Going ‘green’ makes good business sense

Posted on  29/04/2011  |  Media Centre

Ying Chia
Friday, April 29, 2011
Published on The Brunei Times

THE Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Brunei hopes that local businesses and entrepreneurs will realise the significant potential of green businesses as a result of the upcoming National Environment Conference 2011 (NEC), said Lim Boon Teck, Manager Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Brunei.

“Based on HSBC research, global Climate Change related business or Green Business could be worth US$2 trillion ($2.45 trillion) by 2020. This is a sector with high growth potential (and) we hope through the National Environment Conference 2011, Bruneian businesses and entrepreneurs will become more aware of the significant business opportunities that are associated with low-carbon economy, climate change adaptation and Green technology,” said Lim of what he hoped the NEC 2011 would deliver.

Because of the anticipated threat of climate change, he added, possibly the only common sustainability risk amongst industries and companies may be environmental health. “Specific sustainability risks will differ between companies. For example, sustainability risk for a water bottling company is to ensure the continual supply and quality of their water source. Their sustainability initiative may focus on the environment surrounding their water sources.”

This means businesses will need to consider both internal and external factors to identify their sustainability risk, he explained.

HSBC Brunei has been one of the pioneer organisations in Brunei to adopt greener practices in the workplace, Lim agreed, and as such, “As part of our efforts to manage the environmental impact of our business operation, we have been actively reviewing our energy and paper consumption since 2008. Results from the review and the initiatives implemented have made a positive impact on the environment and our financial bottom line.”

For example, he said, our energy consumption has reduced by twenty-two per cent since we opted for a new water chilled air condition system as well as an identified area where we can save up to 320 tonnes of paper and realized more than $200,000 of saving annually. “Our petrol consumption has also reduced by forty-seven per cent since we changed our senior management car fleet to the more energy efficient Toyota Prius,” he added.

Sustainability issues will obviously differ between companies and across industries he observed, noting that an oil & gas company may place emphasis on health and safety as the priority in their sustainability strategy because “any unwanted incidents will impact their operation, revenue stream and may also result in adverse environmental consequences and reputations risk”.

HSBC’s own sustainability agenda in going forward, Lim added, would have a continued focus on education for disadvantaged children and financial literacy.

“A highly educated population is essential for continuous economic growth. As a financial service provider, we will stand to benefit from these economic growth(s). In Brunei, we will continue to evaluate how we can add value to the excellent education system that has been put in place by the Brunei Government.”

HSBC’s focus on environment awareness and education will also remain a priority, he added, noting that environmental issues requires concerted efforts from the individual, corporate and government.

“We hope greater awareness and education will translate to action. We will also be looking for green business opportunities locally. As countries around the world move toward low carbon economy and take climate change adaptation measure, green technology market is an area with high growth potential and we hope Bruneian businesses will be ready to capture these opportunities,” he added.

The Brunei Times

Source URL: hhttp://www.bt.com.bn/business-national/2011/04/29/going-green-makes-good-business-sense