Greener workplaces, jobs, and economies – these were the key topics addressed by industry leaders, sustainability experts, and government representatives in the Eco Action Day Hybrid Forum, organised by Ricoh Asia Pacific (“Ricoh”) on August 26.
The panel focused on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth and discussed ways that businesses can play a role in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and sustainable growth. It is a key part of Ricoh’s 15th annual Eco Action Day campaign, one of Singapore’s longest-running corporate sustainability movements and was attended by more than 500 virtual and physical participants.
Mr Tomo Ota, Director and General Manager of Digital Workplace Marketing Division, Service and Environment Division, Ricoh Asia Pacific, said: “To meet Singapore’s green targets requires a whole-of-nation approach, involving collaborations among corporates, academia, and the government. In today’s Ricoh Eco Action Day Forum, we discussed how we can green our operations and build business resilience, as well as how we can support Singapore’s transition to green industries.”
Alongside Guest-of-Honour Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, the speakers included:
- Mr Ben Chong, Managing Director, Ricoh Singapore
- Mr Tomo Ota, Director and General Manager of Digital Workplace Marketing Division, Service and Environment Division, Ricoh Asia Pacific
- Mr Vikram Rao, Head of Enterprise, ASEAN, AWS
- Mr Shee Tse Koon, Group Executive and Country Head, DBS Singapore
- Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business
Mr Ben Chong of Ricoh Singapore agreed: “Given the urgency of climate change, sustainability can no longer take a backseat in the corporate world. Through our annual Eco Action Day campaign, we advocate to resolve social issues through business and operations, and help society achieve the UN SDGs. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, we have chosen to focus on SDG 8 in particular to encourage public and private to shift towards green economies and create good jobs so we can all answer the UN’s call to build back better.”
Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business, said: “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to ensure that recovery efforts for economic growth are aligned to our climate targets and wider societal needs. This transition also requires us to think about how we can help upskill our workforce to better respond to our future needs. This forum is a timely opportunity for us to delve deeper into the details as to how to get there.”
Greening our economy
This year’s discussion focused on the “Future of Work” and how both the public and private sector could transition to more sustainable economies, as laid out in the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Among the plan’s key targets is to create new and diverse job opportunities in sectors such as green finance and sustainability consultancy; establish leadership in green finance; and encourage companies to invest in local research and development activities for more sustainable innovations.
Following the dialogue session, attendees toured the Ricoh Singapore office to learn about the company’s dedication to sustainable development. Since FY2017, the office has reduced carbon emissions by more than 35 per cent while achieving more than 40 per cent of space savings through digitalisation and adoption of agile workstyles and flexible workspaces.
Pre-pandemic, the company also offered similar tours to customers and interested parties to share how they can integrate eco- and digital service concepts into their own workplaces and contribute to the circular economy.
Across the globe, Ricoh has increased its greenhouse gas reduction goals from 30 per cent to 63 per cent by 2030, based on 2015 levels. Virgin plastic use for packaging materials will be reduced while increasing the use of recycled plastic content in imaging products by 50 per cent or more. In addition, the group also aims to switch to 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.
Ricoh Eco Action Day 2021
The Hybrid Forum is a key part of the Eco Action Day campaign, alongside a pledge initiative and seed distribution drive to get the wider public and schools to join the sustainability movement. This year, the campaign also focuses on raising awareness of the SDGs and how people can contribute to them in their everyday lives.
This year, a total of 111 organisations, 33 schools, and 4,803 individuals pledged eco-friendly actions, which were aligned with the SDGs. In exchange, Ricoh and social enterprise Seven Clean Seas will offset a total of 217 kg of ocean plastic, equivalent to the weight of 14,466 bubble tea cups.
Ricoh also joined forces with the North West and South West Community Development Councils, Sustainable Singapore Gallery as well as schools to distribute 1,570 seed packs to over 22 schools and organisations, encouraging sustainable production and consumption. The drive aims to raise awareness on Singapore’s food security issues and supports the country’s “30 by 30” vision to produce 30 per cent of its nutritional needs by 2030.
Partners of Ricoh Eco Action Day 2021
- Supporting Partners: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, National Environment Agency
- Sponsors: Ben & Jerry’s, Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd, PacificLight Power Pte Ltd
- Outreach Partners: Eco-Business, North West Community Development Council, Seven Clean Seas, South West Community Development Council, Sunseap Group, susGain, Terra SG
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About Eco Action Day
Eco Action Day is a national public awareness campaign organised by Ricoh since 2007, in partnership with key NGO, government, and private sector partners in Singapore. It is held in 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 1,500 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/
Established in 2009, Eco-Business is an independent media and business intelligence company dedicated to sustainable development and ESG performance. It publishes high quality, trusted news and views in multimedia formats on business and policy developments around the world with a sustainability and ESG-focused lens. Eco-Business provides research and consulting on a wide range of issues which create strategic value for our partners and clients. It owns and creates thought-leadership platforms which inform policymaking, improve business practices and foster collaboration among different sectors. Eco-Business is headquartered in Singapore, with a presence in Manila, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Zurich, New York, and correspondents in major cities across the world.
Visit us at www.eco-business.com
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With cultivated knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over its 85-years history, Ricoh is a leading provider of digital services and information management, and print and imaging solutions designed to support digital transformation and optimise business performance.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group has major operations throughout the world and its products and services now reach customers in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2021, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,682 billion yen (approx. 15.1 billion USD).
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