Chamber hopes to clear the air with anti-pollution pilot scheme

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am


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Almost 600 companies have joined the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce's air pollution initiative since its launch more than a year ago and hopes are high that a pilot scheme for 10 signatories will encourage firms to become more energy efficient.

But David Eldon, the chamber's outgoing chairman, said the number of Clean Air Charter signatories was still 'woefully low'.

'Many of these things are not, unfortunately, going to work without legislation, but I think the business community should opt to work towards doing things for themselves,' said the former top banker.

Mr Eldon hopes certifying companies that implement the charter will put pressure on shareholders of polluting firms to act responsibly.

'There is a possibility that ... the continued publicity about the health hazards caused by pollution is going to lead the shareholders of these large companies to say: 'The people you are buying from are creating a global health hazard. Do something about it',' Mr Eldon said.

Promoting sustainable development among companies will be a top priority for Lily Chiang Lai-lei, elected the chamber's chairwoman at yesterday's annual general meeting. She also highlighted the environment and development of human resources as areas on which she would like the chamber to focus.

Dr Chiang is the first chairwoman in the general chamber's 146-year history.

She is the founder of Eco-Tek Holdings, an environmental protection solutions provider listed on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market, and is the daughter of veteran industrialist Chiang Chen.