Forum To Aid Businesses Go For Green, Gold

Posted on  29/05/2010  |  Media Centre

29th May 2010

Debbie Too
Saturday, May 29, 2010 – Page 13
Published on The Brunei Times

WITH so much focus on the business environment “going green”, this year’s AsiaInc Forum’s National Environment Conference will tackle issues on whether companies can go green and grow at the same time.

This year’s National Environment Conference will be themed “Sustainability or Growth: Can We Have Both?”

It was brought to the table because AsiaInc recognised that starting this year, there will be a lot of projects that are focused on economic development.

“Where we are coming from, is that Brunei is at a time when we are seeing a lot of economic development and projects kicking in, such as the methanol plant, which was launched this week, a number of projects that are bring driven by the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and this period there is an expected increase in economic development,” said Andrew Dy, general manager of the AsiaInc Forum.

He said that economic development is linked with issues related to the environment and that this year’s focus during the environment forum is also linked with economic growth.

“We thought about whether we should look more on sustainability, or more on … growth, and if we have this, what will happen to this? So in that sense we are dividing up the programme into a number of components that we have, and looking at the big picture,” said Dy.

“This year, we are more focused on a macro level, where last year, we talked about lifestyle changes, the three ‘R’s’ (recycle, reduce and reuse), this year it’s more about where Brunei is at the moment and what Brunei can do for the future,” he said.

The National Environment Conference, which will be held on July 1, will bring together about 300 delegates from the public and private sectors, stated the press release issued by the AsiaInc Forum. “We want to see what new ideas and strategies we can come up with to go forward, and ranging from the government, from academia or the private sector, and how to have both, sustainability and growth,” said Stuart Kemp, executive director of the AsiaInc Forum.

Speakers include Wade Hughes, director of Business Development and Public Strategy for Far East from Alcoa, and Katie Stafford, corporate engagement strategy leader from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and the Heart of Borneo initiative, will both be in an open forum discussion on sustainable development for Brunei Darussalam.

They will discuss what Brunei’s priorities should be and whether there are trade-offs between economic and environmental priorities, and also to discuss what Brunei can learn from other countries.

This will be followed by an open forum discussion on the future of energy and whether there are alternatives to gas-fuelled electricity, and whether the need for alternative energy be moderated by increased energy efficiency. Speakers include Janice Larson, director of renewable energy, from the Ministry of Energy in Canada and Ludovic Le Gurun, operations director from Total.

One of the highlights that the AsiaInc team said to look out for is a showcase of an environment film titled “The Burning Sun” by Dorjee Sun, chief executive officer of Carbon Conservation.

Tareeq Muhmood, chief executive officer of HSBC Brunei, one of the partners of the environment conference, will moderate.

The conference will also be highlighting the presentation of the Go Green Sustainability Awards, now on its second year, to recognise and reward Brunei businesses, institutions and communities that demonstrate leadership in environmental management or sustainable initiatives.

This year, a new category will be introduced to recognise individuals for outstanding environmental stewardship.

Fatin Arifin, research officer from the AsiaInc Forum, said, “We have about six companies this year, and it is not a lot, which shows that there probably aren’t a lot of companies in Brunei that are environmentally conscious. But we are hoping that with this award, it will highlight the importance of the environment and that more businesses, institutions and so on will follow suit.”

The Brunei Times

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