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Productivity is a key driver of economic growth, competitiveness, and improvement in the quality of life. However, the slowdown in productivity in recent years, especially in more developed countries, has created concerns about the long-term global economic outlook.
Excellence in productivity no longer guarantees that an organization will survive and thrive in a world of constant change and uncertainty. To be resilient, organizations must take a long-term view and develop future readiness strategies, address risks, and seize opportunities for productivity increases that can fit and be sustained in the highly uncertain, complex future and achieve sustainable productivity.
The APO in cooperation with the China Productivity Center (CPC) organized a workshop on Corporate Sustainability Management for SMEs, 25–29 September 2017, in Taipei. The workshop was aimed to provide SME participants an opportunity to understand various aspects of corporate sustainability management and its implications for the industry.
Addressing the inaugural session, Dr. Eugene Lin, Director of the Integrated Business and Training Services Division, CPC, thanked the APO for selecting the ROC to host the meaningful sustainable productivity-related workshop for the benefit of member countries, especially in the era of Industry 4.0. He pointed out that excellence in productivity alone was no longer a guarantee of success. A more long-term view that embraced and could be adapted to our uncertain world by targeting sustainable productivity was needed.
During the opening ceremony, APO Secretariat Industry Department Program Officer Jun Ho Kim gave a special presentation on how to sustain productivity enhancement in the era of Industry 4.0. He introduced the overall concept of Industry 4.0, key technologies for smart initiatives, their benefits and impact on productivity, and main roles of sustainable productivity in various sectors.
Twenty participants from 13 APO member countries attended the workshop, representing government agencies, the general public sector, NPOs, and SMEs planning Industry 4.0 programs. Three resource speakers from Japan, the ROK, and Singapore were invited to share their insights and guidelines on sustainable productivity iniatives: Managing Director and Principal Consultant George Wong, Hoclink Systems & Services Pte. Ltd., Singapore; Managing Director/Conultant Yukitoshi Tanno, Aggregator Japan; and Former Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Climate Change Raekwon Chung, ROK.
The resource speakers gave overviews of corporate sustainability management; necessary paradigm shifts for sustainable development; sustainable management strategies for SMEs; and a roadmap, manual, and framework for corporate sustainability management.
Workshop participants visited two best-practice model companies, the screenprinting equipment supplier Atma Champ Enterprise Corporation and hair care product manufacturer Hair O’Right International Corporation, allowing them to benchmark against the sustainable productivity activities undertaken by SMEs in the ROC.