Firms show way in sustainability
Many Australian businesses have contributed to a better environment. RepuTex (HK), which scooped this year's CLP Sustainable Development Award, is a leader in sustainability investment in Asia and carbon market intelligence.
'[In] 2005 the company was partnered by the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank, to prepare a sustainability risk framework for local and multinational companies operating in China,' says Martha Grossman, RepuTex's director for Asia. The Hong Kong-based company has set up a wholly-owned foreign entity in Shanghai, building local research capacities to analyse corporate performance against the framework.
RepuTex has worked with key Chinese and Asian firms and it is the only foreign member of the Shanghai Stock Exchange's corporate governance index committee. Last year, the company and Hang Seng Indexes Company developed China and Hong Kong's first Corporate Sustainability Index Series - to focus on the environmental, social and governance performance of Hong Kong and mainland firms.
'RepuTex's emissions insights and intelligence across Asia-Pacific markets is poised to grow in line with new [regulations] in the mainland and Australia, cap greenhouse gas emissions and grow investment in clean technology and renewable energy.' Grossman says.
Green lifestyle brand Envirosax Asia, a finalist for the CLP Sustainable Development Award, was created in 2004 in Queensland with the aim to provide stylish, reusable bags. Since then the company has added other bag styles and water bottles to its green product collection.
'Ethical and environmental considerations pervade every business decision,' says Katrina Wu, general manager of Envirosax Asia.
The product's purpose is to save the planet from plastic bag and bottle pollution. Each Envirosax bag can carry up to 20kg and can potentially replace 6,000 single-use plastic bags over their lifetime.
'Although educating businesses and consumers about sustainability takes time, we are fully confident in the greater China market,' Wu says, adding that the plastic bag levy in Hong Kong has resulted in changes. 'Sustainable development is embedded in our daily lives.'