Advantech believes that rigorous corporate governance and striving for the perfect balance between stakeholders are the foundations for sustainable corporate management. In the past few years, we have begun viewing our internal operations and relationship with society as a Lita tree. Society provides the nutrients for the tree to grow while comprehensive corporate governance and stakeholder balance ensure that the tree’s roots are deep and provide a strong corporate foundation. Sound organizational development strengthens the trunk to support our operations, while cultivating proactive talent enables us to branch out and give shade and shelter to promote market growth. The fruits that these branches bear represent our profits; the nourishment from the fruit falling to the ground symbolizes us sharing our success with our stakeholders and fulfilling our responsibility as a social citizen.
The Advantech Foundation has long been proactive in sponsoring and organizing various special projects aimed at giving back to society. Our major strategy focuses on education (including children and adolescent education, various learning platforms, and IoT education) and on culture and art, especially the cultivation of traditional arts talents. In addition, we are involved in multiple charity activities.
At the 2021–2025 Five-year Vision Planning Meeting we held in September 2020, we decided on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) as one of Advantech’s most important directions. This shift from implementing CSR-based projects to ESG is a substantial change that has full support from the Board of Directors, management, and general employees. It is my hope that 2021 marks a successful beginning for Advantech to adopt and implement ESG as a basis for gauging the sustainability and social impact of our operations.
I believe that 2021 will be a watershed that channels our learnings from CSR into this new ESG era. The main differences I see for Advantech are:
1. By expanding our perspective from the mindset of being a corporation that fulfills its social responsibilities, such as conducting social welfare and charity activities, we will now move on to formally realize the Lita concept as a foundation of our corporate culture.
2. By adopting a broader perspective of social governance and using specific KPIs to measure performance, we will be able to systematically drive the long-term implementation of ESG.
3. We have established a designated ESG & Corporate Sustainability Office and have hired external consultants for specific special projects. We have also incorporated Advantech Foundation into the scope of our ESG strategy.
4. We will be proactive in planning and establishing ESG-centered business groups. This will include building energy management, energy storage, and new smart energy solution projects.
5. We have integrated employee care and social co-enrichment to develop human-oriented strategies into our long-term goals.
Advantech has held the vision of “enabling an intelligent planet.” Based on the Lita spirit, we have been cooperating with our suppliers and partners to build up the IoT industry. The principle of reciprocity in our Lita-based operations has been explained in our previous CSR reports. We have also defined our core abilities, making sure our operations are in line with our CSR direction. Collectively, these efforts have paved the foundation for our sustainable operations.
Since 2021, we have already taken action on several sustainability topics, described as follows:
1. We have established the ESG & Corporate Sustainability Office, to which we have designated personnel to promote ESG. We have hired consultants for specific special projects such as Science Based Targets (SBTi).
2. We have communicated with stakeholders and confirmed our ten major sustainability topics. We have also established goals that can be implemented in the coming 3 years.
3. We will improve our publicly disclosed ESG information so that it is better structured. This will include updated reporting via our website.
4. We have leveraged our core products to proactively realize new smart energy management solutions.