Companies told: Want gold? Go green

Updated: 2011-10-31 16:11

By Song Jingli (

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Whether companies are willing or not, society will push them to provide green products or services, The China Sustainability Award shows.

The China Sustainability Award, jointly launched by, a main Chinese portal website and A.T. Kearney, a global consulting firm, have given a lot of pressure and guidance for companies to operate in a sustainable way in China, according to some of the award-winning companies.

The award, with its Chinese name literally meaning "China Green to Gold Award", aims to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies based in China, to identify and award the best performers in a sustainability context and to identify and share best practices.

In addition to the core award, China Sustainability Award, A.T. Kearney also defines three Excellence in Environmental Sustainability awards, three Excellence in Social Sustainability awards, and one Excellence in Sustainability Awareness award.

Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, one of the oldest beer producers in China, got the Excellence in Environmental Sustainability award for 2011.

Liam Lu, director for the Manufacturing Center Production Management Department and the Corporate Safety and Environment Management Department of Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, told on Oct 27 that he felt very honorable last year to have received the award, but felt more pressure this year. He explained that if Tsingtao Brewery was delisted from award-winning companies, the public may lose trust in the company.

Lu told that his company pays more attention to sustainability due to company strategy and outside pressure. He said that Tsingtao Brewery has to manage its carbon emission because supermarkets like Tesco ask beers on its shelves to be labeled with its carbon footprints.

He added that Jin Zhiguo, chairman of Tsingtao Brewery, had long ago pointed out in his company that carbon can be an asset if managed well, but can also be a liability if mismanaged. Lu said although the carbon trade market in China is not mature, his company has taken measures to run in a low-carbon way to avoid being requested to buy carbon credit in the future.

More and more enterprises have shifted from using "being green" as a publicity means, to actually using it as a guidance to "produce more gold", according to the Companies now invest more money and human resources on research and development (R&D) and process management to speed up their transformation to "greener" ones.

To be a candidate for the awards, companies need to be nominated by netizens and later participate in a survey conducted by A.T. Kearney.

To be evaluated, enterprises need to spend more than ten days to finish questionnaires, which need answers from all departments, including producing, R&D, sales, supply chain, human resources departments, according to Yu Wei, editor-in-chief of

Of all the 110 companies nominated; 42 companies completed and returned a detailed and qualified questionnaire.

Eight companies won the China Sustainability Award. These companies do better in categories involving all along corporate strategy and corporate core value-added activities. Their businesses are more likely to run in a sustainable manner than other candidates and are contributing positively to the ecology and society.

Sunrain, a solar water heater manufacturer, is the only privately-run Chinese company that received this award. The other seven companies are Procter & Gamble (P&G), The Coca-cola Company, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), DuPont Company, The Samsung Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Philips Electronics.