Asian Firms Get Poor Marks on Environmental Awareness

Asian Firms Get Poor Marks on Environmental Awareness
Asian companies scored poorly on "clean and green" awareness, a group that promotes corporate governance in Asia said Wednesday.
Forty-two percent of the firms queried by the Asian Corporate Governance Association did not respond to its environmental survey while 64 percent of those who did received a score of zero, according to the findings published in Singapore's Business Times.

The survey covered 582 companies. The highest number of respondents came from companies in India, Thailand and the Philippines. The lowest response rate was from Indonesia, which has been ranked as one of the largest carbon polluters in the world through deforestation.

Among the companies that scored well were those from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Indonesia came in last out of 11 Asian countries.

"We see corporate governance as about how a firm is run beyond just its financial bottom line," the association's report on the survey said.

"It seems implausible to say that a company has good governance just because it displays satisfactory financial data and shares the returns equitably with all investors, irrespective of whether the corporation is reckless with regard to social and environmental issues," it added.

Companies with the highest clean and green scores came from the technology, petrochemical, automotive, and power and gas sectors.

South Korea's Samsung emerged at the top with a score of 100. HSBC bank in Hong Kong was among six companies at 95 along with Japan's NEC, Sharp and Toyoto, South Korea's Posco, and Taiwan's Zyxel.

"It has not yet sunk in for most corporate managers in Asia that whatever business one is in, it will have a carbon footprint," the report said.


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