Linked to a BSR initiative, this three-part series asks guest experts from emerging economies for their opinions on the role and future of business in sustainability. The first post discusses the need for plural responses for corporate responsibility in India, and the third explores focusing on more than profits for responsible growth.

Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the “chief architect” of China’s reform and opening-up drive, first used the term “well-off society,” which means a society in which all people lead a fairly comfortable life. The 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has put forward the objective of building a well-off society in China by 2020.

The main goals of this objective are to enhance sustainability steadily by:

  • Protecting the environment
  • Using resources more efficiently
  • Enhancing harmony between people and nature

Additionally, the vision of a well-off society involves pushing society onto a path to development that includes the growth of production, an affluent life, and a sound ecosystem. Companies can play a unique role in achieving the above vision.

This is both an opportunity and a challenge. Chinese companies can use their professional advantages (technologies, financial resources and talents, etc.) to solve these challenges while at the same time benefitting from their efforts. “Common Vision, Common Action, Cross-border Cooperation, and Shared Value” (3C+S) will be a key focus for companies to integrate building a well-off society into their business development.

Such endeavors embody companies’ responsible competitiveness and illustrate how companies can sustain their growth in a harmonious relationship with society.