Businesses urged to go green at Asia Economic Summit in Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Dec 9, 2008
During the 4th Asia Economic Summit held in Hong Kong, participants said Asia's sustainable future lies in going green.
Environmentalists have long been warning that the threat of global warming and climate change is becoming more real every day. Now, business leaders said it is high time the corporate world takes responsibility.
HSBC, which has installed new energy-efficient air conditioners in its headquarters, became the world's first major bank to commit to going carbon neutral.
Business leaders said other corporations should follow suit by getting into the "green building" movement.
Mark Clifford, executive director, Asia Business Council, said: "Green buildings do not mean sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter. They mean buildings that are designed well, that use good technology, good glass, good cooling systems and natural lighting."
The Asia Business Council, which is an independent association of CEOs from leading Asian companies, said Asia is trailing its western counterparts in taking environmentally friendly initiatives.
It said Hong Kong in particular is lagging behind, especially in green buildings. According to the Asia Business Council, an 18-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong or Singapore uses the same amount of energy as 900 cars.
The council said green buildings can reduce 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. And even though construction of green buildings may cost up to 30 per cent more upfront, they said the investment will be repaid over the life of the building in terms of energy savings.
The Asia Business Council also believes that the future focus of building energy efficiency will be in Asia, particularly in China and India.
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