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Green Generation
The Edge Singapore, 3 April 2012
Ruth Yeoh is building YTL's next business pillar and driving home the sustainability message across its divisions. Poised and elegant, Ruth Yeoh chats confidently about her efforts to make YTL a greener business. Looking at her, it's hard to imagine the 29-year-old quaking in her high-heeled shoes. But Yeoh says that's exactly how she felt in 2006, when she first went to the YTL board with the idea of publishing a sustainability report. "You join the company at a very young age and you're in a board room with all these people (who are much older than you). You can imagine how I felt," she says.

"I said we should have a story board that shows what we do, because we do so much. We collect the data but don't report it formally, so my intention was to start doing so. Thankfully, there was buy-in from the start. They knew that this had to be done." "When you talk about capital, it's not just about economic capital. It's about natural capital as well. They go hand in hand. What my father likes to say is business is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment and not the other way around." She also believes the green business can be the next growth driver for the future. And she's doing all she can to drive it.

The same principles for reducing emissions and waste apply across the entire YTL group - using less paper, power and water, and recycling resources. All 36 of the company's subsidiaries and properties now participate in the annual Earth Hour campaign, switching off their lights for 1 ½ hours in March last year.

However, she also points out that although the environment division is a new business for YTL, it is not the newest. "The newest is actually the YES 4G business. You can look at these as fourth-generation businesses." In late 2010, YTL put RM3.3billion into a mobile broadband business called YES 4G that is being marketed as the most affordable 4G mobile internet service in Malaysia. "What we are trying to do in Malaysia is make fast Internet access available to the masses, and that's doing a service to the community too."

Yeoh acknowledges that her environmental business is still a small one - certainly smaller than the communications business. "But it's a growing one. (YTL-SV Carbon) has 18 registered projects and more than 50 in the pipeline. And we're active not only in Malaysia but in Indonesia and Thailand as well." Meanwhile, she continues to labour over her sustainability reporting, with the aim of issuing a sustainability report that conforms to the guidelines of the universally accepted Global Reporting Initiative. And she is pushing for higher standards of sustainability and accountability within the company.

What kind of company will her generation pass on to the next? "I think it will be one that will have definitely established a responsibility legacy," she says.

YTL's Wessex Water wins green scheme awards
Bristol Business News, 24 August 2011
YTL's Wessex Water has won two Green Apple Awards in a national campaign to find Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities.The company, which supplies sewerage services in Bristol, submitted entries for its catchment management and waste reduction and recycling projects, competing against 500 other nominations.

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation, an independent group dedicated to recognising and promoting environmental best practice.Bath-based Wessex Water’s catchment management work, launched in 2005, is a cheaper and greener approach to safeguarding drinking water supplies by working with farmers to stop pollutants entering water sources.

The waste reduction and recycling programme was developed to manage waste effectively and responsibly through reuse and recycling facilities which will help the company meet its goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020.

Many 'firsts' at Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011:Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh honoured at being the first Asian Chairman of Judges Olivia Lum, first female Entrepreneur crowned at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
By Alvin Goh, 8 June 2011
Olivia Lum of Singapore, Group CEO and President of Hyflux Limited was made this year's World Entrepreneur of the Year. Thanking her Lord Jesus Christ and various "angels" in her life, Ms Lum also wished that her award will encourage more women entrepreneurs to participate in the competition. But unbeknownst to her, she had become the first female winner of this award in its 25 years history.

Apart from Ms Lum, there was also another 'first' in this year's World Entrepreneur of the Year. Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh, Managing Director of YTL Group of Companies was the Chairman of Judges and the first Asian to preside over a judging panel that was made up of illustrious entrepreneurs from around the world.

Chairman of the Judges, Dr Yeoh gave a speech and actually congratulated all 49 entrepreneurs for championing business as a force for good. “The judges were genuinely impressed by how much these entrepreneurs are turning the world upside down! I wish we could clone every single one of them hundred times,” he said later.

"It is a very rare privilege for me to preside over the judging of the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year. I speak for my fellow judges, when I say that being a judge was never boring. In fact, it was one of the most productive things we have done in the short space of two days. We found ourselves enlightened, overwhelmed and inspired by 49 compelling stories. Entrepreneurs who make this world a much better place with their passion, vision and determination!"

Commenting on Ms Lum's success, Dr Yeoh emphasised that none of the judges knew that there had never been a female winner in the history of the award. There were various criteria in the judging process but they were fully geared towards finding the 'entrepreneur of entrepreneurs' - the Primus Inter Pares or 'First Among Equals'.

Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh wins CNBC Corporate Social Responsibility Award at CNBC’s 9th Asian Business Leaders Awards 2010
YTL Community, 26 November 2010
“I salute my Lord Jesus Christ and give Him all the honour and credit for this award. I salute all at YTL and fellow nominees for having a heart for Corporate Social Responsibility and for bringing positive change and for incorporating CSR in your DNA rather than being a PR exercise. Thank you very much and God Bless all of you,” said Yeoh when receiving the award.

This year YTL Corporation launched the 'YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet', a community-based conservation programme that is set to directly benefit environmentally-threatened sites in Malaysia and Asia, home to some of the world’s richest natural resources and most extraordinary species and habitats. The US$ 2 million Fellowship fund is in support of Rare, an international conservation group with success in 50 countries.

The US$ 2 million Fellowship fund is in support of Rare, an international conservation group with success in 50 countries. Over the next four years, the 'YTL Fellowship for a Rare Planet' will run Rare's proven model of training local leaders (Fellows) in Asia, to foster conservation at the community level while improving their livelihoods through what are called Pride campaigns - so named because they inspire people to take pride in the natural assets that make their communities valuable.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh made Primus Inter Pares (First Among Equals) Honouree of the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Award
YTL Community News, 25 October 2010
Having been conferred the 2010 Oslo Business for Peace Award – the highest distinction given to a business person for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business - at the fourth annual Oslo Summit on Peace through Trade on Monday evening, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping (Francis Yeoh), Managing Director of YTL was subsequently made primus inter pares.

As ‘First Among Equals’, he was selected by Nobel Laureates Professor Muhammad Yunus, Professor Wangari Muta Maathai and Professor A. Michael Spence and business leaders to represent the six other award honourees, including Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group, and Stef Wertheimer, Honorary Chairman of Iscar Metalworking Company, to address the audience at the awards ceremony.

Emphasizing on the need for business to be “a force for good”, Francis Yeoh encouraged companies to flee “short-termism” and avoid being driven by instant rewards, quick fixes and unethical gains. He also urged companies to adopt corporate social responsibility as part of corporate DNA, instead of mere expediency and gaining media exposure. “I give all the honour and glory to my Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, from Him I derive my passion and purpose to be the salt of the earth and a light of this world. I also wish to thank the Nobel Laureates and everyone associated with this Award for this incredibly humbling experience,” Francis Yeoh said in his address to the audience.

Peers, colleagues and friends from across the globe have offered their congratulations. Madam Ho Ching, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said, “The award is recognition of Francis Yeoh’s inspiring leadership, pioneering spirit and dedication to create a dynamic global business group respected not just in Malaysia but around the world.”

In a congratulatory message, Henry Paulson, former United States Treasury Secretary and former Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Wendy Paulson, Nature Conservancy Trustee, applaud his leadership in the environmental arena, “bringing attention to issues that affect the whole family of man and the planet, and giving support to initiatives that improve man's relationship to his natural surroundings.”

Andrea Bocelli, Francis Yeoh’s good friend and world renowned tenor said, “I have always believed my dear friend Francis is a genius who loves humanity. This award confirms it. I am so happy for him.”

I shudder to think that I deserve to be in the same room with distinguished men and women who have devoted their lives to shape and preserve the moral fabric of our world; and who walk in the light with considerable cost to their own wellbeing. Which is why, I humbly salute the Nobel Laureates who embody the very best of our humanity. I salute fellow Honourees of this Award, for ‘your’ moral courage and determination to bring dignity and hope to our world, using ethical business to transform mindsets and practices. I also salute the many unsung heroes who champion positive change.

For this reason, we desperately need good governance, the rule of law, and transparent regulatory framework in the global economy to rebuild trust and regain moral integrity. We must promote courageous and responsible leaders to high places. And national governments will gain tremendously from following suit. Economics Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz said, “The present societal and economic problems are like festering wounds that can only be healed by exposing them to the antiseptic effects of sunlight.... We must restore the balance between the market and the state, between individualism and the community, between man and nature and between means and ends.”

Being a force for good is not a zero-sum game. Not being so is. And it is a zero-sum game to allow evil to triumph and for good men and women to sit back and do nothing. I am incredibly humbled yet uplifted to be here with all of you and to say, with dignity and courage that we are not in the zero-sum game.

 
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