Companies Showing Concern for Environmental Issues WWF receiving more funding for conservation initiatives than ever before

Posted 08 October 2007

WWF Hong Kong said today that more and more companies in Hong Kong were becoming more attuned to and aware of environmental issues.

"Companies are becoming increasingly aware that environmental issues have a direct impact on their business, whether they are in the natural resources industry, banking and insurance, or development," said Laura Weeks, Director of Marketing and Fund Raising at WWF Hong Kong.

"In the past year we have had more and more interaction with corporations about involvement in conservation programmes we are undertaking or planning to undertake than ever before, and this is reflected in the partnerships we have developed, and the level of donations received," she said.

"In the 2006/2007 fund raising year which has just concluded we raised more than HK$6 million directly through our Corporate Membership Programme, which is the first step for companies who wish to engage with WWF on issues as diverse as climate change, marine conservation or staff engagement.

"This is nearly 20% up on last year.

"The numbers of donors also rose from 85 to 97.

"When WWF first began its corporate membership programme in 2000, it received HK$1 million from 35 members.

"WWF provides an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, to engage their staff in conservation and volunteering, and to obtain access to experts in marine conservation, climate change and wetland management issues," said Weeks.

"All of those issues have a very clear and pertinent resonance at the moment," she concluded.

One of WWF's major partners is HSBC.

"HSBC greatly values working with environmental NGOs such as WWF. In the case of WWF-Hong Kong we have a longstanding and positive partnership from which we have been able to increase our environmental understanding and build this into the way we run our operations and customer relationships," said Francis Sullivan, Deputy Head of Group Sustainable Development, HSBC Holdings plc.

Tony Tyler, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific Airways, one of WWF's key conservation partners, said: "WWF Hong Kong is an excellent partner for a company such as Cathay Pacific because in many ways we have the same objectives in mind, particularly in regard to making our home city a more attractive place for the people of Hong Kong and visitors alike. We are pleased to have partnered WWF in projects such as the Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund as part of our ongoing commitment to improving the environment."

The Chairman of WWF Hong Kong, Mr Markus Shaw said, "The corporate sector is an extremely important constituency in today's world, with enormous power to be a force for good. We engage with any company as we would any individual: we aim to inform, to persuade and to encourage change. Many companies around the world, large and small, have adopted environmentally responsible practices. In many cases, they are ahead of public opinion and ahead of government regulation. This offers great hope for the world."

About WWF

Established in 1961, WWF's ultimate goal is to stop environmental degradation and to build a future where people live in harmony with nature. WWF has been working here in Hong Kong since 1981 to ensure a better environment for the present and future generations in Hong Kong through implementation of a wide range of focused conservation and environmental education programmes in Hong Kong and Mainland China.