Southeast Asia, home to 655 million people, is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. As it becomes more developed, electricity demand is expected to more than double to 2,000 tera-watt hours (TWH) by 2040.
The fast-growing cooling crisis is a hot topic of late, as cooling technologies like refrigerators and air-conditioners are turned up high in the tropical weather. According to Eco-Business Research, this could account for 40 per cent of Southeast Asia’s electricity demand by 2040, threatening climate-change and carbon emissions and highlighting the need for people’s environmental action. Moreover, excessive use of air-conditioning in offices, malls and houses is a growing environmental concern in Singapore.
Ricoh Asia Pacific (Ricoh), the Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company, today brings back their Eco Action Day campaign in Singapore for its 12th year, calling on organisations and individuals to pledge green actions for an eco-friendlier Singapore. For every corporate pledge, Ricoh will plant a tree sapling to help green the country in this year of climate action.
The annual nationwide campaign encourages awareness of, and action for the environment and celebrates the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme’s World Environment Day (WED), held every 5th June.
Last year was one of Singapore’s warmest year on record. To instil greater awareness of climate change among people and to support the Paris Agreement, Environment and Water Resources Minister, Masagos Zulkifli has designated 2018 as Year of Climate Action.
Organisations and individuals can play their part to make a positive change by supporting green initiatives in Singapore. They can do so by committing to take simple actions to reduce energy waste at www.ecoaction.sg. Each pledge will be included into the Climate Action Pledges by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR).
Last year, a total of 24 schools and 210 organisations pledged to contribute their green actions for an eco-friendlier Singapore. On an individual front, a total of 1,185 people made the same pledge, an increase of almost three times that of the previous year.
On the corporate front
The inaugural Eco Action Day Industry Roundtable last year kick-started with a focus on Goal 12 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which covered how companies in Singapore could apply circular economy principles and business models in practice. This year’s spotlight is on how to tackle one of UN’s most important SDGs, Goal 9, to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation. “Industry Innovation in the Year of Climate Action,” this year’s Eco Action Day Industry Roundtable 2018 on 31 May, jointly hosted by Ricoh and Eco-Business together with government, business, and civil society leaders will discuss how companies in Singapore can apply the principles of SDG 9 in their operations. Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Environment & Water Resources, is the guest-of-honour.
Topics covered will include obstacles faced to ensure that innovation is always sustainable, key opportunities for businesses for better product lifecycle management, as well as actions to speed up progress in disrupting industry and infrastructure using circular economy principles.
Mr Kaz Goto, Managing Director of Ricoh Asia Pacific, said: “Environmental sustainability is a collective effort, one where we call on everyone to collaboratively work towards a common goal to address the issue of climate change. Pledging is the first step towards realising this goal and we hope green actions will become second nature to all of us. Over the years, Ricoh has conducted many Eco Office Tours to organisations and schools to share more about our environmental technologies and sustainable office management best practices. We look forward to creating shared values as we seek to achieve environmental conservation and profits simultaneously.”
Eco Action Day has gained the support of multiple public and private sector organisations since 2007. This year’s partners include MEWR, the National Environment Agency (NEA), Mitsubishi Electric, the Singapore Environment Council, Keppel Land, Keppel REIT, Deloitte and Singapore Pool, among others.
This is the fifth year that Keppel Land and Keppel REIT collaborated with Ricoh as Strategic Partner and Office Building Supporter respectively. Tenants in Keppel Land and Keppel REIT’s buildings, such as Keppel Land’s Keppel Bay Tower and Keppel REIT’s Marina Bay Financial Centre and One Raffles Quay, will be participating in this year’s Eco Action Day campaign.
Mr Loh Chin Hua, Executive Chairman of Keppel Land, said: “At Keppel Land, we believe that sustainability is key to future-proofing our business. Besides supporting green initiatives such as Eco Action Day, as part of our proactive and holistic approach to sustainability, Keppel Land has adopted six of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals which are most aligned with our business. We have pledged to reduce carbon emission intensity by 40% from 2010’s level by 2030, which is equivalent to reducing almost 140,000 tonnes of carbon emission. By taking these steps, we hope to pave the way towards a more sustainable future.”
Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, said: “I commend Ricoh Asia Pacific for their effort in working with various partners to push the sustainability agenda and also in motivating more organisations and individuals to take their climate action pledge as they celebrate the 12th Eco Action Day. Every individual and corporate has a part to play in climate action and no action is too small to count towards mitigating climate change.”
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 1,100 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, 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 2017, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,028 billion yen (approx. 18.2 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 organized 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 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.