Being one of Asia’s first carbon-neutral companies, Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) makes sustainability a priority and is willing to turn down profitable projects if they fall short of the company’s green requirements.
“There were certainly investment decisions which we have not taken and businesses which we have gotten out of. People questioned maybe because there’s a certain degree of spoilsport. But there are also businesses that we went into thinking and hoping that there’s money to be made,” chairman Heinrich Jessen told CNBC’s “Managing Asia. ”
One of which was ditching plastic-based covering and opting to produce paper-based packaging for the electronics industry in 1997.
“We made a rather large investment in paper-based packaging from recycled news print, [but] it turned out that the market was much smaller than we had thought. We’re still doing the business though, because it fits the philosophy of going green,” Jessen who has a master’s degree in Industrial Environment Management from Yale University said.
From the end of regulators, companies are also not recognized for their efforts to operate in a more environmentally friendly way. Hence, Jessen recommends the implementation of a carbon tax.
“There are no tax savings when it comes to carbon neutrality and there’s not much interest from the market so that is disheartening,” he said.
Despite these, the third-generation boss told CNBC he is not giving up on his pursuit for greener pastures “I think somebody’s got to [take a] lead in this... There will be a critical mass at some point that will take this on and I think it doesn’t harm to be the model for that.”
~ Article excerpt from CNBC (Sep 25, 2015)