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Chen Qiyu, Co-CEO of Fosun International: Fosun’s ESG Journey to a Happier Life

Release Time:2022-04-12 Author: Source: Pageviews:
(11 April 2022) Recently, The Asset, a renowned financial magazine in the Asia-Pacific region, conducted an interview with Chen Qiyu, Executive Director and Co-CEO of Fosun International, focusing on hot topics such as the environmental, social and governance (ESG) work and strategy of listed companies which have recently been gaining attraction in the investment market. The article was published on the homepage of The Asset’s website this morning with the headline of “Fosun’s ESG journey to a happier life”. The article illustrates Fosun's ESG work and strategy, as well as the company's ESG achievements, and points out that Fosun International has been taking decisive steps and adhering to its original aspiration of “Contribution to Society” to improve its ESG performance in every aspect of its operations, thereby achieving its mission of “creating happier lives for families worldwide”. The significance of Fosun's existence is to bring more warmth and happiness to the society, which is also the direction that Fosun will strive for in the next 30 years. The following is an edited version of the article:

Fosun’s ESG journey to a happier life

Chen Qiyu, Executive Director and Co-CEO of Fosun International, says ESG embodies the Group’s commitment to “Contribution to Society”.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have been top of mind for many leading enterprises globally, and Fosun International is no exception. Fosun has been taking decisive steps to improve its ESG performance in every aspect of its operations to achieve its mission of “creating happier lives for families worldwide”.

Chen Qiyu, Executive Director and Co-CEO of Fosun International spoke to The Asset about Fosun's ESG work and strategy 

“G (Governance)”: Establish a long-term mechanism for top-down ESG improvement

For Fosun, the journey has not been easy. “Our business covers various industries, and their core issues when it comes to ESG could be very different, especially on the ‘E’ and ‘G’ aspects,” says Chen Qiyu, Executive Director and Co-CEO of Fosun International.

“In addition, the ESG development pace can vary in different sectors. Some industries have higher requirements and demand for ESG, and hence, you need to move fast to find your edge,” Chen Qiyu adds.

Explaining further Fosun’s ESG philosophy, Chen Qiyu says: “We have been looking at enhancing from both the cultural aspect and the top-down approach at the corporate level.”

Chen Qiyu also points out that, “To better manage the Group’s ESG issues, Fosun has established the ESG Committee under the Board. For daily management, the Group has set up an ESG management committee and an ESG working group to help ensure risk management and internal control.”

In addition, Fosun has also established a Carbon Neutrality Committee to work with member companies to define strategic initiatives that must be taken to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions.

“ESG performance is also considered as among the board’s KPIs. We have put forward detailed requirements for the board members on aspects such as enhancing ESG developments, improving ESG report quality, and upgrading ESG ratings to link the Group’s ESG performance with the performance evaluation of the board,” says Chen Qiyu. “We have established a top-down ESG improvement mechanism. With this mechanism, the Group and its member companies can deeply incorporate ESG into the operations and management progressively.”

Chen Qiyu stresses: “It’s also crucial to have a cultural base for ESG developments. Our Partner System, a market-based, benefit-sharing entrepreneurial mechanism, now has more than 140 global partners and more than 800 industry and functional line partners. This mechanism has enabled us to cultivate a group of talents with similar thinking on the cultural level and a sense of identity as a member of Fosun. They function as the core leadership of the company. This sense of identity supports us to implement the ESG ideas more efficiently.”

Excellent ESG rating and outstanding achievements in technology and innovation

In 2021, Fosun’s MSCI ESG rating was enhanced to AA and it is also a constituent stock of the Hang Seng ESG 50 Index (Top 50 Mid-Large Cap), and has been selected as a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index for two consecutive years. For 2021, Fosun reported a revenue of RMB161.29 billion, up 18% from the previous year; profit attributable to owners of the parent rose 26% to RMB10.09 billion.

Chen Qiyu also points out that, “Our four core business segments, namely health, happiness, wealth, and intelligent manufacturing, overcame the challenges brought by the pandemic, and quickly restored growth trajectory, demonstrating the resilience and balanced competencies of Fosun’s core businesses with a sustainable gradual upward trend.”

Fosun takes pride in its accomplishments in the health sector and technology innovation capability. At the beginning of 2020, in an effort to fight the pandemic, Fosun has made full use of the Group's health resources to jointly develop a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine with Germany’s BioNTech, making contribution to the control of the pandemic.

Fosun has also made breakthroughs in the field of cancer therapy. “In June 2021, Fosun Kite’s Axicabtagene Ciloleucel was launched as the first CAR-T cell therapy in China,” Chen Qiyu says, referring to the genetically engineered process of enabling the body to fight cancer cells. Physicians and patients can now access Axicabtagene Ciloleucel for this cell therapy through 81 authorized treatment centres across China. “Fosun has been stepping up its technology innovation investments, making a stride towards the Group’s vision to help people live a healthier, happier and wealthier life to the age of 121,” says Chen Qiyu.  

"S (Society)": Adhere to the original aspiration of “Contribution to Society”, develop business for good, and actively give back to the society

As a global enterprise rooted in China, while actively creating business value, Fosun attaches great importance to corporate social responsibility, adheres to the values of “Self-improvement, Teamwork, Performance, and Contribution to Society”, and actively brings contribution to the society through public welfare programs such as supporting the combat against the pandemic, supporting Africa to fight against malaria, Rural Doctors Program, etc.

Taking Rural Doctors Program as an example, Fosun has been actively supporting rural revitalization. Since the launch of the Rural Doctors Program in December 2017, the program has provided medical and healthcare services to 73 counties in China, involving 24,000 rural doctors and benefiting three million grassroots families as of the end of 2021.

The Group has also contributed significantly towards building a malaria-free world. It has made 200 million artesunate injections available worldwide. More than 40 million lives have been saved from severe malaria, mostly children under five years old in Africa.

Recently, the fifth wave of the pandemic broke out in Hong Kong. Fosun has announced the donation of HK$10 million anti-epidemic materials. In Shanghai, where Fosun is based, “Fosun Warming Spring Anti-Epidemic Support Action” was launched to fight against the Covid-19 flare-ups. Fosun Foundation continues to respond to the donation requests from various parties. As of 7 April 2022, it has made 108 donations and distributed more than 920,000 pieces of materials, such as surgical masks, protective suits, disinfectants and other anti-epidemic materials, as well as food, drinking water and other daily supplies.

At the critical moment of epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai, many employees of Fosun's subsidiaries responded to Pudong's call and signed up to become frontline anti-epidemic workers (who wear white protective clothing) to support nucleic acid testing

Starting from 2020, Fosun has leveraged its global resources to support the fight against the pandemic in China and many countries globally. Its global pandemic relief campaign has been recognized as an outstanding philanthropic initiative by the market. Its fighting spirit and capability to swiftly mobilize resources are notable and likely to translate into the “soft power” and bring contribution to the society.

“E (Environment)”: Act as a responsible global citizen and contribute to the sustainable development of the Earth

Amid the growing impact of climate change, Fosun believes that the “E” of ESG is of urgent concern and a very important task of Fosun. In line with the goals of carbon emissions reduction and carbon neutrality, which are gaining worldwide attention, Fosun has established a Carbon Neutrality Committee to formulate detailed plans for its member companies to achieve carbon neutrality. Fosun aims to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2028 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Chen Qiyu says: “‘E’ is highly related to Fosun’s sustainable development quality. In fact, carbon peaking, carbon neutrality, energy conservation and emissions reduction, etc., shows that we must not only care about our corporate development, but we must also care about the sustainable development of the entire industry, all mankind and the Earth. "

Chen Qiyu adds: “‘E’ is not only related to the sustainable development of our enterprise, it is also highly related to whether we will be able to find a new competitive edge. In this regard, I think technology is crucial and ‘E’ is not simply relocating emissions out of the system or to other places, but we must truly act as a responsible global citizen and a responsible global social organization to address this problem. We must establish major projects, and consider and evaluate ‘E’ in the process of governance of key emissions companies, construction of new projects, and investment of new projects.” 

30 years of establishment, with ESG as a nexus to bring continuous warmth and happiness to the society

Chen Qiyu emphasizes that in addition to "E", the Group also attaches great importance to "S" and "G".

“S” will continue to play an important role in Fosun’s ESG journey. “Our business covers a wide spectrum of industries around the globe, which enables us to get involved in the global economy more thoroughly. We will promote ESG in our supply chain and ecosystem, and continue to integrate our capital and manpower resources so that we will be able to support the shareholders, the community, as well as the harmonious development of society.”

In the aspect of “G”, “We will further diversify our management team and corporate governance structure to accumulate more generalizable experience for corporate governance.” Chen stresses. 

All these efforts are part of Fosun’s mission of “creating happier lives for families worldwide”, and at its core is the Group’s commitment to ESG. In 2022, Fosun enters into the 30 years of establishment. Chen says, “Over the years, Fosun has adhered to the values of ‘Self-improvement, Teamwork, Performance, and Contribution to Society’. The significance of Fosun’s existence is to bring more warmth and happiness to the society. These will be the direction all Fosun staff strive for in the next 30 years.”

Background: Fosun International has been awarded The Asset ESG Corporate Awards by The Asset for many consecutive years

The Asset, a renowned financial magazine in the Asia-Pacific region, is an English monthly magazine. The magazine offers a digital edition with daily updates featuring the latest information. With a target audience of mainly investors, analysts, PE, funds, bond clients, banks and rating agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, the magazine provides authoritative and unbiased coverage of the financial markets together with Asian financial trend analysis, financial research reports, etc. The magazine is highly recognized in the industry and has always been highly regarded by professionals in the financial industry.

The Asset Corporate Awards organized by the magazine is an authoritative and credible awards in the industry. The Asset ESG Corporate Awards has been held for 20 years, and it is one of the leading and longest-running awards in the Asia-Pacific region. Fosun International has been awarded the Gold Award at The Asset ESG Corporate Awards for many consecutive years, in recognition of the company's outstanding performance in various fields including financial performance, management, corporate governance, social and environmental protection, investor relations, information disclosure and corporate communications. The Asset hopes to explore Fosun's ESG work and achievements through an interview with Chen Qiyu.

(The article is sourced from the digital edition of The Asset, and the above text is an edited version of the article with additional background information provided.)