Dear Members and Partners,
Our E-mail inboxes are inundated these days with all manner of information – one piece that recently came through was a blog on the merits of using discarded coffee cups for making bio-fuels. Great idea, but it does not sound viable for Hong Kong as the prevailing green etiquette has ensured that our coffee cups and sleeves are made of recycled paper, and bio-fuels cannot be made out of these. Although, it might be possible for the lids as these are often made out of polystyrene. Ultimately the blog got me thinking about the through flow of materials, and what it takes to drive a resource efficient culture.
This links into the perspective piece in this E-flash on stakeholder engagement – the piece advocates wide stakeholder engagement to understand concerns of stakeholders – BEC is concerned about landfill capacity and strategic resource management, and stands ready to engage with any company (member or non-member) that has a green coffee cup or bigger issue to tackle.
Talking of members, I would like to welcome our latest members including Henderson Land, the MTR, Great Eastern Healthcare, Green Mobility Innovations and KWP Quarries and Lemnis Lighting to the BEC family.
Dr Andrew L Thomson
Chief Executive Officer
Business Environment Council
Sustainability Leadership Forum: Integrating Technology with People to Lead Hong Kong Beyond 2020
Business Environment Council (BEC) held a high level conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 25 March 2011. Over 150 business leaders, academics and participants from the broader society attended to discuss how to lead Hong Kong to a sustainable future through bold action today. Speakers discussed corporate sustainable development covering best practices and business strategies, which integrate technology and talents to sharpen Hong Kong’s competitive edge.
In reflection to the theme of the forum, Prof Joseph Lee, Vice-President for Research & Graduate Studies, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, also one of the recipients of the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award, emphasised on the importance of grooming local R&D professionals with regional and global exposures, “Grooming talents is at the top priority to help Hong Kong stay at the forefront of innovation and technology in China. Besides, we also need inter-disciplinary researches for energy and sustainable development to solve the global challenge, such as integration of ICT, smart sensors and nano-technology.”
Click here to check out more about the EnviroSeries conferences.
Stakeholder Engagement – what is it?
By Dr Margaret Burnett | Head of Corporate Sustainability
We are hearing this term a lot lately but along with much terminology being banded around there is often confusion about what it actually means. It would be inconceivable to go ahead with extensive expansion plans without some input from the Board/shareholders.
Stakeholders are any individual or group of individuals who have an interest in, an influence on, or are affected by your business activities. Of course this definition covers a wide variety of stakeholders from the local community, board of directors, government, employees, investors, local NGOs, business partners, suppliers, buyers to the wider civil society. So how do you 'engage' with all these groups? It also means opening yourself up to feedback from a wide range of perspectives, along with potential criticism, so why should you still consider stakeholder engagement as an important part of business strategy?
Organizations need to know and understand the perspectives and concerns of the people and groups of people that are of most relevance to their operations. What most organizations may struggle with is after focusing much effort on their customers/buyers who else should they "get to know"? Since there are likely several (perhaps many) stakeholder groups that are interested in what you do, where do you start and how do you engage with them?
The key is to be strategic, being ad hoc and engaging from time to time is a waste of resources and potential. Your organization can get feedback on how you are perceived on important issues; identify areas for improvement and understand the risks that may be coming that will directly affect you; NGOs can help raise awareness of issues outside of your immediate understanding; key stakeholders can identify your weaknesses and raise issues to top decision-makers. Engagement can provide you with valuable input as your organization develops goals, metrics (KPIs) and targets; and stakeholders can help you improve – being open about your targets can help drive performance.
Being strategic about stakeholder engagement necessitates taking the time to analyze who are your stakeholders and then to carefully prioritise them. No one can expect you to engage with all your stakeholders all of the time but rather focus resources on key stakeholders and keep open channels of communications available for other groups with whom less frequent contact is necessary. Starting internally by developing dialogue with employees not only helps to build a culture of collaboration but will see many benefits as communication across functional units grows. When employees understand how this helps the organization it will be easier to gain ‘buy-in’ when approaching external stakeholders, in particular those groups which previously may have held opposing views.
Focusing on solutions will be more conducive to creative partnerships and the real dialogue created will help to build trust. By encouraging your stakeholders to be a part of the solution, not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, their input can also improve the quality of your project/decisions while pre-empting problems. So not only is it important to know who are your stakeholders but, equally important is to understand their interest and influence on your organization’s operations. To gain this kind of valuable understanding means to engage or communicate with the prioritised (or key) stakeholders. This means contacting them. Different stakeholder groups will need to be communicated with in different ways. For large employee groups many channels of communication can be created from surveys, intranets, newsletters, and open door policies with management to regular department meetings. The key is to look beyond the engagement itself and ensure feedback is taken on-board and link the engagement process to project decision making and governance.
Contributor: Dr. Margaret Burnett, Head of Corporate Sustainability, BEC. The Corporate Sustainability team at BEC offers tailored-made stakeholder engagement advice and has experience with training on the concept and implementation, and the development of strategic engagement processes. Our team can support you through the process of stakeholder analysis, mapping, prioritization and the development of appropriate communication mechanisms.
Henderson Land Development Company Limited – a leading property developer with businesses in Hong Kong and throughout mainland China, which has been listed in Hong Kong since 1981.
MTR Corporation – one of the world’s leading railways for safety, reliability, customer services and cost efficiency carrying an average of 3.9 million passengers every weekday.Hilti (Hong Kong) Limited
Great Eastern Healthcare Limited – a private company with a long history that specialises in the distribution of pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare products.
Green Mobility Innovations Limited – a local technology company with its core scope of business on electric and hybrid electric vehicles, as well as on the development of the peripheral components and accessories including motor and control system, charger and battery management system.
KWP Quarry Company Limited – a joint venture operation between K. Wah Quarry Co. Ltd. and Pioneer Quarries (HK) Ltd. It is a responsible contractor committed to achieving the highest standards in terms of site safety and environmental compliance.
Lemnis Lighting China Limited – a subsidiary of Lemnis Lighting B.V., a Netherlands based technology driven LED outdoor and indoor lighting company with joint venture operations in China, India, Russia and South-America.
CS4Schools programme, which is a 2-year programme funded by the Sustainable Development Fund, provides valuable opportunities to introduce corporate sustainability concept, success stories and leading practices through a series of activities, such as school talks and company visits.
After students visited the companies, they organised activities in their schools to share what they learnt about corporate sustainability. This is what some of the teachers observed about their students:
"Students who participated in the activities agreed that sustainable development is not restricted to the business community, but is related to all individuals. They find that sustainable development can be practiced in their studies and daily lives." Precious Blood Secondary School
"Student’s feedback was positive, and they said what they learnt was closely related to their daily life." Stewards Pooi Kei College
"After the students visited Schneider Electric (HK), they gave a presentation the senior class during reading lesson. Through data collection and company visit, they learnt more about Schneider Electric (HK)’s contribution in promoting sustainable development. " LKWFSL Lau Wong Fat Secondary School
To know more about CS4Schools, please click here for more details.
China’s Policy Roadmap for Low-Carbon Growth and Hong Kong’s Emerging Role
CCBF, in partnership with The Climate Group and Civic Exchange, hosted a forum on the environmental aspects of China’s 12th 5 Year Plan on 8 April 2011. It focused on low-carbon development, which has a seminal role in the Plan. Prof. WANG Yi from the Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, offered a detailed presentation of the Plan and spoke frankly about the challenges faced in its implementation. He was followed by HKTDC Economist Mr. Wing Chu, who highlighted Guangdong’s pollution and energy efficiency targets in particular. The myriad targets represent opportunities for Hong Kong businesses, particularly in the area of energy efficiency and financial services. CCBF Director Rachel Fleishman moderated discussion with panel of experts, featuring Andrew Lawson (Civic Exchange), Christopher Tung (K&L Gates), Changhua Wu (The Climate Group) and the two speakers. For more on the environmental aspects of the 12th Five Year Plan, see the opinion editorial by CCBF ExCo Chair Thomas Ho (published on 11th April).
Buildings and Energy Efficiency (BEE) Team
Continues to serve the industry
The BEE team continues to work conscientiously on over 160 BEAM contracts, which covers the whole life cycle from initial building design to stages after the tenants move in to the new buildings. Besides, the team is also performing energy or carbon audits, as well as BEAM+ preliminary assessment for the clients.
Corporate Sustainability (CS) Team
The CS Team possesses the professional know-how to incorporate CS to your company from beginning stage towards maturing stage.
Corporate Sustainability team of BEC has been active in engaging the chamber and university. lr Terence Cheng , Senior Specialist of the CS Team gave a presentation at the HKGCC event “Carbon Down, Profit Up – Enhancing Competitiveness Through Carbon Audit. Dr. Margaret Burnett Head of the CS Team gave a presentation on the connection between environmental projects and the health and well-being of employees to the Leadership Forum of Community Business.
Environmental Management (EM) Team
The EM Team provides support to businesses in identifying and managing eco-footprints and offers strategic consultancy in achieving environmental excellence.
The EM Team provides an independent construction sites’ verification for a major local contractor’s internal environmental and safety programme.
Practice Waste Management at Your Workplace
The cost associated with waste generation and disposals are often hidden to business. Achieving better resource efficiency enables better cost control and lead to higher competitiveness. The Environmental Management team of the BEC will hold open-house training on waste management, entitled “Practice Waste Management at Your Workplace” on 27 May 2011 (Friday) at the BEC Auditorium.
EnviroSeries Conference – Sustainable Transportation and Logistics Forum
Sustainable Transportation and Logistics Forum will be held on 30 September 2011 at JW Marriott Hong Kong. This conference will focus on the global trend of transportation network development and identify best practices in the industry. Latest innovations related to sustainable logistics and business opportunities will also be explored.
For opportunities of engaging in this flagship event, please visit our website to get the latest information about the forum.
BEC Supports Events
Seminars on 2011 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence – Information Dissemination and Experience Sharing
Sponsored by the Environment and Conservation Fund, the Environmental Campaign Committee has launched the "2011 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence" (HKAEE) to encourage businesses and organizations to adopt green management, and to present them with an opportunity to benchmark and recognize their commitments towards environmental protection. Business Environment Council (BEC) is one of the eleven organizers of the HKAEE.
The HKAEE comes into its forth year. It provides four types of recognition - the 'Sectoral Awards', the 'Environmental Labels', the 'Carbon "Less" Certificate scheme' and the newly launched “Green Innovations Awards”.
Five Information Dissemination and Experience Sharing Seminars with different topics will be organized in April-May 2011. Experienced professionals and industry practitioners will share their expertise and insights on how to maximize efficiency by adopting various environmental measures to protect the environment and reduce costs in the long-run. In addition, they will share their experiences and achievements in participating in the HKAEE. Eligibility, assessment procedures and application procedures of the 2011 HKAEE will also be introduced in the seminars.
CUMBA CSR Conference 2011 - Global Partnership for a Sustainable Future
The CUMBA CSR Conference is the largest student-led CSR Event in the region. Marching to its fifth year, the Conference has become a premier platform of exchange between the business community, the academia, and the CSR experts in Hong Kong. The conference theme this year is "Global Partnership for a Sustainable Future", and will be held on 11 May at the HKCEC.
4th GreenBuild Asia Pacific 2011
Hosted by Facility Media (publishers of Office Space and EcoBuild magazines) and Association and Communications Events, the 4th GreenBuild Asia Pacific Conference and Tradeshow will take place between 17 and 19 May, 2011 in Hong Kong.
BEC members are entitled to 10% off the conference fee. Use code BEC10 when you register for the conference at http://www.acevents.com.au/greenbuild2011.
The 12th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference
Environmental Protection Department will sponsor qualified Hong Kong companies which focus on environment-related products and services to hold exhibition at The 12th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference on June 7-10, 2011 at China International Exhibition Center, Beijing. The standard size of the exhibition booth will be 9 square meter. The deadline will be 18 April 2011.
IFMA’S WORLD WORKPLACE ASIA 2011
IFMA’s World Workplace Asia – Hong Kong Conference & Expo will provide attendees and exhibitors with a unique opportunity to gain a truly global perspective on facility management. It will be held on 21-22 June at Cyberport Hong Kong.
Hang Seng - Pearl River Delta Environmental Awards 2010-2011
Established by the the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) and Hang Seng Bank in 2007, the “Hang Seng-Pearl River Delta Environmental Awards” aim to recognise and encourage sound environmental practices by manufacturing companies in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
Manufacturing companies (including transportation and logistics) which have completed at least one environmental project from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010 are eligible to participate.