Even company directors need a protected environment to thrive As the Hang Seng Index hit a six-year high, the picture beyond the bottom line, particularly environmental protection, shows directors of the city's listed companies have little to be proud of. A Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries survey of all 961 main board companies found that only 48, or 5 per cent, had reported on their environmental protection measures. That is much lower than in northern European countries, Australia, and Singapore, institute chief executive Phillip Baldwin said. Mr Baldwin, in a podcast interview alongside institute president Richard Leung, said a lack of mandatory requirements is central to companies not issuing environmental reports. 'We hope the survey can help raise listed companies' awareness of the need for adopting a good environmental protection process,' Mr Leung said. The survey indicated that larger companies, such as HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, CLP, and MTR, are most interested in environmental reporting. Less-concerned small firms may believe it will be expensive to introduce steps to protect the environment, whereas good environmental measures will help increase a firm's efficiency, he said. They would also make Hong Kong more liveable, even for directors. Trees can bank on Hang Seng Hang Seng Bank is one of the few listed companies taking action over the environment. Its customers increasingly share this concern. Since the bank started electronic statement services in February last year, almost 120,000 Hang Seng personal account holders have opted to receive statements via email rather than by post. Each day sees a further 200 account holders choosing e-statements. That amounts to a saving of 5.6 million sheets of A4 paper a year. Not bad. A further 640,000 sheets of paper are being saved annually as 10 per cent of shareholders are receiving annual reports or other notices electronically. As part of its go-green campaign, Hang Seng Bank in January decided to plant a tree for every shareholder who chooses e-statements. So far, 10,000 trees have been planted at Ma On Shan Country Park this year by 150 bank volunteers, led by chief executive Raymond Or Ching-fai. Since 1999, the bank has planted 50,000 trees. Good fellow puts faith in forests Good Fellow Group is also banking on trees to get a message across. The erstwhile mainland textile outfit has spent HK$560 million to buy a forestry company claiming to possess technology that will make trees grow faster. A useful trick in its business of planting in Shandong and Shanxi to supply wood to paper-making companies. Good Fellow forecasts 80 per cent of its net profit and half of its revenue will come from forestry within two years. As a sign of its growing confidence, it proposed this week to change its name to China Grand Forestry Resources Group. Olympics mascot crunches numbers Huan Huan (left), one of the mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, came under the spotlight at the Financial World Expo 2006 in the Convention Centre in Wan Chai yesterday. Huan Huan, one of five Beijing Olympic mascots, appeared in Manulife International's booth as the insurer is an official games sponsor. Another insurer, AXA, competed with a more adult attraction, the chance of winning a two-seater smart car worth HK$130,000, the grand prize in a lucky draw for visitors to the three-day exhibition. Perhaps less immediately attractive to many executives was a booth targeting their waist lines as much as their bottom lines. Mence, a skin and body care company, offers help to men keen to lose weight and slim down their public profiles. The representative said the presentation had little to do with finance but the company's services would meet the needs of many financial professionals.