Years ago, when Malaysian billionaire Francis Yeoh of YTL Group was shovelling soil and planting shrubs with his eldest child Ruth at his luxury resort on Pangkor island, he was sowing the seeds of something bigger.
The father-and-daughter activity at the rainforest-nestled private island along peninsular Malaysia's west coast formed the green shoots of the corporate eco warrior the girl would become one day.
"He explained that as I grew, so would the seeds, to become majestic trees," she recalls. "Since then, I have always appreciated nature and wanted to do more."
"Weaving environmental protection into the group's businesses was straightforward. YTL has been clean and green for decades, even before words such as 'sustainability', 'corporate social responsibility' and 'carbon credits' became popular terms," she says.
Significant strides to cut waste and carbon footprint have been made within the group's business. GENeco - a subsidiary of YTL's water utilities business in the UK, Wessex Water - has developed a Volkswagen vehicle named the "Bio Bug" which runs on biogas.
Meanwhile, cement manufacturing arm, YTL Cement, produced the first "green" cement in Malaysia by intensifying the production of blended cement....