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  Straits Times 24 Oct 07
63% of top execs concerned about climate change
By Alvin Foo

MORE than half of business leaders in Singapore regard climate change as a risk for the long-term future of their companies.

And most feel the government should take the lead in addressing the problem.

Those were the key results of a survey on business and climate change carried out by ACCA Singapore in June, and which were released yesterday.

The online survey was aimed at highlighting the attitudes of key business professionals towards environmental issues, in particular climate change and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

It featured more than 500 responses from a cross section of the business community.

ACCA Singapore country head Penelope Phoon said: 'Although respondents understood that climate change and CSR are important issues, a majority still do not have in place a system to address the impact that their companies have on the environment and on society.'

Although 63 per cent view climate change as a business issue, 76 per cent of all respondents were either not aware of any formal strategy or policy within their companies to address the problem, or did not have any such strategy or policy.

A total of 83 per cent felt that the Government should take the lead in dealing with climate change, with 71 per cent stating that regulation would motivate them to implement policies within their companies to address the issue.

About 60 per cent of all firms do not produce reports assessing the impact their companies might have on the environment and society.

Around 40 per cent of respondents said the biggest constraint was the lack of resources and guidance in preparing such reports.

However, 82 per cent stated that their companies would be inclined to start producing such reports in the future.

And 72 per cent felt that government legislation and incentives would be the spur for them to get cracking on addressing the issue.

Ms Phoon added: 'Most companies equate good CSR with only being environmentally friendly and don't realise that good CSR is a holistic concept, which extends beyond the environment and includes issues like equality in the workplace, service to the community, good governance and ethical dealings.'

Related articles on Singapore: general environmental issues
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