“I am very honoured to receive this award,” says Mr Ben Ng, Chairman and Executive Director of Baguio Green Group (1397.HK), the winner of the Directors Of The Year Award 2022 in the ‘Listed Companies Categories’. “It shows that we, at Baguio, must be doing something right as we evolve in tandem with societal changes, and keep abreast of the latest technological advancements in our service delivery.”
“In the face of global threats like climate change, it is of utmost importance that we, as a human race, must do everything within our capabilities to move towards a greener, healthier and better environment.” says Ng. “Hence, we at Baguio strive to provide a highly diversified portfolio of cleaning and “green” services that tackles environmental problems from all aspects.”
Baguio Green Group is a leading privately-held cleaning company established in 1980; it is committed to creating and maintaining a “Clean & Green” environment for society, and improving the living standard for Hong Kong’s citizens. Over the years, it has developed into a group of well-established and socially-responsible companies providing integrated environmental services that range from professional cleaning, waste collection & recycling, waste management, green technology, organic fertilizer and animal feed production, horticulture and landscaping, and integrated pest management for the HKSAR Government, public utilities, and private corporations. This integration of complementary services is what distinguishes Baguio from its competitors.
A diversified board of directors and management team
Baguio’s board of directors, as Ng explains, consists of a group of highly accomplished professionals with a balanced gender ratio, and hailing from a wide range of fields with both local and international experience. “By combining their individual skills, knowledge and expertise, Baguio is able to adopt a more levelled and comprehensive approach in our growth and development, taking us to the next level in formulating sustainable and effective business strategies,” he notes.
Ng underscores the valuable contributions of the board as the expert views of its diverse membership could both reaffirm and challenge his own ideas, prompting him to look at issues from fresh angles, and making informed decisions that have taken various ideas into consideration.
Ng points out that as we live in an ever-changing and fast-paced world, future developments will leverage technological advancements. “Baguio’s human resources strategy will focus on recruiting professionals from more high-tech backgrounds such as IT, Science and Technology Innovation and Green Technology,” says Ng. “Their expertise will place us in a strong position to tackle the challenges of the future.”
As one of the many systems in place to ensure judicious corporate governance, Baguio conducts internal annual reviews to assess the functionality and performance of the board of directors and the management. “Other than performance, we put huge emphasis on assessing the ‘sustainability of succession’, meaning that we strive to make sure the skills and knowledge our staff possess will be effectively passed on to the next person who takes over his or her role,” Ng explains. “Furthermore, job rotations and training and development programs for staff in management grade ensure the company can run on its own and continues to provide excellent services to the community.”
An ESG-focused approach
As a socially responsible company, Baguio adheres to the principles of sustainable development and environmental protection in their business operations. With the growing importance of environment, social and governance (ESG) issues, Baguio taps into the resources of universities, scientific research institutions and corporates to develop new products and protocols that contribute to a sustainable future.
Ng points out that the ESG concept has already been deeply embedded in the Group’s corporate values. Over the years, it has continued to expand collection of recyclables and promoted local sustainable development. For example, 6 local recycling plants have been established, and a large number of smart recycling bins will be installed all over Hong Kong as waste collection points; it has also developed an iRecycle App that offers shopping rewards as incentives to motivate our citizens to engage in recycling waste.
Furthermore, Baguio has adopted the idea of upcycling to transform waste into raw materials that deliver value again, such as upcycling glass containers into sand bags, chicken farm waste into animal feed, and wood waste into biochar. “Baguio has sustainability at heart,” says Ng who is obviously pleased with the Group’s ESG performances.
The cornerstone of success
As a service-oriented company, people are the cornerstone of Baguio’s success. “We have more than 8,000 staff in total, and they are the lifeline of our business. Without their dedicated service, we wouldn’t have been able to function well,” Ng observes. “Therefore, it has always been a top priority for us to look after the well-being of the people who work with us.”
Aside from monetary rewards, the Group makes it a point to extend genuine care and practical, additional support in staff welfare. “Baguio understands that other than salary, our staff are also motivated by having a sense of purpose and belonging at work,” says Ng. “When handling cases of injury or accidents, we always take an extra step to ensure our staff feels cared for. For example, an injured employee could be a single mother from a grass-roots family, in which case, we would look into providing child-care assistance and subsidies for her family’s living expenses.”
Baguio, he adds, also assists employees who are new immigrants in Hong Kong to apply for government subsidy schemes, or accompany them to consult doctors for a smoother communication.
Paving a greener way for the younger generation
Ng has every confidence in the future of Baguio Green Group. “In the face of global warming and other environmental challenges, it is the responsibility of the current generation to make sure that the next generation can thrive in an even better liveable environment,” Ng stresses. “It is a legacy we owe to our children.”
“At Baguio, we strive to be the most comprehensive and reliable environmental services group in the region, providing a cleaner, greener and more sustainable environment for our younger people,” he concludes.