You joined BV less than a year ago. Why did you choose to work for a company whose mission is to Shape a World of Trust by ensuring responsible progress?
I was attracted to BV by this exact mission. I believe businesses have a responsibility toward their stakeholders – everyone from employees, to communities, to business partners, to the environment. Awareness of this responsibility has accelerated in recent years, with climate change, social inequality, and corruption scandals coming to light, showing society that businesses shouldn't just be profit-oriented. In order to shape trust, businesses have to prove that they are acting responsibly, and to do that, they need an independent and trustworthy third-party to vouch for them.
With almost two hundred years of history, BV helps businesses shape trust with their stakeholders. BV's role has only strengthened with growing awareness of sustainability topics, along with the new environmental regulations and labor codes appearing worldwide.
I was also attracted by the global reach of BV and the potential impact I could have by working with BV's global network. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of internationalism at BV. As someone who has lived in three different cultures – I was born and grew up in Taiwan, studied in the United States, and have lived in Europe for over 10 years – it was a comfortable atmosphere.
For all these reasons, I joined BV.
You are passionate about sustainable development. Tell us about your background and why, in your opinion, sustainability opens up a world of possibilities for companies.
Sustainability has long been at the core of my studies and career choices, and I've been exploring different approaches to it for years. I studied Urban Planning at university, and a few years later, got my masters in Environmental Policy. However, given businesses' global reach, I decided to make Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social enterprise my focus. After working as an analyst in business sustainability rating for several years, I went back to school for my MBA.
My current role at BV as a sustainability product lead for the Global Service Line is the perfect position for me. It enables me to use my cross-sector experience, as sustainability is the most multi-disciplinary challenge we face, and one where we need to get all stakeholders onboard.
Sustainability is also an excellent source of innovation, either through the development of new operating procedures, or the invention of completely novel business models. Studies have shown that companies with high CSR maturity on average tend to perform better financially. Companies should see sustainability as an opportunity, not as a burden or cost. BV can help businesses tell this story with transparency and credibility.
Last year, the BV Green Line was launched. According to you, how can BV use this range of services and solutions dedicated to sustainability to contribute to fostering a more sustainable world?
BV has been contributing to shaping a greener world through its various services, such as Environmental Management System certification, organic food labels, social audits, and safety inspections, for decades. The launch of the BV Green Line reflects a global awakening to the pressing challenges that all humans face: global warming, biodiversity loss, severe pollution from industrial activities, labor rights violations, etc.
I'm happy that BV is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing sectors that don't necessarily get enough attention. While a lot of public scrutiny goes towards the amount of carbon emitted by transportation (represented in the BV Green Line's New Mobility pillar), the systems that construct buildings and grow food each contribute to roughly a fourth of global emissions. BV addresses these sustainability areas in its Buildings & Infrastructure, Consumption & Traceability and Resources & Production pillars.
BV's role is now more important than ever, because businesses need an objective voice to help them communicate clearly about the integrity of the actions they take to protect the environment and their brand value.