In conjunction with World Environment Day, the 10th Eco Action Day reconvenes with a panel discussion on the Singapore’s pledge to environment sustainability.
Ricoh Asia Pacific, a Japanese electronic multinational, celebrated its 10th anniversary of its Eco Action Day initiative on 3rd June. The Singapore’s largest business-led environmental awareness campaign is held in conjunction with United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day (WED), observed each year on 5th June to raise the awareness globally of the importance of a healthy environment.
Launched on 1 April 2016 with the theme “Green the Red Dot, Join the Movement”, the campaign calls on participants to join the national campaign to green Singapore - also known as the “Little Red Dot” - by committing to actions that will reduce energy and resource consumption in the office and at home.
The campaign shines the spotlight on environmental issues and encourages positive actions to promote environmental sustainability by individuals, communities and governments. To date, 629 organisations, schools and individuals have pledged positive actions for the environment in Singapore.
Mr. Tetsuya Takano, Managing Director of Ricoh Asia Pacific, said, “The 10th anniversary of Eco Action Day comes at a time when Singapore has signed the Paris Agreement and has pledged its commitment to reduce emissions. The goal of sustainable development is to increase the quality of life for all people without increasing environmental degradation and without consuming far more natural resources than the planet can sustainably provide. This serves as an opportune time to be reminded that we, as individuals, can take actions to reduce the environmental impact in our daily lives.”
Emphasising the personal responsibility each person bears for enabling inclusive and sustainable economic development while stabilising and reducing the rate of resource use, Ricoh and Eco-Business has partnered with National Climate Change Secretariat, National Environment Agency, Building and Construction Authority, Energy Market Authority, Singapore Environment Council, Keppel Land and Panasonic among others.
One of the key partners of Eco Action Day since its inception in 2007 is Keppel Land. Serena Toh, General Manager, Corporate Services & CSR at Keppel Land said, “World Environment Day is the opportunity for everyone to realise the responsibility to care for the Earth. We are proud to partner Ricoh Asia Pacific once again and to continuously work on reducing our energy consumption and carbon emissions by adopting a proactive and holistic approach towards environmental management and protection. Beyond designing, developing and managing environmentally-friendly properties, we share in Ricoh’s vision to spread the green mind set through our ongoing “Go Green with Keppel Land” environmental education and outreach programme which engages our stakeholders from our employees to contractors to home owners, to make a collective effort to tackle climate change.”
10th Eco Action Day reconvenes with a panel discussion on the Singapore’s pledge to environment sustainability
Ricoh has also partnered with Eco-Business to convene the third edition of the Eco Action Day Panel Discussion. Themed “From Agreement to Action: Singapore’s Climate Pledge”, the dialogue will gather senior business leaders, government officials and civic society leaders in Singapore to take stock of the country’s efforts on climate change and chart the way forward, following the successful agreement of the Paris Agreement at COP21.
Distinguished speakers who will be sharing their views include Mr Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor, Global Adaptation Policy at WWF International, Professor Ann Florini, Professor of Public Policy at Singapore Management University, Mr David Kiu, Vice President, Communications and Sustainability at Unilever and Mr J.D. Kasamoto, General Manager, Service & Environment Division at Ricoh Asia Pacific. Prior to the panel discussion, Mr Sergio Kato, Vice President of the Sustainability Management Division at Ricoh Group, also shared his thoughts on environmental sustainability via live feed.
During the panel discussion, the following pointers were raised:
- The government is taking the lead in terms of environmental sustainability.
-Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli highlighted that from 3Q 2016, the Government will only procure printing paper that carry the Singapore Green Label, and only electrical products that have been certified with high energy efficiency. The Government’s role is to balance Singapore’s international role and domestic objectives in ensuring environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness and energy security.
-Everyone should play their part in reducing their carbon footprint instead of relying on the Government completely.
- Businesses face challenges but there are also opportunities.
-Mr J.D Kasamoto pointed out that businesses face the challenge of achieving both business and environmental targets.
-However, opportunities abound. Mr David Kiu said that one opportunity is to find business opportunities in sustainable living products and brands for a company’s continued growth.
-Businesses have to work in partnership with governments and other businesses. This is because many of the solutions to achieve environmental sustainability are multi-dimensional and would involve many parties.
-Mr Kasamoto also highlighted that although setting targets are easy, having a process put in place to accomplish the targets is more vital. One process is the “Plan Do Check Action” process that will ensure that efforts to meet the target are on track.
- Everyone has a responsibility.
-Professor Ann Florini highlighted that although the government has largely led the efforts for environmental sustainability, everyone has a responsibility.
-For example, the academia community has the responsibility to be aware of the broader system that everyone is a part of, whilst media have the responsibility to convey the effect of climate change, the impact on people and how people are responding to the changes.
-Mr Sandeep Chamling Rai agreed, and mentioned that with climate commitments till 2020, everyone has to play a part in achieving the targets.
- Minister Masagos summed it up in one sentence: All of us need to be conscious and have the conscience.
Eco Action Day 2016 also sees the return of the Eco Action Awards. The awards are designed to recognise organisations (corporate, schools, institutions, associations) for their commendable efforts towards making a difference for the environment, including elements that help to conserve the environment and educate or create environmental awareness to wider public.
This year, the Eco Action Day Awards were presented to seven schools and organisations to recognise their efforts in raising awareness of the importance of sustainability. The winners are:
Most Creative Eco Award : CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace
Most Inspiring Eco Award : Nan Hua High School
Most Fun Eco Award : West Spring Primary School
Most Fun Eco Award (Merit) : Queenstown Primary School
Most Effort Eco Award : Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company Pte Ltd
Most Effort Eco Award (Merit) : Panalpina World Transport (S) Pte Ltd
Best Eco Practices Award : Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
About Eco Action Day
Eco Action Day is a national public awareness campaign organized by Ricoh since 2007, in partnership with key NGO, government and private sector partners in Singapore. It is held on 5 June every year, to commemorate the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day, which seeks to raise global awareness on the need to take positive action for the environment. Every year, Ricoh, along with various supporting partners, engages its employees, customers, corporate neighbours and government organisations and the wider public to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.
To date, more than 700 organisations, including multinational corporations, government agencies, private companies and tertiary institutions have participated in Eco Action Day.
For further information, please visit www.ecoaction.sg
Ricoh is a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. Under its corporate tagline – imagine. change. – Ricoh continues to empower companies and individuals with services and technologies that inspire innovation, enhance sustainability and boost business growth. These include document management systems, IT services, production print solutions, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in over 190 countries. In the financial year ending March 2015, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,231 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD).
For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com
Established in 2009 in Singapore, Eco-Business is an independent media company serving Asia Pacific’s responsible business and sustainable development community. Eco-Business’ platforms include the award-winning Eco-Business.com site, custom publications, and high-impact bespoke events catered to deepen discussions on sustainability.
Eco-Business expanded to Sydney in late 2015 and now operates from both Singapore and Australia.
For further information, please visit www.eco-business.com
World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest, most globally celebrated day for positive environmental action.
The celebration of WED began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations encourages positive action for the environment. Through WED, the UNEP enables everyone to realise not only the responsibility to care for the Earth, but also reminds one and all of their individual power to become agents of change. Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact.
WED is a big celebration, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries. Every year, participants, young and old, organise clean up campaigns, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests themed around caring for the planet.
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