Perspective

Amy Jiao BSR Blog
August 23, 2013
In February 2012, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued the Green Credit Guidelines to encourage implementation of its green credit policy, which was launched in 2007. The guidelines encourage banks operating in China to deny loans to energy inefficient, polluting, or socially risky enterprises, and instead to support green industries and projects.
Vehicle emissions graphic
August 15, 2013
According to annual air quality reports from Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD), there’s been no significant improvement in roadside emissions during the past few years. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), in particular, have been on the rise since 2008. The main culprit, according to EPD research, are LPG taxis and light buses, which account for a mere 4 percent of Hong Kong’s vehicles, but contribute up to 40 percent of roadside NOx emissions due to the malfunction and improper maintenance of vehicles emission control devices such as catalytic converters.
A polite request to Burma's energy-hungry neighbors
August 15, 2013
Questions over the future of Burma's energy policy are arising yet again. Not only has Thailand's energy minister denied that bribes have been given by the state oil company PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) but China has stepped up its pressure to reignite the environmentally bankrupt Myitsone dam project. Thai energy minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal said that PTTEP had been doing business in Myanmar for over 20 years and had paid concession fees as specified in the contract. He added they had not paid any extra sum to any person close to the government and its accounts were checked by the Office of the Auditor General.
Conentrated solar power plant
August 09, 2013
China's solar industry is exuding signs of confidence again. Troubled Suntech and China Sunergy managed to regain their listings on the New York Stock Exchange, companies are gaining lines of credit again and order books look healthy. For all the cheer, however, there is still plenty of blinkered thinking on the future of the industry in China. The country’s solar companies are feeling more confident now that Chinese trade negotiators put one over on their EU counterparts. The day after the EU/China solar trade agreement shares of Chinese solar panel makers rallied in New York while European solar shares fell.
CDP water risk for the mining sector
August 02, 2013
The importance of Asia's water resources have yet again been highlighted in the most basic of financial terms. Asian mining companies look set to financially under-perform some of their international peers according to new research driven by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Eurizon Capital shows that those taking action on water-risk do better. The new research report, Metals & Mining: a sector under water pressure, calls for a reassessment of current valuation models for the companies in the industry. The study found that the largest companies in the metals and mining sector are significantly under threat from water risks
A contrast in Hong Kong pavements
August 02, 2013
Good city planning is a matter of simple economics. The street environment is a public good because it is non-excludable. It is also non-rivalrous, in that an individual can enjoy the street environment together without compromising another person’s use. However, a typical downside of the “commons” is that they are not often looked after and cared for like private property. Public goods like streets and roads should be properly planned and managed with different users in mind. However, one of the trends in city planning over the last decades is the excessive priority given to vehicular traffic over pedestrians in road planning.
Stopping BMW in China
August 02, 2013
The crack of China's environmental whip was heard across the foreign investment community when BMW was told to pick up its environmental game. “Drinking polluted water while driving BMW sedans is certainly not the type of industrialization we are looking forward to,” China’s environment minister, Zhou Shengxian, told the People’s Daily. The environment ministry criticized an application to double capacity at a joint-venture factory, saying there had been insufficient investment in environmental protection measures.
The great Pakistan flood of 2010
July 31, 2013
In spite of Pakistan both dissolving it's climate change ministry and slashing its development budget by more than 60 percent, a Chinese company has promised to create a solar fund worth USD3 billion for the country. It's the sort of good news story the government is keen to see. But for the country to pin its hopes on such promises, flies in the growing evidence that climate change will hit Pakistan hard. Its current conventional energy policies cannot cope with demand and only lip-service has been given to renewables.
Austerity ahead for the green sector
July 25, 2013
As China’s State Council announces a ban on any new government offices or buildings, a slowdown in China's growth continues to worry economists. Amid attempts by China's cabinet to beat the importance of frugality into its party apparatchiks and the central bank announcing 'banking reforms', ten major banks have committed themselves to supporting the green sector. It is optimistic news for the sector as the government tries to get a grip on spiraling levels of debt.
GRI reporting future
July 24, 2013
At its May conference in Amsterdam, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released the fourth generation of its sustainability reporting guidelines, the G4, to an audience of more than 1,600 corporate sustainability practitioners, NGOs, and the media. The update was eagerly awaited, given that the G3 guidelines were first introduced seven years ago (an eternity in the fast-moving world of sustainability) and given that several other reporting frameworks, principles, standards, and mandates have emerged since 2006 that have changed the reporting landscape.