In a recent article for Eco-Business, author Hannah Koh profiles Juliana Lam, Julius Industries’ founder and managing director.
When Julius Industries’ founder and managing director Juliana Lam began serving only vegetarian food in her factory’s staff canteen on Mondays, there was outrage, horror and ridicule.
Workers at her glove-making factory in Guangzhou accused her of being cheap, but when she showed them the company’s food purchasing costs, they were shocked to find that their free vegetarian lunch and dinner was more expensive than meat-based meals.
A more environmentally friendly diet is just one part of Julius Industries’ sustainability program. Started the year after the glove manufacturing firm was established in 2016, it has yielded a 14% decrease in carbon emissions and 18% of the factory’s waste is recycled. This includes initiatives to segregate waste, charging stations for employees’ electric bicycles, and food waste composting. It intends to reduce its carbon footprint by a further 30 to 50% within the next three to five years, and begin setting science-based targets.
Those who know Lam would not be surprised. She co-founded start-up Green Monday in her native Hong Kong to encourage people to give up meat for one day a week, and is actively involved in charity work and education initiatives. Just last year she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Women Eco Game Change Awards 2017 in Hong Kong held by Global Green Economic Forum (GGEF), a social enterprise promoting sustainability among business leaders and youth in Asia.