According to the United Nations “World Population Prospects” report, the global population surpassed 8 billion in November 2022. Immediate challenges like climate change and inflation are issues that all nations must collectively confront. The Times Higher Education’s “World University Impact Rankings,” which evaluates universities based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranked NCKU in Taiwan 24th globally out of 1,705 universities, making it the top university in Taiwan for the fourth consecutive year.
The NCKU Alumni Association UK, in collaboration with 《The Icons》, an international celebrity magazine from Singapore, hosted the “2023 Taiwan-UK Sustainable Development Forum” on the 16th of London time at Birkbeck, University of London. This forum was organized under the guidance of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, bringing together entrepreneurs, scholars, and elites from the UK, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and various European countries to discuss solutions and engage in cross-border exchanges on sustainability issues.
SDGs Index Taiwan Organizer and former Cheng Kung University President Professor Huey-Jen Jenny Su, emphasized the importance of addressing issues like climate change from the perspective of higher education, focusing on the cultivation of sustainable talents. Professor Su encouraged NCKU’s alumni worldwide, including second and third generations, to contemplate sustainability issues based on their local observations and contribute to SDGs goals in cross-national issues and events.
Leslie Yu-Pei Tsai, CEO of the NCKU Future Smart Factory, highlighted NCKU’s global efforts in promoting ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and SDGs issues, including core working groups such as “Forest Carbon Sink ESG,” “D4Climate Digital Climate Action,” “Campus Experimental Finance,” “University Impact Sustainability Index,” and “Impact Investment.” These initiatives will continue to be developed, and alumni from various countries are encouraged to work alongside their alma mater to promote global sustainability.
Dr. Dorothy Wei-Hua Chien, Chair of the Global Corporate Sustainability Development Promotion Committee, emphasized the importance of sustainable leadership thinking. He stressed the significance of “supply chain dialogues” in bridging communication between upstream and downstream manufacturers in the industry, focusing on the exchange of sustainable issues to collectively establish a sustainable net-zero mindset. Additionally, Dr. Chien highlighted the importance of internal sustainability thinking within organizations, enhancing the understanding of sustainability issues from board members to grassroots employees. This internal cultivation is expected to lead to ongoing refinements and strategies aimed at optimizing net-zero outcomes.
Shane Dai, Director of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce Youth Committee and a long-term advocate for European sustainability issues, pointed out that early corporate social responsibility was merely charitable actions or donations from partial profits. Modern corporations need to focus on the three facets of ESG, as it not only enhances their image but also directly affects their financing capabilities and tax planning. In an era of increasing global population, intensifying climate change, and inflation issues, more capital is inclined towards companies that align with ESG standards. Companies neglecting this trend risk resource scarcity and decreased market competitiveness.
Sandra Cho, President of the NCKU Alumni Association UK, expressed his honor in collaborating with 《The Icons》 to hold the “2023 Taiwan-UK Sustainable Development Forum.” The event gathered influential figures from various fields worldwide who are pioneers in ESG and SDGs sustainability issues. They shared forward-looking insights and experiences to create a prosperous future that values human well-being and Earth sustainability. The NCKU Alumni Association in the UK is committed to assisting scholars in staying current and strengthening the connection between alumni and their alma mater, fully utilizing the role of overseas alumni associations.
Furthermore, Harry Hsu, a director of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce Youth Committee and CEO of《The Icons》, stressed that promoting global sustainability issues must start with leaders, whether in corporations, international organizations, or economies. Only when decision-makers have a consensus can these issues be effectively implemented. Additionally, Hsu pointed out that in the current critical situation of sustainability issues, the concept of doing good without seeking recognition should be discarded. Leaders from all sectors must maximize the dissemination of their concrete actions or visions related to ESG and SDGs across borders to create a greater positive impact.