more people talking about CSR in Hong Kong and mainland China, was achieved.
“I got to learn new facts about the companies present, the challenges they face, and how they are tackling them”, he said.
Post-MBA, Nitin who joined the programme from S&P Capital IQ, says CSR consultancies are now among his options for job opportunities and envisions CSR initiatives being incorporated in every company’s bottom line.
Winky says he won’t specifically apply to CSR roles but will seek out new ways to input socially responsible practices as he enters the world of finance in Asia. He says, “An MBA trains you to become a great leader and what I will take out of this experience is that CSR has to be considered as part of everything we do from now on”.
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