Hong Kong – 13 May 2014 – Companies are willing to pay more for cleaner energy, according to research done by the Business Environment Council (“BEC”) Climate Change Business Forum (“CCBF”) Advisory Group – even though it might be more expensive. The 2013 Hong Kong Business Survey on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change reveals that most companies (92%) are increasingly aware of the impacts of climate change and focus on the growing scarcity of environmental resources and the rising cost of power. Survey results also indicate that consensus around action is growing, in part as a hedge against future regulatory uncertainty and also because addressing climate change is increasingly perceived as a fundamental corporate responsibility. Companies are also seeking government leadership to increase building energy efficiency labelling and building energy codes.
Many companies (75%) report a willingness to pay for cleaner energy even though it might be more expensive. But consensus on alternative fuel types remains elusive. Notably, less than half of companies surveyed (41%) support increasing the share of nuclear power in the fuel mix, citing safety and hazardous waste disposal concerns as key reasons. Even more important, especially in light of the current government public consultation on the fuel mix, companies cite lack of information and public distrust of government as major obstacles to creating public buy-in for changing the fuel mix.
"It is gratifying to note that Hong Kong businesses are fully aware of the impact of climate change and are prepared to take this up as a fundamental corporate responsibility. Of course we are concerned about costs but the survey indicates that businesses see clean energy as perhaps a matter of greater importance,” says Eric Chong, Chair, BEC CCBF Advisory Group and President & CEO of Siemens Ltd.
Furthermore, the vast majority (94%) of companies surveyed agree that Hong Kong should follow China’s lead and adopt carbon emissions reduction targets at least as ambitious as those set by China. Companies are looking to Government to act decisively and set robust goals. The question remains however whether China – and Hong Kong – have the political will to achieve such targets.
“The survey results show that Hong Kong businesses are taking active steps to address climate change on the demand side through better managing energy consumption in their operations and their supply chains. They are also actively participating in the discussion on Hong Kong’s future energy supply, which will directly impact their energy costs, their security of supply, and their carbon footprints.” says Mike Kilburn, Head of the BEC CCBF Advisory Group Survey Working Group and Senior Manager at the Hong Kong Airport Authority.
The 2013 Hong Kong Business Survey on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change was conducted by Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, for the BEC CCBF Advisory Group. Approximately 300 companies, targeted to reflect the industry makeup of the Hong Kong businesses community, were randomly selected and interviewed via telephone between August 22, 2013 and September 24, 2013. Detailed results from this year’s survey are available upon request to BEC. Previous surveys can be found on the CCBF website: www.climatechangebusinessforum.com/en-us/research.