Canberra to Singapore: Nepal to Norway. Earth Goes Global 26 March

Canberra to Singapore: Nepal to Norway. Earth Goes Global 26 March

Earth Hour organisers are calling on sustainable businesses and individuals in Australia to stop being so shy about their achievements, adding a series of Earth Hour Awards for the first time this year. Orchard Road, Singapore  will be transformed into a “sea of candles” as part of an initiative to conserve electricity and Earth Hour champion, actress Nadya Hutagalung asks fans to “join me again this year as we spend an hour reminding ourselves what we should be mindful of all year. Raise awareness to the issues of climate change and how we can start to reduce our own carbon emissions.”

By Breanna Tucker in Canberra Times (3 March 2011)

Earth Hour organisers are calling on sustainable businesses and individuals to stop being so shy about their achievements.

The campaign has introduced a series of Earth Hour Awards for the first time this year and would like to see a greater number of entries from the capital.

Canberra’s Earth Hour business ambassador, Maria Efkarpidis, said Canberra had led the nation in switching off its lights during the campaign for the past two years so should have an abundance of sustainability leaders available for nomination.

”I know there are a lot of buildings in Canberra that have achieved up to six stars with the Green Building Council so there’s proof that we have sustainable initiatives in place and that they’re performing well,” she said. ”We need to get these people recognised as leaders so that others will see the good work they are doing and be inspired to build upon those initiatives themselves.”

Ms Efkarpidis is director of the Rock Development Group and has already shown considerable leadership in researching sustainable building initiatives.

The company has installed the capital’s first electric car charging station at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets and plans to develop a $130 million green precinct at the same site.

By 2015 it hopes to have built a further six office and retail buildings that utilise geothermal heating and cooling, installed rainwater tanks and energy-saving technologies as well as provide community rooftop gardens.

It has also funded Canberra Capitals captain Jess Bibby to drive an electric car to schools to deliver an education program on healthy eating and living.

Many Canberra businesses, like Ms Efkarpidis’s, would qualify for the Earth Hour Workplace Champions award but there are other categories for other ages and individuals.

Entries for the awards close on Sunday. Earth Hour will be on March 26. For more information, visit



Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director, Andy Ridley, today announced a series of high profile and individual environmental actions, and a new dynamic online platform, to mark the global launch for Earth Hour, Beyond the Hour.

Beyond the Hour marks the start of a new phase for the Earth Hour movement. In 2010 hundreds of millions of people across the world took part in Earth Hour, but switching off the lights was only the beginning. This year Earth Hour asks people to commit to an action, big or small, that they will sustain for the future of our planet.

Jim Leape, Director General of WWF, who addressed media at the launch said: “The challenges that face our planet are immense, but never underestimate the possibility for change when we face these challenges with true common purpose. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have given us a glimpse of what is possible. It is now time to go beyond the hour and show what can be done – by the people for the planet.”

An online platform that captures and allows individuals, governments and organisations across the globe to share their actions, will act as the tool to showcase and inspire commitments to protect the one thing we all have in common – the planet.

“The Beyond the Hour platform has been built with social media at its core,” Ridley said. “Social media will play a crucial role for Earth Hour 2011, allowing us to connect with millions of people who are committed to taking lasting action for the planet.”

The platform, created with Leo Burnett, is translated into 11 languages, and integrated with most major social networks including: Facebook, Twitter, Mixi, Myspace, Odnoklassniki, Cloob, Orkut, Qzone, RenRen, Vkontakte, Maktoob, Skyrock, Xing, and Zing. Over 1,000 actions have already been shared on the dynamic online platform.

“Everyone has the power to make change: a CEO can change an organisation, a 7-year-old can change a classroom, and a president can change a country. What we are announcing today is just the beginning,” Ridley said. “It is through the collective action of individuals and organisations that we will be able to truly make a difference, which is why we are urging people across the planet to share how they will go beyond the hour this Earth Hour.”

Actions announced at today’s global launch included the following high-profile and individual commitments.

The Government of Nepal has made a commitment to put a complete stop to tree-felling in the Churiya Range, a vital ecological and sociological forest area spanning around 6,500 sq km.

Source: and

From Channel News Asia:

SINGAPORE: Orchard Road will be transformed into a “sea of candles” as part of an initiative to conserve electricity in the annual Earth Hour event coming up this month.

Leading by example, the Orchard Road Business Association has more than 50 malls, hotels and retailers along the shopping belt participating in the initiative – twice the number as compared to last year.

“More than a hundred establishments are also participating in one way or another by setting their temperatures at 24 degree celsius, by turning off non-essential lights, and by turning off the facade lighting”, said executive director Steven Goh.

“We are going to turn Orchard Road into a sea of candles”, Mr Goh added.

Ms Amy Ho, managing director of World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore said that the focus for this year’s Earth Hour event is to set air-conditioning temperatures at 24 degrees celsius or higher.

“The issue of climate change is all about reducing our energy consumption as well as making more decisions on being more energy-efficient”, said Ms Ho.

Despite calls by the Singapore government to drive the efficient use of energy, implementing change across enterprises remains a key hurdle.

Mr Andy Ridley, co-founder of the Earth Hour global movement, says Singapore is a heavy consumer of energy, but has the potential to become a regional leader for environmental conservation.

“I believe strongly that the leadership is coming, I think it’s a bit slow, but I believe it’s happening. We just need to accelerate and the best way of doing that is for hundreds and millions of people to raise their voices at Earth Hour – in a hopeful way”, said Mr Ridley.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 26, when Singaporeans are encouraged to switch off their lights for an hour.


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