12 Sep 2011

Labelling scheme to reward green firms (South China Morning Post)

Labelling scheme to reward green firms (12/09/2011)

“Labelling scheme to reward green firms – Move to encourage carbon awareness in a city where there is still a long way to go”
By courtesy of South China Morning Post (12/09/2011)

Carbon Care Asia, a self-sustaining social enterprise which specialises in carbon management, will launch a new labelling programme today to recognise organisations which have succeeded in reducing and offsetting their carbon footprints in eco-friendly practices.

Executive director Trini Leung Wing-yue said the labels, provided with an administrative fee of less than HK$5,000, will be one step in encouraging carbon reduction in a city that had a long way to go in terms of environmental awareness.

“We are a very wasteful society. The amount of waste we generate and the way we handle that waste is almost a crime,” she said.

The labels, which have been approved according to the international standards of carbon neutrality, are a relatively new concept in Hong Kong – though plenty of environmental organisations elsewhere in the world have issued similar labels.

Leung said the difference with these organisations was that they only recognised a company that achieved a 100 per cent carbon reduction.

“We want to acknowledge and encourage companies who have reached different set levels of achievement and are continuing to improve,” she said.

Carbon Care Asia primarily aims its labelling scheme at business organisations and institutions.

“They are the key players of our economy [and therefore] the key players to deliver carbon reduction actions,” Leung said.

She said that although some businesses might be discouraged by the costs of having a carbon management programme, there were also plenty of economic incentives involved.

For example, reduction of waste had cost-efficiency benefits, she said. In terms of business opportunities, companies have a chance to capture an emerging market.

“In younger generations, the sustainability value is stronger. By carrying a label that signifies the company has done something regarding carbon care, customers can differentiate them from their competitors.”

Many organisations are starting to take the green initiative. Hotel chains, retailers and amusement parks have begun to use management plans and work towards achieving meaningful carbon reduction.