Japanese electronic multinational Ricoh Asia Pacific kicked off the 10th anniversary of its Eco Action Day initiative on last Friday (1 April) 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 – in the French capital 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 per cent 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 testbed 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.