Ricoh Asia Pacific (“Ricoh”) on June 2 held its Eco Action Day Virtual Dialogue Session gathering industry leaders, sustainability experts and government representatives to discuss how Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Affordable and Clean Energy can be achieved for all.
Replacing the annual physical roundtables in light of the circuit breaker measures, this key platform seeks to strengthen corporate and governmental networks to overcome challenges in corporate decarbonisation, and is part of Ricoh’s 14th annual Eco Action Day (EAD) campaign to spur greater consciousness and actions for the environment.
A total of 94 people participated in the Virtual Dialogue Session, including Guest of Honour, Mr Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government, and Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office. Panel speakers from The Carbon Trust, Danfoss and SP Group shared their viewpoints on the opportunities and challenges in corporate decarbonisation, strategies to shrink companies’ carbon footprint, and regulations that prevent or accelerate the adoption of green technology.
Long-term supporters of Eco Action Day such as Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mitsubishi Electric Asia, Singapore Pools, PacificLight Power and Sunseap also attended the session.
Guest of Honour, Mr Tan Kok Yam said: “Even as Covid-19 is disrupting our lives, the risks of climate change continue to loom in the background, threatening to become a disruption that is more lasting and more damaging. We should guard against climate action being sidelined due to the pandemic. Instead, we need to work together, as community, business and Government, to tackle climate change and raise our environmental resilience.”
Mr J.D. Kasamoto, General Manager of Service & Environment, Ricoh Asia Pacific, commented: “While held through virtual means, this year’s dialogue is just as, if not, more important than ever during this challenging time of Covid-19. We thank all for their participation and allowing us to dig deep into high-level issues of corporate decarbonisation. In fact, the participants agreed that climate change is a long-term existential threat that needs to be addressed through collective efforts.”
Ms Jessica Cheam, Founder and Managing Director, Eco-Business, remarked: “We are delighted to partner with Ricoh again to convene one of Singapore’s foremost conversations on sustainability. This Covid-19 crisis has shone a harsh spotlight on humanity’s relationship with the natural world and also revealed gaps in our social safety nets. Amid this pandemic, climate change is in danger of being pushed off the priority lists of governments and corporations around the world, but in order to build a resilient future, we need to move with urgency to tackle climate issues.”
“We had a successful dialogue in which we discussed how government, businesses and wider society can work together to achieve decarbonisation, urgently and at scale, amid our current challenges. It was a fruitful discussion that produced some findings that we can all take away into our organisations and in our work,” she added.
The panel agreed on a range of topics including:
- Singapore’s Smart Nation drive aids in its climate action strategy, as government and industry develop smarter grids to increase reliability of renewable energy and smart buildings for reduced energy consumption.
- Beyond enhanced policies, businesses also need technical skills and financial advice to invest in green technology and get stakeholders on board.
- More comprehensive measures are needed to ramp up clean mobility in both corporate and wider community, in terms of supporting infrastructure, providers and demand.
- Corporate decarbonisation makes business sense. Adopting green technology reduces long term costs, while innovative business models help businesses stay competitive and ahead of consumer trends.
More details on the key points raised can be found in the Appendix.
Clean energy an increasingly pressing national and global issue
Clean energy was chosen as the topic for this year’s discussion due to its growing pertinence in Singapore and internationally. The Singapore government announced plans to produce enough solar energy to meet at least 10 per cent of peak daily electricity demand by 2030. It also announced plans to halve 2030 peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and phase out all fossil fuel vehicles within the next two decades.
Globally, there is an ever pressing need to ramp up the proportion of renewable energy use. Research has shown that renewable energy must reach 70-85 per cent of the global energy mix by 2050 to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C in this century and we are only at 25 per cent today.
Corporates are also increasingly focusing on the adoption of renewable energy and green technologies. In 2017, Ricoh became the first Japanese member company to join the RE100, a global corporate initiative, and has committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
Asia Pacific headquarters and Singapore office part of Ricoh’s decarbonisation roadmap
Elaborating on Ricoh’s strategy to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Mr Adrian Lim, Head of Managing Director’s Office, Ricoh Singapore, highlighted that incorporating more energy-efficient features have helped Ricoh Singapore successfully reduce carbon emissions by more than 35 per cent since FY2017.
He also re-affirmed Ricoh Singapore’s continued support towards its customers’ workplace digitalisation and adoption of green technology during the circuit breaker period through online communication and webinars.
Ricoh’s Asia Pacific headquarters is another key milestone within Ricoh’s larger decarbonisation roadmap. Besides being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy since last year, Ricoh’s new regional office is equipped with energy-efficient features, including LED lighting, motion and human sensors for energy conservation. Originally located at Visioncrest, the new office at Prudential Tower also includes stronger SDG messaging and educational elements to highlight the importance of sustainability.
Ricoh’s larger corporate mission is to drive sustainability for the future, which it has been incorporating into its operations, products and milestones. Under its new 20th Mid-Term Management Plan, Ricoh Group has more than doubled its emissions reduction target to 63 per cent by 2030, based on 2015 levels. Within Asia Pacific, Ricoh is working towards reducing emissions by 30 per cent within 2022 and converting 20 per cent of its fleet to hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025.
Ricoh Eco Action Day 2020
The Virtual Dialogue session is a key component of the larger EAD campaign, which also comprises a pledge campaign and seed distribution drive. Recognising that tackling climate change is a
collective effort involving all levels of society, Ricoh started the annual EAD campaign in 2007. It is now Singapore’s longest-running corporate-led environmental initiative.
Launched since April this year, the pledge campaign encourages organisations, schools and individuals to commit simple actions over two months to reduce their environmental impacts. Ricoh has since collected 142 pledges from corporate and schools, which it will match with the same amount of natural gas carbon units from an electricity plant on Jurong Island. This has approximately equated to 261,259 kWh of energy savings and a combined 109,415kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
Ricoh will mark the end of its EAD 2020 campaign by partnering with Community Development Councils, Sustainable Singapore Gallery and schools to distribute gardening seeds to the community. Ricoh hopes this will urge Singaporeans to shift towards more sustainable production and consumption, reducing reliance on agricultural imports and minimising carbon emissions, in line with Singapore’s 30-by-30 vision to increase local food production by 30 per cent by 2030.
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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 organizations 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.
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD).
For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com.
About World Environment Day
World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organised many events as they celebrate, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries. Every year, participants, young and old, organise many events. These include neighbourhood clean-ups, action against wildlife crime, replanting forests, art exhibits, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns, all themed around caring for the planet.
WED has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN encourages positive action for the environment. Through WED, the UN Environment Programme 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.