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Eco Advocate Award to Ken Morrison [For chinadaily.com.cn]
Audit and accounting firm Mazars has won the Eco Advocate Award at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Enterprise Leadership Awards (APELA) presented by the non-profit organisation, Asia-Pacific Enterprise Cooperation Limited (AP-EC).
The Eco Advocate Award was the most sought after of the 10 awards presented. Mazars won for their commitment and involvement in the Million Tree Project which aims to slow the desertification coming through Inner Mongolia and affecting towns and cities in China, including the capital, Beijing.
Entrants were required to show action taken to reduce negative environmental impact caused by business operations in the Asia Pacific region and positive changes made to maintain or improve local eco-systems, at a time when the pressures of globalization and industrialization are increasing the competition for resources.
Mazars Greater China Chairman Kenneth Morrison says the Million Tree Project tackles the unsustainable farming practices and climate change that has turned parts of Inner Mongolia from workable farm land to desert – an area that had been expanding dramatically.
Morrison explains "We've all seen how badly Beijing is affected with sand storms. These storms have also forced many people further north to abandon their homes. The desert is continuing to consume China's landscape and each spring it spreads further. Through the Million Tree project we are successfully helping to reforest the area, revitalize the land and block the sand storms. Each tree planted clears the air of around 250 kilograms of CO2 over the course of its life."
Mazars have committed to plant approximately 5,000 trees annually to compensate for the firm's carbon footprint, and have its staff from each of its 4 offices in China participating in tree planting and local education to encourage sustainable farming methods.
On receiving the award, Morrison commented "We're proud to be recognized as a firm taking action to protect the environment but I'd also like to emphasize the hard work of the NGO Shanghai Roots & Shoots, the leaders of this project. The objective of planting 1 million trees has been met two years ahead of schedule. Next month, the first of the second million trees will be planted, so there is still time for more companies to get involved.
The APELA awards are organized by the Asia-Pacific Enterprise Cooperation and supported by governments in collaboration with local enterprise and businesses. Raymond Zhao of AP-EC explains the goal behind the awards.
"Our purpose is to bring together business leaders across the region to inspire greater innovation, fair business practices and economic growth, creating a platform for opportunities and collaboration. Through the awards we discover, recognize and broadcast the achievements of business leaders who demonstrate their positive, humanistic outlook on life, and their tangible efforts for "doing good" in the world."
Entries for these inaugural APELA awards came from Australia, Brunei, China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Entries were judged by an independent and impartial jury made up of distinguished academia and business experts.
The award presentation is being held on March 14th, as part of the AP-EC Sustainability Summit 2013(12 to 14 March 2013 in Singapore).