New York, New York – Nearly 100 dignitaries from around the globe attended the SEE A Better Future reception on September 24. The event was hosted by Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) as part of the United Nations Climate Action Summit – a weeklong gathering of global leaders to address climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Established in 2004, SEE is China’s most influential environmental non-profit comprised of about 900 business entrepreneurs. Its reception – co-organized by the US-China YES Foundation and global partners: UN Environment, Science, Policy and Business Forum, IUCN, F20 and Number Five Foundation – included speeches on international cooperation to address climate change and protect the environment by Minister XIE Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative on Climate; Ms. Cristiana Palmer, UN Assistant Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity; Her Royal Highness, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands (Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands) and Sir Alex N. Halliday, Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
A reception highlight was the eagerly-awaited update on China’s Real Estate Industry Green Supply Chain Action by Mr. QIAN Xiaohua, the 6th president of SEE. This green-only procurement initiative in partnership with leaders in China’s real estate industry has reduced pollution and carbon emissions throughout the supply chain since its launch in 2016. Over 100 real estate companies with combined annual sales of nearly $ 282.2 billion, involving more than 4,000 companies along the industrial chain, joined the Action. To date, a total of 3,669 whitelisted suppliers. The Action also recently formed an alliance with the China Urban Real Estate Developers Strategic Alliance on purchasing cooperation – resulting in 146 suppliers reaching environmental compliance whitelist standards and achieving a green purchase of $719 million.
In the reception, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands said saving endangered species is our common goal, and we should work together with environmental organizations as allies.
In addition, Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, expected that the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will be successfully held in China in 2020. Mr. ZHANG Xinsheng, President of IUCN, congratulated Dr. AI Luming on becoming a member of IUCN’s Patrons of Nature.
SEE A Better Future also celebrated SEE’s 15th anniversary, served as the launchpad for SEE’s International Advisory Committee, and included a report on its progress and future direction by Dr. AI Luming, president of SEE.
“By uniting in the spirit of entrepreneurship, SEE, alongside its partners, has made great strides in protecting our planet. But there is much work to do and we will not rest in achieving our vital mission to address climate change,” said Dr. AI Luming.
SEE is the first environmental protection NGO in China with a membership comprised mainly of entrepreneurs who are dedicated to practicing corporate social responsibility, working on three main areas, namely desertification control, pollution prevention and green supply chains, as well as ecosystem conservation and nature education. While the scope of its work continues to expand, SEE Foundation is firmly committed to supporting the environmental cause of China’s civil society.