ESG: An Earnest Dialogue With Nature

What’s your impression when you look at photos of Jade Mountain covered in light snow, captured by late award-winning Taiwanese photographer Chi Po-lin? For me, the images fill my heart with profound love and admiration for life and nature. But they also remind me of the responsibility we have as a community to care for the environment.  

There’s no skirting around the issue: we stand at a crucial tipping point in our relationship with nature, and we must collaborate to take serious action and slow climate change before more irreparable damage is done. 

As part of AmCham’s commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) efforts, and to help Taiwan in its goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, I am pleased to announce that we have formed a chamber-wide ESG Steering Group. This Group will consolidate and highlight members’ ESG initiatives and achievements, with distinct emphasis on people and partnerships as a pathway toward a brighter future with a healthier Taiwan.  

By facilitating open communication, we can foster new connections and meaningful exchange to unlock the potential for the sharing of best practices and expert knowledge, and reciprocal learning. Only through this practice of opening our minds and communicating can we begin to embrace change. 

Our ESG Steering Group will do this by focusing on three key activities. First, the implementation of a two-way mentorship program will encourage flow of ideas between smaller businesses and large corporations. Next, organizing one-day visits for government officials to industrial facilities that don’t correspond to their own field will help deepen officials’ understanding of the way in which businesses operate, better equipping them to draft or implement relevant laws and regulations. Finally, we will nurture and encourage the discussion of international best practices between government and businesses.  

Our goal is that these three key activities, as well as other initiatives by the ESG Steering Group, will provide the people involved in related industries and government agencies with more opportunities to cultivate stronger partnerships. 

At our Hsieh Nien Fan, attendees experienced the joy and unity that comes with giving a living gift. We presented Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Director Sandra Oudkirk of the American Institute in Taiwan with a Texas mountain laurel and a Taiwan rain tree, respectively. These trees symbolize our interconnectedness with nature. The enthusiastic reactions from our guests confirmed that they appreciated the significance of the gifts. Despite the different terrains where the trees originate from, they share the same requirements for growth and prosperity. Similarly, as humans, regardless of our diverse backgrounds, we all need the same essential elements to reach our full potential. 

Chi Po-lin’s passion for Taiwan’s natural beauty and pristine landscapes continues to inspire us as a community to create a lasting bond with our environment. In order to achieve this goal, we must all do our part – individually and collectively – to rebuild and repair our relationship with nature.