Green power still powerful

by HCA01 Jul 2009

Businesses that persist with their green agenda during a downturn will be the businesses "best placed to seize competitive advantage when the upturn comes", according to Gary James, tax partner at Grant Thornton Hong Kong.

The recent Grant Thornton International Business Report - which asked 7,200 senior executives in privately held businesses across 36 economies to rate the environmental friendliness of their business community - revealed that while 27% of Hong Kong privately held businesses consider the local business community as environmental friendly, followed by Shanghai (24%), Beijing (-12%), Guangzhou (-5%) and Taiwan (10%) - these regions are still below the global average of 30%.

"Amid rising public concern with the environment, businesses are keeping a closer watch on green practices and environmental issues," said James. "It is fascinating to see Hong Kong and Shanghai giving a positive response to these concerns, and showing a good perception of environmental friendliness."

In comparison, Asian countries including Philippines (78%), India (69%) and Thailand (68%) topped the league table. Singapore (58%), Australia (45%), New Zealand (34%), Malaysia (33%) and Japan (51%), all appeared in the top 20. 

Balance percentage* of privately held businesses considering local business community is environmental friendly (%)

Rank Country / region % balance*

1 Philippines 78
2 India 69
3 Thailand 68
4 Denmark 65
5 Finland 62
6 Singapore 58
7 Sweden 56
8 Germany 54
9 Canada 51
10 Japan 51
11 United States 47
12 Australia 45
16 New Zealand 34
18 Malaysia 33
20 Hong Kong 27
21 United Kingdom 24
24 Taiwan 10
28 Mainland China 2
29 Vietnam -2

Global average: 30

Source: Grant Thornton International Business Report 2009

* The figure is the percentage balance of the respondents who state "very friendly" and "friendly" less those who state "unfriendly" or "very unfriendly". The highest possible figure countries are able to record is +100% and the lowest is -100%.

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