Abby Schultz's Blog

Abby Schultz is a writer and consultant who looks at how companies grapple with climate change and dwindling natural resources in a global culture that expects, even demands, constant growth. Abby has written about the intersection of business and the environment from the U.S., and is fascinated to learn how companies in Asia’s fast-growing economies are confronting – or not confronting – environmental issues fundamental to their operations. She’s also interested in how innovative businesses come up with creative solutions for operating in a resource-constrained world. Abby has written about corporate social responsibility, clean tech investing and socially responsible investing, among other environmental topics. She’s also written about markets and personal finance, for major news organizations including CNBC.com, Dow Jones and The New York Times.
Getting Plants to Grow on Rooftops Without Much Water
March 25, 2013

Planting vegetation on city rooftops can have a huge effect on the environment as plants cool the atmosphere and absorb heat as well as filter carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Green roofs also absorb excess rainwater and reduce the need for heating and cooling.
 
But during Hong Kong’s dry season, from October through March, green roofs require watering, and while most of us don’t like to think about it, water is a scarce resource, particularly in China where water usage is on a path to outstrip supply.
 
One purpose of this blog is to highlight businesses with intriguing innovations that are making the transition to a sustainable economy possible. One of these is a Japanese-based firm that has developed a method for greening roofs and other urban surfaces that uses hardly any water.
 
What the system...

Great Potential if Risks are Overcome
February 1, 2013

The prospect of carbon markets in China is welcome not only as an incentive to address the country’s notorious air pollution, but also if the world is to have some hope of reining in the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.
 
Those who attended a CleanBiz Asia seminar on the status of the fledgling program this week got a good sense of what the Chinese government is doing to make seven pilot carbon-trading programs a reality beginning later this year.
 
The seminar also offered a good sense of the tremendous hurdles these markets face: first, how do you create freely trading carbon markets in China, and second, will the effort result in a meaningful price for emitting carbon dioxide?
 
The good news is the pilot programs in five cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Chongqing) and two provinces (Guangdong and Hubei) appear to be on their way,...

Hong Kong Listed Companies Earn Poor Marks on Environmental Risks
December 10, 2012

 
Hong Kong's publicly listed companies rank last in Asia when it comes to taking care of the environment, according to a new report by the investment research firm that helped Hang Sang Indexes develop the Hang Sang Corporate Sustainability Index Series.
 
This is not necessarily because Hong Kong-listed companies are spewing noxious fumes in the air, it’s that a number of them are falling short in taking the environment into account in the course of doing business.
 
The main reason Hong Kong’s listed companies score worse than companies in other Asian nations on the environment is that many of these public companies are actually based in China, and are only beginning to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, according to RepuTex, which provides ESG research to investors. 
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