Ricoh Asia Pacific kicked off the 10th anniversary of its Eco Action Day initiative with a call for organisations and individuals to pledge positive actions for the environment in Singapore.
Eco Action Day is Singapore’s largest and longest-running business-led environmental initiative held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day (WED), which is celebrated on June 5 every year.
In light of the historic Paris Agreement which was successfully negotiated by 195 global leaders at the United Nations climate conference – widely known as COP21 –last December, this year’s Eco Action Day will focus on Singapore’s efforts to mitigate climate change. In the lead up to COP 21, the city-state last June committed to reducing its emissions intensity by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise emissions with the aim to peak by that time.
To fulfil this pledge, Singapore will have to transition into a low-carbon economy. As a country with limited alternative energy options, it will have to focus heavily on energy efficiency and deploying best-in-class technologies to meet its target.Businesses – especially heavy energy users – will have to balance increasing growth with reducing energy use, while households and individuals will also need to factor in climate concerns into their daily activities, said the government when it submitted its pledge.
While this task is daunting, it also presents new opportunities for Singapore. The city-state can be a test-bed to pilot and commercialise innovative urban solutions, which could eventually be scaled and exported to the world.As the first World Environment Day after the Paris conference, Eco Action Day 2016 is a timely opportunity to consider the challenges and opportunities Singapore will face, as it works to deliver its climate pledge, and the practical steps organisations and individuals can take to support this.
Ricoh Asia Pacific has organised Eco Action Day in Singapore since 2007 in partnership with public and private sector organisations including the National Climate Change Secretariat, National Environment Agency, Building and Construction Authority, Energy Market Authority, Singapore Environment Council, Keppel Land, Panasonic, and Eco-Business, among others.To celebrate the milestone 10th Eco Action Day in Singapore, Ricoh Asia Pacific and Eco-Business will convene a panel discussion themed ‘From Agreement to Action: Singapore’s Climate Pledge’, on June 3.
The event will bring together government, business, and civil society leaders to share their thoughts on Singapore’s journey towards achieving its climate change targets.Following the discussion, the Eco Action Awards will be held. This year, pledges made by any organisation will automatically qualify for the awards, which seek to recognise the most impactful and creative pledges.
On the occasion, Tetsuya Takano, Managing Director of Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, said that “When Ricoh first embarked on Eco Action Day in Singapore in 2007, going green was not so common. From a humble start of 18 participating organisations, we have gathered more than 700 organisations today. Eco Action Day is an opportunity for Ricoh to share ideas on how to operate sustainably with other like-minded businesses. But it is not just about one person or organisation; it requires everyone’s support to make this happen.”
SueanneMocktar, Director, 3P Network Division, National Environment Agency, said: “The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been a long-term partner of Ricoh for its Eco Action Day. We both share similar goals in encouraging corporations in Singapore to adopt environment-friendly practices and to become more sustainable. We are heartened to see Ricoh’s continued strong commitment to engaging the business community and hope to see more corporations coming on board the environmental journey.”
Yuen SaiKuan, Director, Corporate Affairs Division, National Climate Change Secretariat, said: “Singapore has set an ambitious goal of stabilising its greenhouse gas emissions around 2030. To achieve this, the Government will be stepping up efforts to encourage businesses, the community and individuals to conserve energy and manage their carbon footprint. Eco Action Day can help to raise awareness of how everyone can contribute to the national effort.”
Jessica Cheam, Editor, Eco-Business, said: “The Paris Agreement is a milestone international effort to tackle climate change, but the hard work of delivering the pledges still remains ahead of us. Countries will also need to further raise the ambition of their pledges if the international community is to achieve its target of capping global temperature rise at 1.5°C. Businesses, policymakers, and civil society must work together to implement the solutions that will enable this. Eco Action Day is an ideal platform for all stakeholders to come together to get the conversation going on the strategies we need, to fulfil Singapore’s climate pledge.”