Asia-Pacific conference looks at global green-tech opportunities

24 Oct 2011

The recently held Asia Pacific Sustainability Leadership Conference brought together government, business and industry leaders to look at the latest green-tech and sustainability opportunities.

According to Harvard Business Review, sustainability is now one of the biggest megatrends of the past decade, as nations and industries alike struggle to keep up with climate change objectives, the challenge to stop the planet’s temperatures rising and the growing necessity to embed carbon reporting into their business planning.

Coupled with this, increased competition for depleting natural resources, such as oil, as well as concern about food security, has put sustainability to the fore, particularly in boardrooms, with companies starting to show top-down leadership.

In terms of green tech, companies, irrespective of their size, are also starting to recognise the need to become more energy efficient by embracing cleaner technologies, by looking to renewable forms of power, such as solar and wind, and to see the economic benefits of greening their operations in the long run. The greening of their supply chains in order to become more competitive and win more contracts, has also become more of a strategic imperative for firms.

The Asia Pacific Sustainability Leadership Conference itself was held from 17-20 October.

Bjorn Stigson, president, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), opened the conference, while a Letter of Intent was also signed between the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for the setting up of Business Council for Sustainable Development – Singapore.

Eco-cities of the future

Smart cities, otherwise known as sustainable cities, were also evaluated at the conference, as both governments and companies around the globe start to initiate them. In recent times, we’ve been seeing the rise of eco-towns (take the Cloughjordan project in Tipperary, Ireland) and eco-parks (there is one being planned for Jordan).

At the conference, the panellists looked at how eco-cities and towns will achieve their goals of social, economic and environmental sustainability, as well as the opportunities for companies in this burgeoning eco-city industry.

Clean-tech industry

Panellists also discussed ways of exploiting clean-energy technologies to deliver cost-effective solutions, as well as opportunities and trends in green tech.

Other key topics included:

  • Sustainability sector as the next key emerging sector for investment and financing;
  • Green IT as a growing, global phenomenon.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic