Success of Eco Action Day in Singapore Sparks Regional Initiative in Asia Pacific
Singapore conserved over 200,000 kWh of energy in 2016; nine other countries commit to share eco-mind together.
SINGAPORE, 3 April 2017 - Ricoh Asia Pacific (Ricoh) kicked-off its annual Eco Action Day today in Singapore with an invitation to other organisations and individuals to pledge green actions for an eco-friendlier Singapore.
In 2016, the number of pledges by organisations for Eco Action Day rose to 207, delivering energy conservation of 221,247kWh. These energy savings would be enough to power a block of flats for six months.
The annual nationwide campaign encourages awareness and action for the environment. It is held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme's World Environment Day (WED), which is celebrated on June 5 every year.
The theme "Green the Red Dot, Join the Movement" aims to mobilise residents and businesses, and have them adopt green behaviours to effect positive environmental changes.
To reduce greenhouse emissions, the government recently announced it will introduce a carbon tax in 2019 to reduce emissions intensity by 36 percent by 2030, following its commitment to the Paris Agreement. In the Agreement, Singapore also pledged to stabilise emissions by 2030.
With a commitment to a greener outlook, Ricoh and Eco-Business will host the Eco Action Day Circular Economy Industry Roundtable with government, business, and civil society leaders on June 1. The discussions will focus on how companies in Singapore can apply circular economy principles and business models in practice, and generate new revenue streams, while simultaneously building climate resilience.
On the same day, winning teams from the Eco Action Day Circular Economy Challenge (Challenge) will present their ideas to industry leaders at the Roundtable, followed by the prize-giving ceremony. The overall champion will receive a sponsored trip to Japan, including a field trip to Ricoh's Eco Business Development Centre.
The Challenge was launched on 22 February to engage youths and young professionals to develop a circular economy solution applicable for Singapore. Submission deadline is May 10. This initiative is in support of United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production.
The success of Singapore's largest and longest business-led environmental initiative has led to the creation of a regional platform for organisations and individuals to 'share eco-mind together'.
This year, the Eco Action Day celebration is not limited to Singapore but will include nine other countries - namely Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan,Thailand, and Vietnam. The theme 'Sharing eco-mind together', aims to get members to embrace sustainability consciousness. A video showcasing the region's efforts towards improving eco awareness and adopting sustainable initiatives has been made available for the public. Corporates and individuals residing in any of these nine countries can make their pledge at www.ecoaction.sg/.
In Singapore, Eco Action Day has gained the support of several public and private sector organisations since 2007. This year's partners include Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, National Environment Agency, Singapore Environment Council, Energy Market Authority, Building Construction Authority, Keppel Land, Keppel REIT, Global Compact Network Singapore, SMRT, Eco-Business, among others.
Organisations and individuals can play a role in effecting positive environmental changes to complement other green initiatives in the city-state. Making the pledge at www.ecoaction.sg contributes to the national vision of the Singapore Sustainable Blueprint (SSB), which seeks to create a more sustainable and liveable Singapore for all.
Mr. Kazuhisa Goto, Managing Director, Ricoh Asia Pacific, said, "As a Group effort, Ricoh's sustainable environmental management began as early as 1970s to engage and balance conservation activities with business sustainability. In Singapore, we embarked on the green journey as early as 2003, striving to become one of the leading companies that is committed to the environment. Since the inception of Eco Action Day, we have made great strides locally, and with the success of the campaign in Singapore, we are excited to launch the campaign as a regional movement this year. With a common platform for the region now, we hope that organisations and individuals can share with us their best practices for the environment. This will allow us to learn and grow together as we continue this sustainability journey. While striving to gain the momentum for the regional campaign, we are confident of this new direction and look forward to seeing how it progresses in the region moving forward."
Mr Lee Kheng Seng, Director, Communications and 3P Partnership Division, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, said, "The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) commends Ricoh and its supporting partners for the 11th run of the Eco Action Day, which has developed into one of the more prominent environmental campaigns in Singapore. We are heartened to see the ongoing success of the Eco Action Day in bringing together hundreds of organisations and individuals to pledge to take actions towards reducing energy and resource consumption, and to minimise carbon emissions. This is very much aligned with Singapore's efforts to mitigate climate change, and supports the Sustainable Singapore Movement, launched by MEWR in July 2016. Everyone has a role to play, by taking action and encouraging those around us to do the same, we can build a sustainable future for Singapore."
Mr Ang Wee Gee, CEO, Keppel Land, said, "At Keppel Land, sustainability is at the heart of our strategy and operations. We recognise the twin benefits of environmentally-friendly business practices on the environment and our bottom line. 2017 marks a decade since we formed a dedicated committee to lead in the setting of sustainability targets for our company as well as for our developments in Singapore and overseas. Through our steadfast commitment as well as implementation of carbon reduction measures and green innovations in our buildings, we are on track to reducing our carbon emission intensity by 16% below 2010's emission levels by 2020. This will in turn yield potential savings of over $12.4 million up to 2020. Through the support of initiatives such as Eco Action Day, we seek to raise environmental consciousness among our stakeholders to join us as we shape a cleaner, greener future for generations to come."
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 organizations and the wider public to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.
To date, more than 900 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
About World Environment Day
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.