Taiwanese companies should focus on environmental responsibility instead of concentrating on profits, the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance said yesterday as it unveiled its list of the biggest air and water polluters of last year at an “awards ceremony” in Taipei.
It said it identified the six biggest polluters by adding up fines that they paid for contravening the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法) and the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法).
The Environmental Protection Administration last year issued 1,853 fines for air pollution and 2,584 for water pollution.
Taiwan Hon Chuan Group — a beverage and plastic container manufacturer that has won a Ministry of Economic Affairs National Quality Award — was among the top air polluters, being fined a total of NT$20.3 million (US$651,001), the alliance said.
K&K Foods Ltd — a key supplier to McDonald’s Restaurants (Taiwan) Co — was found to have discharged sewage without proper treatment and was fined about NT$9.5 million, it said.
Chung Hwa Pulp Co was fined nearly NT$21.6 million for water pollution and NT$3.3 million for air pollution, yet it had previously won the Corporate Sustainability Award and the Asia Responsible Enterprise Award, the alliance said.
State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan was fined about NT$3.6 million for air pollution and NT$2 million for polluting water, with most of its transgressions said to be the result of infrastructure problems, the alliance said.
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp — a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group — was fined NT$800,000 for air pollution, it said, but added that the nation’s sixth naphtha cracker, which is managed by the parent company, was the source of additional pollution in Yunlin County.
Chemicals supplier Sesoda Corp was fined NT$6.2 million for failing to control toxic emissions, such as hydrogen chloride, and many of its manufacturing instruments were operated without permits, the alliance said.
Other manufacturers and companies that faced fines of lesser amounts were published on the alliance’s Web site.
The awards are aimed at prompting the firms to improve their environmental management, alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said, adding that the government should promote open data so people can supervise the progress the firms make.
The Kaohsiung City Government, which oversees the nation’s worst city for pollution, should place more emphasis on pollution control and industrial transformation, instead of just “fighting for the economy” as Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has pledged, the alliance said.
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