FRIDAY, April 19, 2024

How to hold a zero-carbon shareholders' meeting

How to hold a zero-carbon shareholders' meeting

One shareholders’ meeting can harm the world beyond your imagination: piles of papers, travel by shareholders, and food waste. SET-listed Buriram Sugar (BRR) Plc has now come up with ideas for holding zero-carbon shareholders' meetings.

Among its carbon-reduction measures, BRR refrains from printing its meeting agenda and invitation letter on paper as is traditional practice. Instead, the company asks its shareholders to download a digital meeting document and invitation letter by scanning a QR code. Not a single piece of paper is used.

BRR chief executive officer Anant Tangtongwechakit revealed that Monday’s shareholders' meeting was held under the theme “Toward a Sustainable Future” to reduce its carbon footprint. The meeting was planned with advice from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).

The TCEB advised BRR to use a hybrid meeting format to reduce fuel consumed for shareholders’ travel. The vote at the meeting was also held electronically, using Blockchain AGM Voting technology that allowed shareholders to vote from anywhere without having to travel to the meeting venue. It also further reduced the use of paper.

Moreover, shareholders who wanted to be present physically at the meeting were encouraged to use public transport. To make it more convenient for them to do so, BRR selected a hotel that is located close to mass transit systems.

Meanwhile it encouraged those who wanted to drive to the meeting venue to share vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, Anant added.

BRR paid attention to every detail in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. The hotel was told not to use plastic, foam and fresh flowers in its decorations.

Drinking water was served in recyclable plastic bottles. No straws were handed out. For tea and coffee drinkers, the BRR provided its own sugar in glass receptacles instead of conventional paper sachets.

Adding to the carbon emission reduction measures, the hotel was selected based on its ecosystem awareness. BRR said the hotel recycles waste food into animal feed and compost to grow vegetables. The venue has been awarded Green Hotel (Bronze Level) and Asean MICE Venue Standard awards, Anant said.

Food was served to shareholders using bowls and dishes made of bagasse by Sugarcane Ecoware Co Ltd (SEW), a subsidiary of BRR. The bagasse eco-ware biodegrades in 45 days, Anant said.

The measures added up to a carbon emission reduction of over 4.3 tonnes, which is equivalent to growing a small forest.

“These measures helped us reduce carbon emissions by 4,333.65 kilograms, which is equivalent to growing 263 trees,” Anant concluded.