Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Chinese executives not doing enough on global warming

June 2007

Most Chinese senior executives appear to be looking at the impact of global warming on their businesses but 77 per cent to lack a defined energy policy to deal with it, according to a new survey.

About half of the more than 400 interviewees said technology must be used to solve the problem, and the survey found there was a high demand for chief energy officers to be appointed. Of the respondents, however, 82 per cent indicated that nobody in their company was responsible for developing an energy strategy, compared with 70 per cent in the US, 42 per cent in the UK and 55 per cent in Canada.

The study, by the global communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton and its polling partner Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, examined the viewpoints of 420 senior executives and information technology decision-makers from China, Canada, the UK and the US, to determine how to balance economics and ethics in environmental policies.

Vivian Lines, president and chief operating officer of Hill & Knowlton Asia Pacific, said: ‘Awareness of the impact of global warming is increasing quickly in China and there are growing signs of a drive to use energy more efficiently. However, few companies are currently plotting a measurable action plan to drive return on environment. The situation is the same globally. Despite the hype about climate change few companies are taking action.

‘We expect reputation, risk and return to suffer until companies really stand up and take charge, and industry as a whole sets the standard for measuring return on environment.’

Joe Paluska, head of Hill & Knowlton’s worldwide technology practice, said: ‘Ultimately, we expect companies will need to quantify the return on the triple bottom line – people, profits and planet – or their reputation and valuation will suffer.’

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