Environmental group urges firms to cut prospectuses, reveal impact

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 December, 2007, 12:00am

A group has demanded that listing companies include environmental evaluations in prospectuses for their initial public offerings.

The call by Green Sense came as the group said paper used in listing prospectuses last year would entail the felling of more than 15,000 trees.

And amid all that paper, just a couple of pages, if any, were devoted to discussing the companies' environmental record, the group claims.

Green Sense collected 74 prospectuses from 81 companies listed this year and found they weighed an average of 1.1kg.

On the assumption that each company would print 10,000 prospectuses, this added up to 900 tonnes of paper or 15,312 trees, the group said.

The thickest prospectus had 812 pages and weighed 1.98kg. Sixty-one companies printed Chinese- and English-language versions separately, and the remaining 13 combined the two versions in one volume.

Green Sense urged banks not to give out prospectuses to investors and to place a few copies at the bank for reference instead.

It also suggested the stock exchange require every company to conduct an environmental evaluation when it was listed.

'Twenty-six of the samples we collected did not mention any environmental protection measures,' Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said. 'Even when companies did include such measures, there were just one or two pages about them.'

The prospectuses averaged 501 pages and included an average of 1.2 pages on environmental measures. Green Sense suggested that every company evaluate greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste production and suspended particles emitted, and reveal that information in its prospectus.

'If the company has a bad performance on environmental issues, the stock exchange should consider banning it from listing,' Mr Tam said.