On 4 November a ceremony was held to give out the National Corporate Environmental Protection Awards, Taiwan’s highest honor in environmental protection, as well as the Low-Carbon Product Awards. EPA Minister Chang Tzi-Chin recognized the recipients’ endeavors and contributions to environmental protection by personally presenting awards to the 52 recipients of the first award and the eight recipients of the latter one.
For thirty consecutive years the EPA has held the National Corporate Environmental Protection Awards in order to encourage enterprises to shoulder their corporate social responsibilities (CSRs) and facilitate environmental protection. To date, 568 enterprises have been awarded. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the award committee reviewed presentations of participating enterprises via online conferencing, where videos allowed committee members to understand more about the environmental protection efforts and achievements of enterprises. A total of 52 enterprises were picked out after the preliminary, second, and final reviews, including two Grand Award recipients, seven Gold Award recipients, 19 Silver Award recipients, and 24 Bronze Award recipients. Among these, four enterprises have been awarded Silver Awards or above for three consecutive years, for which they received an additional honorary award.
Amongst total environmental protection achievements of enterprises participating in the award competition, in the area of environmental management, 49 enterprises have obtained ISO 14001 environmental management system certificates and 20 have obtained Green Building Labels. In the area of energy and resource conservation, participants' results in 2020 included saving 510 million kWh of electricity (equivalent to one month’s power supply for 1.74 million households), 28.32 million m3 in water, and recycling 660,000 metric tons of rainwater (the conserved water and recycled rainwater combined is equivalent to one month’s water supply for 830,000 households). Participants' installed solar power facilities generated up to 670 million kWh of electricity (equivalent to one month’s power supply for 2.29 million households). Participants have also purchased 58,138 renewable energy certificates, reducing a total of 630,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon absorbed by 1,620 Da-An Forest Parks in one year.
Moreover, participating enterprises closely follow the government's environmental policies and are actively taking part in all environmental protection endeavors. Achievements include: NT$3.39 billion in green procurement; 26 enterprises answering the green office call; 90 restaurants under these enterprises becoming green restaurants; voluntarily maintaining 19 public toilets; and adopting 23 km of coastline. They have organized 121 beach clean-ups, in which a total of 7,258 people took part and collected 133 metric tons of marine waste. All of the above are excellent models for others to learn from.
E. Sun Commercial Bank and First Commercial Bank receive 2020 Grand Awards.
The 2021 Grand Awards were given to E.Sun Commercial Bank and First Commercial Bank. As former honorary award recipients, both participated in the National Corporate Environmental Protection Award competition and have been acknowledged by the award committee for their continual efforts in environmental protection.
E. Sun Commercial Bank finished making its Chiayi branch a zero-carbon demonstration site and set up an environmental education promotion area dedicated to advocating environmental sustainability to its customers. In addition, it co-signed the Sustainable Development Initiative with 32 other corporations in Taiwan to take practical actions against climate change. As for First Commercial Bank, besides actively facilitating green finance, it has transformed 31 properties into green buildings. A green finance education center was also established, combining finance and environmental considerations and designing interactive courses. The center’s purpose is to direct economic development toward low carbon and sustainability by allowing more people to understand, identify, and support green finance.
Aiming to build Asia's first green department stores, Pacific SOGO Department Store was the recipient of both the Gold Award and the honorary award for its efforts to achieve sustainability in its daily operations. Solar power generation systems are outfitted on top of its branch buildings, and issuance of e-coupons end up reducing the use of paper equivalent to stacks twice as high as Jade Mountain. SOGO’s 56 restaurants have also been certified as green restaurants by the EPA.
As participants in the 2021 competition, AU Optronics Corp.'s Taoyuan branch and Holi factory received the Gold Awards for their outstanding environmental protection performance. The AUO GreenArk, the water education center in the Taoyuan branch, is a certified environmental education facility and has also partnered with 17 other venues in Taoyuan to promote environmental education. The factory in Holi set up a photoresist-recycling system, which recycles photoresist and directs it back to machines for reuse via distillation. On acidic smell and odor controls, it has improved original control equipment and also introduced new models of wet static demister, which can effectively reduce odors.
This year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) received the Gold Award in its first participation in the competition. Its 14B plant has been actively installing a recycling system that extracts chelated copper-containing liquid via electrolysis to make pipes with high purity of copper, which are turned into electronic-grade copper materials for use in the coating process. It is a successful recycling and reuse model that produces electronic-grade copper.
In July 2017, the EPA announced the Low-Carbon Product Reward Regulations, which incentivize enterprises to actively promote carbon footprint reduction. In 2021 a total of eight enterprises were awarded, with Sinyi Real Estate as the recipient of the highest honor with a cash reward of NT$300,000, followed by Cathay United Bank and Mandarin Airlines with a reward of NT$200,000 each. Furthermore, five excellence awards were given to Taiwan Cement Ltd., First Commercial Bank, Taiwan High-Speed Rail, ECOVE Miaoli Energy Corporation, and Cathay Insurance, each receiving NT$100,000.
This year's winners have all made excellent contributions to reduce their carbon footprints. Measures include enhancing energy efficiency by replacing power and air conditioning facilities and machinery, cutting down the waste of raw materials, introducing green energy, promoting paperless operations, and actively taking actions to achieve sustainability. The EPA always urges enterprises to calculate the carbon footprints of their products and keep reducing carbon emissions. It is hoped that more corporations properly fulfill their CSR and collectively reduce Taiwan's carbon emissions by obtaining carbon footprint labels for their products or the rights to use the product carbon footprint reduction labels, which are helpful references for consumers.
The EPA is extremely grateful toward each and every one of these enterprises for their contributions and endeavors in environmental protection, as a country's advancement not only depends on government measures but also requires corporate and civic participation. The EPA hopes that the environmental performance of all the award recipients will serve as models for other enterprises to follow and motivate them to jointly create a better society, enhance environmental quality, ensure generational justice, and build a sustainable future.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)