NEC Championing for a Green Brunei

Posted on  06/04/2011  |  Media Centre

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Published on The Brunei Times

ASIA Inc Forum is gearing up for the fourth installment of the National Environment Conference (NEC), and hopes to encourage local entrepreneurs and businesses to venture in the sustainable green business sector with this year’s theme, “Green Brunei: New Ideas for a Sustainable Country”.

(Left) File photo of Stuart Kemp, executive director, Asia Inc Forum, speaking at the National Environment conference 2009 at the Empire Hotel & Country Club, Jerudong.

(Right) A Kampung Sebakit Bawah resident rowing his way to the road due to severe flooding in the Tutong district last September. This year’s NEC would also highlight disaster preparedness. Pictures: BT file

“Green business is still very new to Brunei,” he said, adding that this sector affords local businesses with a “big opportunity” for exploring new ventures.

“We introduced this concept back in our conference in 2009 when we brought in the expert from Sustainability Victoria, Australia to share about what it means to be a green business,” said Stuart Kemp, executive director of Asia Inc Forum in an interview with The Brunei Times.

Asia Inc is using a two-pronged approach to push for this agenda, he said. “First is getting existing businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting greener practices; the second is creating businesses that supplies green products or services,” he explained.

In a statement, Asia Inc said that this year’s conference would focus “on the state of our environment and the priorities for Brunei from water to marine conservation, disaster preparedness, sustainable green business and youth advocacy” and would feature speakers who will assess “how we can best mitigate or adapt to our changing climate”.

A public “Green Showcase” is also on the itinerary which the release states will “feature initiatives or programmes by Asia Inc Forum’s corporate partners and local businesses promoting green products and services”. Kemp said the showcase will exhibit their partners’ (Alcoa, Butra HeidelbergCement, Total and HSBC) sustainability initiatives including products and services from other organisations.

“We are currently in the process of inviting these organisations. It will also showcase the outstanding and shortlisted entries of the 2011 Youth Go Green Initiative Awards and projects by the next generation,” he added.

The release explained that the “Youth Go Green Initiative Awards” would be organised in conjunction to the conference, to “recognise the contribution of the young citizens of Brunei in promoting environmental awareness on the effects of climate change and global warming as well stimulating their creative minds in taking action to save the environment for their future through innovative green solutions”.

The award will be themed “Saving the World, Saving Our Future” and is organised in collaboration with the Science Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre, Ministry of Education.

Asked how Asia Inc has developed into an equal platform for discussion and generation of ideas to contribute to Brunei’s development over the years, Kemp said, “The NEC is a unique platform that brings together the government, business community and other important stakeholders to discuss issues on the state of our environmental sustainability where everyone has a voice. Together with our corporate partners, we strive to stimulate discussions that bring new ideas and practical strategies for Brunei going forward at this important point of development.” Asia Inc’s past conferences have resulted in tangible initiatives, he added, which include an MOA signed between the BEDB and Carbon Conservation.

“We believe that in part,” Kemp said, “it has also contributed to the government’s strong focus on environmentally sustainable development and public awareness and embracing of better environmental practices such as energy conservation, tree-planting activities and no plastic bag weekends.”

The conference will take place at the Rizqun International Hotel on June 8 this year.

The Brunei Times

Source URL: