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Companies praised for green initiatives

   

The Business Times, July 29, 2009

By BRANDON CHEW

COMPANIES from a range of industries were lauded for innovative, sustainable and green initiatives at the third annual Singapore Green Summit (SGS) yesterday.

Leading the pack in terms of awards won was energy group Power- Seraya.

Organised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), the summit featured three award categories.

PowerSeraya clinched two awards - for best sustainability report and best first-time report at SGS - and a B+ from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the global standard for sustainability reporting. This is the highest level obtained by a local company so far.

Such achievements augur well for sustainability reporting here. KPMG Singapore's joint head of advisory services Tan Wah Yeow said 'few Asian companies have taken up sustainability reporting', especially in Singapore.

In contrast, 80 per cent of companies worldwide included corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their reporting in 2008, according to a KPMG survey.

Mr Tan said companies that adopt GRI guidelines 'pave the way for greater confidence in their business conduct and ethics, and, in turn, their long-term shareholder value'.

ACCA's Singapore country head Penelope Phoon echoed this sentiment. 'In the future, accountants will likely be involved in the preparation of information on companies' carbon emissions and in auditing these disclosures,' she said.

In support of this, the ACCA released the second edition of its Sustainability Reporting Handbook at SGS. The handbook guides organisations through the reporting process based on the GRI's framework.

Other SGS award recipients hail from many sectors.

Packaging supplier Greenpac's Revolutionary Systems-Concept Packaging - nail-free, collapsible wooden packaging - won it the SEC-Senoko Power Green Innovation award.

SMRT and building materials supplier Holcim Singapore won Top Achiever honours in the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards category.

SMRT won for its approach to promoting environmental sustainability, cutting water consumption and carbon emissions.

Holcim won for developing five concrete products with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other products, as well as for its other initiatives.

Other winners included the Keppel Club and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Asia-Pacific.

PowerSeraya chief executive John Ng said the awards validate the company's commitment to CSR.

'CSR is not about winning an award. What the company is doing in the long term is more important,' he said.





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