Asia Spotlight: Balancing Growth and Impact


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For Multinationals it is pivotal that they grow their business in ways that benefit customers, the environment and society. This whitepaper discusses solutions to help your organisation grow in China, specifically focused on finding the key to sustainable business in Asia.

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Asia Spotlight: Balancing Growth and Impact

  1. 1. Helping yourorganisationgrow in China3 whitepapers to help you understandthe challenges you may face Working and Winning Together with Local Partnerships Security and the Speed of Change Balancing Growth and Impact
  2. 2. Helping your organisation grow in ChinaBalancing Growthand ImpactKey to sustainable business in AsiaIn the 1990s, BT made a big decision that changed the course of its future. With 98% of itsearnings coming from its home market in the UK, the company embarked on a bold expansioninto international markets.At the same time, the company also planted the seed of a Greener business by pledging tooptimize environmental performance across its organisation, and for the first time settingcarbon reduction targets not only in the UK but around the world.In just a couple of decades, BT had grown 10-fold in revenues from GBP 2.3 billion to GBP20 billion this year, with most of this contributed by its major operations in Europe, NorthAmerica and Asia Pacific.Today, BT has achieved a 59% reduction of its global carbon emission target at the same timecut energy consumption by 2.5% annually by becoming more energy efficient and increasinguse of renewable energy. BT has achieved a 59%BT has also led the telecommunications sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the most reduction of itsprestigious index tracking financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies, global carbonfor eight years in a row. emission targetBT’s experience exemplifies what global companies must do to balance growth and impact toachieve sustainable business. As more and more of these companies expand their operationsin Asia, particularly China, they need to think Green from the start. BT China Thought Leadership 7
  3. 3. Sustainability at the heart of future growth Global companies have always been part of Asia’s huge success story. Today, more than 30% of the Forbes 500 companies have operations in the region, and this is expected to Today, more steadily increase as multinationals rely more heavily on Asia to continue growing much faster than the West. than 30% of the Forbes 500 In a survey conducted by BT, over 80% of its largest multinational customers revealed that they companies are already expanding or planning to expand their business in Asia, particularly in China and have operations India. This ongoing shift in the market further highlights the critical role of multinationals in in the region balancing the impact of their rapid growth to the local environment and overall climate change. In China, for example, sustainable development has been synonymous with “harmonious development”, and has become deeply engrained in the government’s long-term vision. In its current 5-year plan, the Chinese government has a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 40%-45% between 2005 - 2020 through better energy efficiency and low- carbon initiatives across the industries. In line with this, China has begun to lead the world in terms of installed capacity for renewable energy with around 17% of its total energy demand now coming from wind and other renewable sources. As a result, multinationals are closely aligning their programs with large-scale initiatives like those in China. Many are planning with long time horizons, as far as 50 years, in order to assess their cumulative carbon footprint and how they can make changes now. They are also joining hands with various stakeholders from the public and private sector. Benefits for customers, The ICT the environment and society industry as a For multinationals, it is vitally important that they grow their business in ways that benefit whole could help customers, the environment and society. cut greenhouse gases by as much With the technology sector being one of the fastest growing, key players in the industry as 15% and save including BT supported the Smart 2020 initiative, which in 2008 took an in-depth look on up to US$956 the role of the industry in the fight against climate change. billion by 2020 The findings, which were independently assessed by McKinsey & Company, revealed that the ICT industry as a whole could help cut greenhouse gases by as much as 15% and save up to US$956 billion by 2020, by developing systematic and practical assessment methodologies and tools.8 BT China Thought Leadership
  4. 4. The Smart 2020 report also found that while the ICT industry has a huge responsibilityin building a low carbon economy, it actually plays an even greater role in helping otherindustries use technology to support sustainable business.Through improved automation, for example, the report found that China can optimize thetransport systems involved in the manufacturing supply chain to reduce gas emissions by10%, delivering as much as 200 million tons (Mt) CO2e savings.Applied globally, optimized motors and industrial automation would reduce 0.97 GtCO2e by2020, which is worth US$107.2 billion. Smart grid technologies were the largest opportunityfound in the study and could globally reduce 2.03 GtCO2e, which is worth US$124.6 billion.The Smart 2020 report has become a cornerstone in the Green Tech revolution and furtherreinforces the need for global companies, regardless of industries, to better integratetechnology into their overall sustainability program in order to save the environment and atthe same time reduce business costs. A BT study showed thatLeveraging technology to its use of conferencingbalance growth and impact prevented more than 11 millionAs global companies begin their journey to sustainability, they need to first consider a carbon kilometres ofimpact assessment to help identify their current and long-term carbon emission, and identify car travel andcost-effective ways of using information and communication technologies to reduce this. the emission of some 2,800Global companies also need to consider optimizing their network infrastructures, and makingsmarter choices with wider use of technologies such as, Telepresence, for example. In 2010- tonnes of CO211, a BT study showed that its use of conferencing prevented more than 11 million kilometresof car travel and the emission of some 2,800 tonnes of CO2.With ever growing mobile workforce, global companies can further reduce travel andcost through telecommuting or flexible, work-from-home solutions for their employees.They can also eliminate the need to power separate voice and data networks with unifiedcommunications, and choosing Greener data centers, which gives them options to host theirapplications in facilities that use significantly less power.As more global companies increase their footprint in Asia, they are realizing that each stepthey take towards sustainability can save both the environment and their bottomline, and thattechnology holds the key to help them balance between growth and impact. BT China Thought Leadership 9
  5. 5. Offices worldwideThe telecommunications services described in this publication aresubject to availability and may be modified from time to time. Servicesand equipment are provided subject to British Telecommunicationsplc’s respective standard conditions of contract. Nothing in thispublication forms any part of any contract.© British Telecommunications plc 2011.Registered office: 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJRegistered in England No: 1800000Designed by 63042