Chemical giant SABIC lights the way on sustainability
SABIC, one of the world's leading diversified chemical companies, has just been awarded Shanghai Daily's Sustainability 2021 Excellence Award for Corporate Social Responsibility for its enlightening Lights of Our Future program that the company has implemented for years to deliver its commitment to empowering the younger generation with the power of chemistry and creating a better and sustainable future.
Launched in China in 2014, Lights of Our Future is SABIC's flagship global corporate social responsibility program in partnership with JA China, member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, one of the world's most-impactful youth-serving non-profit organizations. With the aim to create a positive and lasting impact on Chinese young generation's awareness of sustainability and inspire their creativity and innovation in environmental preservation, the program features a series of public lectures by SABIC's qualified volunteers from diverse academic backgrounds to middle school students.
This year the program also has the support of Shanghai Daily and the Office of Shanghai Ethical and Cultural Building Committee.
"While helping communities achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development, the chemical industry needs the support of younger generations who are enterprising and pioneering," said Li Lei, vice president of SABIC and president of North Asia SABIC.
"We are very proud to have the opportunity to help our next generation and the public discover from multiple dimensions the power of 'Chemistry that matters™' that helps change the world and explore more practical and sustainable solutions with their creative thinking," he added.
Despite obstacles brought about by the pandemic, SABIC and JA China co-hosted two public lectures on sustainable development – with particular focus on carbon reduction – for two middle schools in Shanghai, continuing their Lights of Our Future tradition this year.
The two lectures attracted more than 600 teachers and students from Shanghai Shidai Middle School and Pudong Foreign Language Middle School affiliated to the Shanghai International Studies University.
Volunteers started the lecture by sharing a series of recent news items about extreme weather and outlining governments' and environmental institutions' efforts for sustainable development.
The lecturers gave students some examples of how enterprises are working on sustainability. Students were encouraged to share their views on the relationship between economic growth and sustainable development.
Students were also asked to think about how to support China's aim of peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.
As a company which is a pioneer in moving toward a circular economy for the good of people and the planet, SABIC showed students how plastics can be recycled and reused by applying its circular innovation – using the TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and services as an example.
SABIC has always been committed to promoting education on sustainability in China. Lights of Our Future is its hallmark of such effort. It is made up of a series of courses developed by SABIC volunteers and JA China with specially designed and developed systematic teaching content and teaching materials for sixth and seventh-grade students.
Since its launch in 2014, more than 600 SABIC volunteers have contributed more than 8,000 hours to the Lights of Our Future program by designing teaching materials and conducting lectures. The project has educated more than 6,000 students in China.
"Starting in 2019, our students have been able to learn from this public course. It not only allows students to learn about sustainable development but also allows them to establish sustainable development concepts and values," said Huang Xiaohong, principal of Shanghai Shidai Middle School.
"Students not only can apply what they have learned and pay attention to the small things around them but also have some judgment ability and can think about problems in a more comprehensive manner and make a more correct choice.
"They are now able to act within their ability to help shape a sustainable future and make the world a better place."
Additionally, as a member of the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers, SABIC has worked with other member companies to hold Open-To-Public Day since 2009, which effectively raises the awareness of communities and stakeholders and their understanding of chemical science and related industries.