Cover Taiwan's Steven Ko of O'right Hair proves that caring for the planet and growing a businesses can go hand in hand.

Green solutions can have a large-scale and long-lasting impact on the future, especially when led by some of Asia’s Most Influential people

Sun-powered malls, carbon-neutral shampoo bottles, mindful fashion—five green heroes on Asia’s Most Influential list prove that businesses and industries can adopt and thrive with environmental practices in place. They demonstrate, as well, how everything is connected and how small actions, including the choice of what you wear or eat, can change the future of the planet.

Solar-Powered Malls (Hans Sy, Philippines)

Hans Sy, the fifth richest person in the Philippines, uses his influence to jumpstart renewable energy, particularly solar power. In 2014, the tycoon, whose SM Prime Holdings includes shopping malls, led the installation of over 5,000 solar panels on the rooftop of SM North EDSA. Today, his company has 11 solar-powered malls in the country and three in China. Last year, nearly two megatons of carbon dioxide emissions were reduced thanks to the renewable energy project. Sy’s SM plans to extend the program to over 50 shopping malls and has pledged to source 50 per cent of its energy usage from renewable power by the end of 2022. 

Read Hans Sy’s full profile here.

Carbon-Neutral Beauty (Steven Ko, Taiwan)

Steven Ko is on a mission to reduce the carbon footprint of the self-care routine with Hair O’right’s zero-carbon hair, body, skin and personal care products. The bottle of O’right’s 20th-anniversary zero-carbon Green Tea shampoo, for example, is made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic materials, featuring its signature biodegradable bamboo cap and a recycled pump. In 2018, the company became the first green beauty brand in the world to fully achieve a circular economy after committing to the use of 100 per cent renewable plastic in its shampoo bottles. 

Read Steven Ko’s full profile here.

Upcycled Fashion (Christina Dean, Hong Kong)

Fashion and sustainability intersect with Christina Dean’s two platforms: Redress and R Collective, both of which are focused on ending textile waste. The sustainability organisation Redress is engaged in, among others, providing environmental education for fashion designers, providing curricula for many universities. The upcycled fashion label R Collective, on the other hand, produces new clothing from rescued luxury fabrics. Most recently, it launched its Revival collection, a sustainable fashion design project inspired by nature and, of course, made with rescued waste materials—“gorgeous silks, cottons and viscous knits”.

Read Christina Dean’s full profile here.

Responsible Electronics (Mohamed Tarek El-Fatatry, Malaysia)

Mohamed Tarek El-Fatatry found a solution to a modern problem: what to do with old mobile phones, laptops, TVs, and electronic waste. His social enterprise ERTH (Electronic Recycling Through Heroes) collects e-waste from individuals and companies and even offers cash rewards (US$100 for a fairly new laptop in good condition) and free pick-up to encourage more people to recycle unwanted gadgets and appliances instead of throwing them away. El-Fatatry’s ERTH has helped divert more than 500 tons of e-waste from landfills, making it Malaysia’s largest direct collector of the discarded materials. 

Read Mohamed Tarek El-Fatatry’s full profile here.

Sustainable Food (Peggy Chan, Hong Kong)

To help solve the climate crisis, Peggy Chan focuses on regenerative agriculture, a movement that allows farmers to cultivate better soil for nutrient-dense food. Zero Foodprint Asia, which Chan launched in 2021, introduced the 1% Pledge, a program that invites restaurants to contribute one per cent of a customer’s bill toward a fund for soil management projects. And later this year, the organisation will launch its Carbon Neutrality Program to help food businesses achieve carbon neutrality via a 12-month life cycle assessment. Its pilot partners include restaurant Bedu, food company Kin and packaging company Sustainabl.

Read Peggy Chan’s full profile here.

Discover the changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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