Archive for the ‘Express 174’ Category

Race for Sustainability?

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

This month is special for Singapore. It presents its National Energy Efficiency Conference with overseas & local experts & delegates, hosts an international CSR summit, launches a five month long climate change awareness campaign called “Our Green Home” at a Singapore Environment Council “G1″ event. But to top all that Singapore hosts arguably the biggest polluting event on the planet – a night time Formula 1 motor race. Besides being energy inefficient – all those lights as well as powerful fuel guzzling cars – it would be the most unsustainable event ever. In the same month Singapore Zoo welcome two panda from China to an appropriately air conditioned cool cage. We know that air conditioning uses about 70% of Singapore’s stationary energy. All too much to take in? Enough to make your editor take to riding a Singapore built bamboo framed bike. Definitely the most sustainable and energy efficient form of transport in the world. Plenty to read in this issue but readers will have to wait a fortnight for the 2012 Global Sustainability Leaders list. Some late submissions & time needed to compile it put it back. But look out for the next issue due out 18th. – Ken Hickson

Profile: John Elkington

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

Sustainability guru and triple bottom line inventor John Elkington – and member of the select band of 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders – can always be expected to raise eyebrows and lift spirits. This time he asks: Among the gloom and doom, does a spark in positive coverage of innovation and enterprise in business media mean we’re headed for a breakthrough? He would like to think so and so would we. Read More

By John Elkington with Susie Brown for Guardian Professional (31 August 2012):

According to business media, where is the world heading?

While much of business media is filled with doom and gloom, positive coverage of innovation and enterprise is breaking through.

Does a spark in positive coverage of innovation and enterprise in business media mean we’re headed for a breakthrough?

Many moons ago, megatrends guru John Naisbitt analysed print media to get a sense of where the world was headed. In the dog days of August, in the spirit (but not style) of Naisbitt, we decided to buy every business magazine we could lay our hands on – tearing them apart as we hunted for evidence on whether coverage in key media sees us heading towards one of two scenarios: breakdown or breakthrough.

Breakdown is the 100% negative scenario. A world in which early experiments and enthusiasm fade in the face of wider incomprehension and resistance to change. Our businesses, cities and economies overshoot ecological limits, bringing the planetary roof down on our heads.

And then there is the breakthrough scenario, which increasingly shapes and informs our own agenda. This assumes that, with the usual ups and downs and ins and outs, the trajectory of our societies and economies is pointed toward a very different set of outcomes – in fields as disparate, but still intimately interlinked, as population growth, pandemics, poverty, pollution and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Cutting across both main scenarios, there are change-as-usual initiatives.

These are often worth having, but fail to address the nature and scale of the challenges we now face. The assumption here, reinforced by the relative failure of this year’s Rio+20 summit, is that political leaders, investors, and the global C-suite proceed at a dangerously relaxed, incremental pace. There are plenty of projects designed to boost efficiency and effectiveness, to satisfy and even exceed customer needs and wants, but the need for system change is largely ignored.

So out we went, prowling through newsagents and grabbing armfuls of magazines as we travelled across Europe.

We devoured business magazines such as Bloomberg Business Week, the Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, the Grocer, the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Money Week, the New Economy, Wired and World Finance.

We also pored over mainstream newspapers such as El País and Le Monde; news magazines such as New African, Newsweek, New Statesman and Time; policy journals and magazines such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and New Internationalist; design magazines such as 3D World; and general interest magazines including American Scientist, Dazed & Confused, Intelligent Life, Monocle, New Scientist, Rolling Stone, Surface and Wallpaper.

A quick-and-dirty analysis showed a striking pattern, which won’t come as news to anyone who thinks the media only report the bad stuff: themes linked to a range of breakdown scenarios dominated many of the publications.

Typical stories focused on the civil war in Syria, self-immolations in Tibet, banking scandals in the UK, zero growth in the French economy, the worst year for forest fires in Spain (at a time when fire services are being cut back as part of the national austerity drive), Rolling Stone’s astounding piece by Bill McKibben on the “terrifying new math” of climate change, the coming pensions crunch as populations age, and online piracy. To name but a few.

In contrast to the profusion of breakdown stories, change-as-usual solutions seemed to be significantly less well represented. No surprise, perhaps, given that things such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement have gone mainstream and so aren’t particularly newsworthy. That said, the middle ground still shows signs of considerable innovation and creativity, with both articles and ads featuring eco-celebrities, including sustainability focused fashion designer Eileen Fisher.

Particularly striking was the sheer amount of advertising for electric vehicles: Nissan and its LEAF; Audi with its e-tron, “the future of electric mobility;” and the BMWi offering to place you in what its manufacturer calls “the state of sustainability”. Just as in the early 80s every new car had to be a four-wheel drive, in 2012 it seems it has to be sustainable.

And it was slightly weird, in parallel, to see the way the green waves have been spreading to companies in different parts of the world, particularly where they advertise in western media. Take Hyundai in the Week. “Think everything isn’t linked together? Think again,” the company says, promoting its own branded form of eco-efficient mobility, Blue Drive. “Like ripples in a pond,” the ad notes, “everything we do affects the world around us. That’s why Hyundai is dedicated to the development of sustainable, eco-friendly vehicles.” The last line: “Because together, we can turn the smallest ripple into a cleansing wave.”

Hmmm. That’s likely to be a breakthrough only if you believe the answer to our access and mobility needs is a personal automobile, whereas a system-level breakthrough might involve urban design, public transit systems or, at the very least, novel car-sharing schemes. Fully in the breakthrough space, by contrast, is Fortune magazine with its wildly positive story on Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and the cooperative business movement (the New Internationalist).

At a time when it is increasingly clear that we need to open out the focus from individual companies and their supply chains to wider market dynamics, and ultimately to the cultural context, it was interesting to see one of our favourite business magazines, Fast Company, spotlighting what it calls the League of Extraordinary Women, some of these innovators dealing with breakdown challenges, some active in change-as-usual settings (albeit with higher ambitions), and some explicitly aiming for breakthrough.

We also found a fair amount of coverage of the growing power of civil society in countries such as Japan and China, the repercussions of the Pussy Riot trial in Russia, and the emergence of high-octane NGOs like the Black Fish Network.

But what to do if you want to breakthrough but are stuck in an incumbent business? Professor Bob Eccles and his colleagues give advice on how to create a sustainable company in the MIT Sloan Management Review. The leaders of sustainable companies, they conclude, are different because they take a long-term view; have a clear direction in mind; are more willing to tolerate risk; and are more knowledgeable about sustainability themes.

Overall, what struck us in the breakthrough zone was that, almost regardless of where we looked, positive coverage of innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurs has been going through the stratosphere. One of the most striking examples of the trend was Surface magazine’s coverage of Nike’s zero waste strategy. (When asked for current examples of breakthrough initiatives, we often point to the sportswear industry’s Roadmap to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals.)

We have already covered a fair amount of ground with our Breakthrough Capitalism program, with a first progress report now posted, but as we move into the next phase one key objective will be to help boost the coverage of breakthrough innovation, entrepreneurship, finance and policy-making.

There’s an open invitation to join us for the next magazine-ripping session, sometime next year.

John Elkington is executive chairman of Volans and non-executive director at SustainAbility. His latest book is The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier (Earthscan/Taylor & Francis). He blogs at and tweets at @volansjohn

Susie Brown is an On Purpose fellow and is a key member of the Volans Breakthrough team.


Marriage Ahead for Australia & Europe on Carbon Trading

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

Australia’s plans to link up with Europe’s emissions trading scheme and carbon price has raised eyebrows, but some industry observers see this as necessary and productve.   It could also prove beneficial for carbon-trading services in Australia as the market expands in the Asia-Pacific region. CSIRO has identified emissions from the shipping industry as detrimental to air quality near land and in ports, with nitrogen oxide and sulphur emissions contribute to photochemical smog that could affect human health. Read more

EU carbon link ‘beneficial’ to local traders

By Chris Zappone for Business Day (29 August 2012):

The government’s decision to link Australia’s future carbon price with Europe’s could be a boon for carbon-trading services in Australia, particularly as the market for the nascent commodity expands in the Asia-Pacific region.

The connection to Europe’s established emissions pricing market will break down barriers between the two regions. Australian businesses competing in such a market will have an advantage as more Asian nations begin pricing greenhouse-gas emissions, industry representatives said.

The government’s move to hitch Australia’s future carbon price to the world’s biggest emissions trading market came as it decided to ditch its previous plan to set a minimum $15 price per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted once the fixed rate – currently at $23 a tonne – ends in 2015.

The carbon tax kicked in on July 1 with the aim of prodding the biggest emitters to reduce emissions of the gas which is contributing to warming global temperatures.

Andrew Grant, managing director of CO2 Group, said the effort to connect emission trading links between Australia and Europe by 2018 “the most profound” aspect of yesterday’s announcement.

“If schemes aren’t linked, we can’t trade internationally so this is so much more beneficial,” Mr Graham said.

Regional push

The change will also give an edge to Australian clean energy firms in Southeast Asia, a region where Europe had dominated until the financial crisis had forced it to scale back their efforts, he said.

Australia had been “a Johnny-come-lately” into that region, but now that it was effectively in the same market, more business could flow, said Mr Grant.

CO2 Group, which provides carbon advisory and other related services, already has business in Singapore and New Zealand. Additional international links give the group an “ability to optimise our assets,” said Mr Grant.

Clean Energy Council deputy chief executive Kane Thornton said short-term price fluctuation around carbon pricing will give way to longer term consistency as Europe’s market is opened up.

“Even though removing the carbon price floor potentially opens us to greater volatility in the market, the link to a larger market covering some 530 million people will help to protect our emissions trading scheme from sudden changes in the price of carbon,” said Mr Thornton.

He sees a potential inflow of $20 billion in investment in low- or carbon-free energy projects that could generate 30,000 jobs over the next decade as a result of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Political risk

The chief risk for the renewable energy sector, he believes, is any watering down of the 20 per cent cut in carbon emissions to be achieved by 2020 through the government’s RET review.

“Any perceived benefits from tinkering with the scheme would be undermined by the signals that it sends to investors,” said Mr Thornton. The review concludes at the end of the year.

“We still have the political risk around government and a drastic change of policy,” he said.

Many large companies in Australia want an established market for their carbon exposure said Rob Fowler, who represents the International Emissions Trading Association in Australia and New Zealand.

Links with Europe will expand options for Australian companies to hedge their carbon pricing positions, Mr Fowler said. Further, it will expand opportunities for Australian carbon trading and carbon-offset businesses.

“If Australia can establish and maintain a European link and start to create relationships around carbon that reflect our trade relationships in Asia Pacific, we act as a real interesting pivot in the international carbon environment,” he said.

“Australia as a service provider in these sorts of professional areas has a good history,” said Mr Fowler. “It’s likely we’re going to create a useful financial services industry around that.”

Mr Fowler said Australia also benefited from having a well-regulated financial sector in the eyes of the global investors.



CSIRO Report (31 August 2012):

Australian shipping emissions identified

Ship engine exhaust emissions make up more than a quarter of nitrogen oxide emissions generated in the Australian region according to a recently-published study by CSIRO and the Australian Maritime College in Launceston. Nitrogen oxide is a non-greenhouse gas, unlike similarly named nitrous oxide.

The remainder comes from road and air transport, energy generation, and industrial processes. Global studies indicate that shipping emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulphur contribute to the formation of photochemical smog and particles near land and in ports.

The authors, Dr Ian Galbally from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, and the Australian Maritime College’s Dr Laurie Goldsworthy estimate that approximately 30 per cent of anthropogenic nitrogen oxide emissions and 20 per cent of oxides of sulphur emissions generated in the Australian region may come from shipping.

These are non greenhouse gases which have the potential to affect the air quality near coastal regions, and have consequences for human health and amenity.

Dr Galbally said around 10 per cent of global shipping freight passes through Australian ports annually. “Shipping is a major driver in the Australian economy, with 753 Mt of international exports worth $202 billion passing through Australian ports in 2008-2009.”

“There is limited knowledge about the emissions from ships in coastal regions and ports in Australia, the effects of these emissions on air quality in the surrounding coastal and portside urban regions, or potential effects on human health” he said.

The ports of Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are located where seasonally-prevailing onshore winds dominate and the pollutants from shipping frequently will be carried into the air-sheds of these major urban population centres.

“We’re seeing increasing regulation of land-based emissions but limited regulation of shipping emissions and expect that in the near-future there will be a need to monitor more closely emissions from shipping,” Dr Galbally said.

The authors commenced this study with measurements of ship exhaust emissions on the coastal cement carrier MV Goliath.

Dr Goldsworthy said it is possible to quantify emissions generated based on knowledge of fuel type, fuel origin, engine size, cargo, and speed.

“We know from previous studies and the Australian Pollutant Inventory that ship emissions off the coast of Australia are substantially larger than in-port ship emissions.”

“Nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions at sea are comparable in magnitude with other national sources such as energy generation and industry. They are potentially significant contributors to the air-sheds of major coastal cities,” he said.

The study appeared recently in the journal Air Quality and Climate Change.


Could Geoengineering Be the Only Real Climate Solution?

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

As there seem to be no clear solutions for the ever worsening problem of global warming and its effects on the climate, this could lead to the adoption of desperate measures to try to mitigate the effects of climate change.  Geoengineering – which involves large scale manipulation of natural systems mimicking natural phenomena – presents radical and controversial suggestions in facing the problem, and lacking other approaches, may turn out to be the only ones left. Read more

By Joseph Stromberg in the Smithsonian Surprising Science Column (31 August 2012):

Is Geoengineering the Answer to Climate Change?

Geoengineering could replicate the cooling effects of a massive volcanic eruption as a tool to reduce climate change.

Climate change used to be thought of as a long-term worry; now, there’s good reason to believe we’re already encountering its effects. As the problem grows more urgent, some say we ought to take a radical approach: Instead of struggling in vain to limit greenhouse gas emissions, we should try to engineer systems to directly stop the warming of the planet.

This approach is known as geoengineering, and it might be the most controversial area in climate science.

The term encompasses a wide variety of techniques. One company tried to fertilize the ocean with iron, to encourage the growth of algae to absorb excess carbon dioxide. Other scientists have suggested spraying clouds with seawater to increase their whiteness—and thus reflectivity—reducing warming by bouncing light back out to space. The U.S. government has even considered gigantic, sun-blocking mirrors in outer space as a last-ditch option if climate change hits a tipping point.

The most debated suggestion, though, is inspired by a natural phenomenon: Massive volcanic eruptions can trigger several years of global cooling because they by suspend sulfur aerosols and other particulate matter high enough in the atmosphere where they remain aloft for years, blocking a small fraction of sunlight. This effect could be mimicked using aircraft, artillery or even suspended pipes to send sulfate particles into the atmosphere where they would counteract the effect of rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

One proposed experiment would have used a balloon-tethered pipe to pump sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere and block a portion of solar radiation from reaching earth.

Now, for the first time, a team of scientists has specifically analyzed the immediate financial costs of employing such a technique. Their results, published yesterday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, might be seen as encouraging by advocates of geoengineering—but depressing for everyone hoping to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The researchers, from Aurora Flight Sciences, Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University, found that continuously delivering materials into the stratosphere to deflect sunlight could theoretically be accomplished with current technologies and could cost as little as $5 billion per year worldwide. Although this might sound like a large sum, reducing emissions enough to prevent carbon dioxide levels from surpassing 450 ppm—a figure often cited as a stabilization target to prevent significant warming—would cost anywhere from $200 to $2,000 billion, making geoengineering seem like a relative bargain.

The detailed cost analysis evaluated systems that could deliver 1 million tonnes of sulfates annually to altitudes greater than 11 miles, well into the stratosphere, between 30°N and 30°S for the entire planet. In comparing six different techniques—the use of existing aircraft, a new aircraft designed to perform at high altitudes, a new hybrid airship, rockets, guns and suspended pipes—the authors found that using existing or newly designed aircraft would be the most cost-effective options.

Designing aircraft specifically for performance at high altitude, they found, would likely be less expensive than modifying current aircraft for the task, although both options would be possible given current technology. Using guns and rockets or suspended pipes would be more costly, largely because they wouldn’t be reusable, whereas devoted aircraft could deliver the particles to the stratosphere time and time again. The most fanciful option—a large gas pipe that would rise miles into the sky, perhaps supported by helium-filled platforms—could be the most expensive, due to the cost of developing such an unprecedented system and the overall uncertainty involved.

The authors note, though, that the unknowns and potential risks of this type of geoengineering could outweigh the reduced pricetag. For one, it treats a symptom of climate change (a warmer atmosphere) rather than the cause (greenhouse gas concentrations), so it does nothing to address other related problems, such as ocean acidification. There’s also the fact that once such measures induce dependence: If we started them on a global scale, we’d have to continue indefinitely, or risk an accelerated return of the climate to where it would have been without any action.

Most alarmingly, intentionally pumping millions of tons of aerosols into the atmosphere is an experiment for which we have no precedent. Our understanding of the climate is still incomplete, so embarking on an intentional plan to re-engineer it (after already doing so quite unintentionally) could lead to unexpected consequences. Other researchers have noted that deploying sulfates into the stratosphere could cause ozone depletion, trigger drought, alter cloud formation and might even counterintuitively cause more warming.

This is one area of science where some say that merely performing research can irresponsibly alter the actual outcome of events. Once concrete information about geoengineering techniques is out there, it could sap public support for emissions reductions and provide a politically handy “backup plan” for policymakers. Additionally, it raises the frightening idea of unilateral deployment: With the world’s nations seemingly incapable of a binding agreement to reduce emissions, an island nation facing sea level rise could simply start re-engineering the atmosphere for its own survival.

This study helps us better understand the visible expenses of geoengineering as a solution for climate change. Its long-term costs, though, are still up in the air.


Race for Gold for Athletes & Companies in CSR Games

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

The London Paralympic Games casts the spotlight on the outstanding achievements of athletes with disabilities. While the athletes get the attention they deserve, all disabled need to be given greater opportunity to succeed in their chosen field of endeavour. Company cultures and employment practices need to be adjusted accordingly if they are to meet basic corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. This is one important aspect of CSR which will be explored during the upcoming International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2012, to be held on the 27 & 28September. Read more

By Will Henley for Guardian Professional (30 August 2012):

Achievements of disabled athletes in the Paralympics are celebrated but how much support and opportunity is there for disabled people in corporate environments?

Great Britain, with a disabled population roughly 11 million strong, is predicted to clean up in the Paralympics medal tally thanks to years of encouragement and investment in its disabled athletes.

But while the achievements of the athletes are to be celebrated, millions of non-sporting disabled people face an ongoing battle in finding success and competing at the highest level in industry.

According to government statistics, in 2011, just 48.8% of people of working age with physical or mental impairments were employed, next to a national average of 77.5%

Although figures for the private sector are difficult to obtain, the gulf is probably worse still if you exclude public sector workers, suggests Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK and the author of a recent government-sponsored review which recommended expanding state funded access to work support for disabled employees.

The problem, she says, is due in part to a “built-in risk aversion” among many companies. “Big organisations sometimes have a lot of procedures around safety. [Others] don’t really know what is involved and have anxieties about what it would mean to employ disabled people.”

Even when a disabled person makes it onto the payroll it can be tough to break through the corporate glass ceiling, she says.

A survey of over 1,400 professionals conducted by Disability Rights UK’s predecessor, Radar, in 2010, found that non-disabled staff are three times more likely than disabled counterparts to earn over £80,000 and are twice as likely to become board-level directors.

“The odds are stacked against you,” concludes Sayce, who blames a corporate culture of overprotectiveness and lowered expectations.

“Managers, with the best intentions, just overlook people for promotion. They think, ‘Oh, we wouldn’t want to put more stress on the person.’ Of course for a disabled person who is ambitious, they want the opportunity. It’s not at first discrimination, but it results in discrimination.”

Companies that fail to encourage disabled employees are however missing out, insists Tim Taylor, diversity and inclusion manager at Lloyds Banking Group, Britain’s largest retail bank.

In refusing to take a chance on perfectly well qualified disabled candidates, firms put themselves at a competitive disadvantage, he says.

“Many of our customers have disabilities and if we are going to understand their needs it helps us to have disabled people in the organisation. [In addition] a lot of disabled people bring a unique life experience: they can be good at problem solving, innovation and planning. These are all skills which are really helpful to us.”

Lloyds was one of the founders of Radar’s Radiate national network for senior and talented disabled professionals. The business also has its own internal employees network, a personal development programme and a workplace adjustment scheme to help disabled staff adapt office space and IT.

Taylor explains that the company, which has over 104,000 employees, is hoping to raise the level of debate among employers and managers across the country. “For too many people it is about wheelchairs and white sticks [and] not about people who are actually very talented and happen to have a disability.”

This is not to say that Lloyds is quite there yet. Internal surveys show that only about 3.5% of staff – and just over 1% of senior managers – identify as being disabled. Under-reporting could be an issue here, he suggests. Employees may choose not to disclose an impairment or may not recognise that a minor condition even qualifies. But with the right support he is confident of improvements.

Leadership from the top has been vital, he says. But Lloyds’ standpoint does not come from a sense of corporate social responsibility. “[CSR] has been the traditional approach and there is a lot of merit in that, but at Lloyds we tend to want to lead on the business case. It’s good for the customer, it’s good for colleagues, and it can help to make or save money. That argument resonates more.”

Susan Scott-Parker, founder and chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Disability, an NGO with 120 global firms of the likes of Barclays and Accenture among its members, is one leading advocate who sees the potential of business as a driving factor in instituting positive change.

“What [employers] can do differently that will make it easier [for people] to succeed, get promoted and contribute to the business is the essence of this new approach to disability,” she says, pointing to the Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology EFD launched in 2008. The initiative commits members to only buy technologies that conform to a common accessibility standard.

Another case in point, Scott-Parker says, is drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, which has adopted a work placement scheme known as Project Search. The initiative helps young people with learning or other disabilities to gain the skills that will enable them to make the transition from education to work.

“What GSK is doing,” she says, “is enabling a group of, say, 10 people with disabilities to become more employable. They may take six or eight of them in the knowledge that the rest will go on and work for other employers.”

The idea is to not just recruit good people for the company but to also build a pipeline of talent for the entire community. “The point is, it has to be right for the person, and right for the company. We don’t want companies to think that when they do something in this space they are doing people a favour.”

But while much onus lies with business behaviour, other sectors also have a vital role, the chief executive adds, noting the challenge facing employment agencies such as Job Centre Plus in educating unemployed disabled people – and in turn firms – about available government funded access support.

“Business has to behave differently, welfare to work agencies have to behave differently, and government has to learn how to fund the system in a different way. All three have to change their behaviour,” she says.

In this way, improving the lot of disabled people in the workplace and giving companies the best possible pool of talent is not quite a marathon, much less a sprint. It’s more of a relay. Those affected will be hoping that business doesn’t drop the baton.

Will Henley is a journalist, communications specialist and executive member of the Commonwealth Journalists Association.


Singapore Compact presents:

The 4th International Singapore Compact CSR Summit 2012 is back. Themed “Trends, Threats and Opportunities”, the conference will highlight the value of CSR and look at aspects of sustainability, focusing on the social, environment and business impacts.

Leading the distinguished array of speakers at the event which focuses attention on the growing awareness of sustainability as the next business megatrend is Mr Kwek Leng Joo,  President, Singapore Compact for CSR  and Managing Director of City Developments Limited, a company which has set high standards as a for corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Singapore and internationally. It is the only Singapore developer to be listed on both Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and FTSE4Good Index Series and the only Singapore company listed on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations for three consecutive years.SR Awards 2012

Plenary sessions and workshops during the 2-day conference will explore CSR with regard to value creation, the environment and human capital while providing in-depth perspectives across sectors and the ASEAN region. As an extension of the past three years’ Summits, thought leaders will share their research and findings addressing different business stakeholder groups and impart CSR strategies on how to ride the uncertainty.

Here are just four of the CSR leaders who will be present to speak at the summit:

  • Jeremy Moon is Professor and founding Director of the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. His research interests include comparative CSR, CSR and governance, and corporate citizenship. Jeremy won a Beyond Grey Pinstripes European Faculty award for preparing MBAs for social and environmental stewardship in 2005. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of CSR (OUP) and co-author of Corporations and Citizenship (CUP).
  • Ann Florini is Visiting Professor of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, and Non-resident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Her research addresses innovations in governance of both the public and private sectors, with emphasis on global governance. As a Brookings senior fellow, she designed and ran the Global Governance Initiative on behalf of the World Economic Forum (2000-2005), releasing the Initiative’s reports each year at the Forum’s annual meetings at Davos. Prior to joining SMU, she was the founding director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the National University of Singapore (2006-2011), where she created and led programs of research on the intersections of business and public policy, Asia’s roles in global affairs, and energy and natural resources policy.


  • Dr Michael Schluter trained as an economist, obtaining his PhD at Cornell University. He worked as a research fellow with the International Food Policy Research Institute, and was an economics consultant with the World Bank in East Africa. Michael is now a social entrepreneur and has launched six charities whose work includes theological research and social ethics (Jubilee Centre), international peace-building (Concordis International), alternative finance (Citylife) and social policy (Credit Action). In 1994, he launched the Relationships Foundation; he is also on the board of Relationships Forum Australia. Michael is co-author of The R Factor (1993), Jubilee Manifesto (2005) and The Relational Manager (September 2009) and has contributed to a number of other books looking at social issues from a relational perspective. Since 2009 he has been directing the work of Relationships Global. In 2010-11 Michael worked with a South African company to pilot the use of tools to measure stakeholder relationships in five large corporates in South Africa. Michael is an experienced speaker who addresses audiences all over the world, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list in 2009.


  • Toby Webb is the Founder of Ethical Corporation and CEO of Stakeholder Intelligence(SI). He founded Ethical Corporation, the leading magazine and conference business on CSR world-wide, back in 2001. Since then, he has organised, spoken at, and chaired dozens of conferences, advised the UK Prime Minister on CSR, written UK Government CSR policy (Responsibility Deals) and overseen the publishing of more than 8000 articles on sustainable business, and more than two dozen research reports. Toby also runs Stakeholder Intelligence(SI). SI is an advisory, training, facilitation, and research company based in London, with a global network of experts and clients all over the world. Finally, he is also a lecturer in Corporate Responsibility at Birkbeck College, University of London and Trustee of the Boxing Academy, a London-based charity, and Advance Aid, a disaster relief NGO.

Singapore Compact CSR Awards 2012

Having received tremendous response in 2011, the Singapore Compact CSR Awards is open to submissions again this year. This year, four awards including Best Workplace, Green Champion, Best Community Developer and Caring Employer will be given out. The awards will be presented during the opening ceremony of the 4th International Singapore Compact CSR Summit on 27th September 2012 at Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore.

The CSR Awards this year continue to recognise organisations which have responsible business practice across the areas of environment, community and their people, and demonstrate working in partnership with stakeholders to achieve long-term sustainability of the business. The competition is open to all Singapore-based organisations of any size, including sole traders and government agencies.


Bringing the Climate Change Message Home in South East Asia

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

Greater effort is required from leaders of Southeast Asian nations in facing the threat of climate change, since the effects on societies and economies could exacerbate the economic disparity between and within the nations. In answer to this, Singapore has launched an exhibition roadshow with the theme “Our Green Home” which the Government hopes  will inspire more people to take steps to address climate change as part of their daily lives. Read more

The Jakarta Post (1 September 2012):

Leaders of Southeast Asian nations must step up efforts in saving the environment as climate change threatened to derail the 2015 economic integration goal set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a coalition announced on Friday.

Climate change is a critical issue in the region because countries do not have the capacity to cope with its escalating effects, according to ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Climate Deal (A-FAB), a coalition led by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Oxfam.

“Its impacts also have far-reaching social and economic consequences, affecting health, agriculture, security and the economy. Climate change is set to exacerbate the economic disparity between and within nations,” A-FAB said during a press conference at the United Nations climate change talks in Bangkok, Thailand.

Oxfam policy and research officer Riza Bernabe said developed countries must provide substantial initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund to fulfil their commitment to mobilize US$100 billion per year to support climate mitigation in developing countries, including in Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia political advisor Zelda DT Soriano said she hoped governments could design a work program to put climate negotiations back on the right track at the Bangkok meeting.



In Singapore Environment Council (2 September 2012):

Singapore’s largest environmentally-sustainable lifestyle event, Singapore G1 2012, attracted more than 20,000 people to the Marina Barrage today, making it Singapore’s biggest ever walk-for-green event known to date with its record participation numbers.

Organised by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), the Singapore G1 2012 was officiated by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC). At the event, DPM Teo also launched the climate change exhibition, “Our Green Home”, organised by the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS).The event brought together partners from People, Public and Private (3P) sectors.

DPM Teo said, “Addressing climate change well will contribute to Singapore’s continued competitiveness and sustained growth, and help provide a good living environment for everyone. It requires a whole-of-nation approach, with active participation by businesses, households and people, working hand-in-hand with the Government. As the climate change exhibition travels to various parts of Singapore, we hope that it will inspire more people to take steps to address climate change as part of our daily lives.”

The exhibition by NCCS, “Our Green Home”, provides information on Singapore’s climate change plans, highlights the opportunities arising from climate change and the importance of individual and community actions to address climate change. The exhibition incorporates a Partnership Corner where selected People, Public and Private (3P) sector partners will showcase their initiatives and projects as examples of the diverse ground-up efforts on climate change.

Following the launch, the NCCS-2012 exhibition will move to selected libraries, community clubs and shopping malls in the heartlands, from September 2012 to January 2013. Information updates are also available on the event Facebook page,

“We have worked very hard and closely with our partners to put together Singapore G1 2012 – the nation’s largest environmentally-sustainable lifestyle event. The aim of the SEC’s Singapore G1 2012 was to reach out to as many people as possible, from across various sectors. Today, we were able to get our messages across to a large number of people in a fun and memorable way, reinforcing the fact that everyone can play a part in reducing their carbon footprint,” said Mr Jose Raymond, Executive Director of the SEC.

Singapore G1 2012 featured two five-kilometre walkathon routes, the North and East Walkathon, which started at Lavender and Stadium MRT Stations and was flagged off by Mr Mr Jose Raymond, Executive Director of the SEC and Dr Teo Ho Pin, Vice-Chairman of the SEC and Mayor, Northwest District respectively. The New Paper Big Walk – which started at The Central above Clarke Quay MRT Station and ended at the Marina Barrage – was also held in conjunction with the Singapore G1 2012 walkathon.

The Singapore G1 2012 is a distinctive event and its theme – Live Green – highlights the link between the protection of the environment with healthy living and the reduction of carbon footprint. The event was planned with a “zero waste” objective to show event organisers and corporations that it is possible for events to be carbon neutral and generate as little waste as possible.  “There are literally thousands of events which are organised in Singapore – from sports events to conferences, among many others. The key for event organisers, and we have proven it through the Singapore G1 2012, is to organise their events as carbon neutral as possible and to ensure that as little waste as possible is generated. The Singapore G1 2012 has also proven that going green need not involve a compromise in creativity,” said Mr Raymond.

The event’s marketing and branding also entailed minimal usage of posters and banners.  Recycling bins were heavily utilised during the event to ensure that water bottles used by participants were recycled, and SEC put in place independent auditors to verify the amount of waste generated and recycled from the event.

A string of exciting activities were available for all to experience and enjoy at the Marina Barrage including green music performances, a soapbox competition called the Young Champions Challenge which included youth-at-risk, a Green Art installation comprising 2,500 aluminium cans by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design and a ‘Live Green’ photography contest.

A smartphone application was also developed in partnership with A*Star SIMTECH, SMRT Corporation Ltd. and Balanced Consultancy, the developers of the app. Apart from the usual time and distance calculation that is already available, the app calculates the reduction in carbon footprint, calories burnt and dollars saved per capita by walking, cycling, jogging or taking public transportation, as compared to driving.

The public also had the opportunity to try out the new Nissan LEAF at the Marina Barrage. It is the world’s first mass-produced 100% electric vehicle, which does not produce any tailpipe pollution or greenhouse gas emissions during operation. The vehicle served as the environmentally-friendly transport ambassador for the event. This was made possible by Tan Chong Motor Sales’ support of SEC’s objectives to create a lasting impact on climate change by collaborating with people, industries and governments to encourage and achieve sustainable urbanisation.

Established in 1995, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is an independently managed, non-government organisation that nurtures, facilitates and co-ordinates environmental causes in Singapore. SEC’s work is founded on three pillars of action – Firstly, partnership with the people, private and public sectors of Singaporean society, to nurture a culture aligned with sustainable development concepts. Secondly, SEC rewards environmental excellence through awards schemes and product endorsement programmes, such as the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme. Thirdly, the SEC collaborates with partners to develop and implement training and learning programmes to build competencies in environmental sustainability within companies, thus keeping our business leaders ahead of the curve.

The NCCS was set up as a dedicated agency under the Prime Minister’s Office on 1 July 2010 to coordinate Singapore’s domestic and international policies, plans and actions on climate change so as to secure a sustainable living environment for our future generations. NCCS will achieve this by adopting a Whole-of-Government approach and working with the People and Private sectors to devise and implement cost-effective mitigation and adaptation solutions, reap the opportunities arising from addressing climate change challenges and contribute towards global efforts to address climate change. For more information, please visit

Source: and

US Industry Efficiency Boost & Singapore Showcases Expertise

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

US President Obama has signed an executive order accelerating investment in industrial energy efficiency in a way that benefits manufacturers, utilities and consumers boosting manufacturing competitiveness and creating jobs while improving the energy system and reducing harmful emissions. Energy experts from the US, Europe and Asia will be on hand at Singapore’s second National Energy Efficiency Conference on 18-120 September. Read More

In Sustainable Plant (31 August 2012):

U.S. President Obama has signed an executive order to accelerate investments in industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power (CHP). Accelerating investment in industrial energy efficiency in a way that benefits manufacturers, utilities and consumers can improve American manufacturing competitiveness and create jobs while improving the United States’ energy system and reducing harmful emissions.

The executive order:

  • Sets a national goal of 40 gigawatts (GW) of new CHP installation over the next decade.
  • Directs agencies to foster a national dialogue through ongoing regional workshops to encourage the adoption of best practice policies and investment models that overcome the numerous barriers to investment, provide public information on the benefits of unlocking investment in industrial energy efficiency, and use existing Federal authorities that can support these investments.
  • Directs the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to coordinate actions at the Federal level while providing policy and technical assistance to states to promote investments in industrial energy efficiency.

Investments in industrial energy efficiency and CHP offer significant benefits to manufacturers, utilities and communities across the country, including:

  • Improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness: By accelerating these investments, manufacturers could save at least $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade.
  • Creating jobs now through investments upgrading our manufacturing facilities: Meeting the President’s goal of 40 GW of new CHP over the next decade would mean $40 billion to $80 billion of new capital investment in American manufacturing facilities. Most of these efficient technologies are made in the United States.
  • Offering a low-cost approach to new electricity generation capacity to meet current and future demand: Investments in industrial energy efficiency, including CHP, cost as much as 50% less than traditional forms of delivered new baseload power.
  • Significantly lowering emissions: Improved efficiency can meaningfully reduce nationwide GHG emissions and other criteria pollutants.
  • Enhancing grid security: Investments in industrial energy efficiency reduce the need for new electricity infrastructure (transmission and distribution) and improve overall electric reliability.

In support of the Executive Order, DOE and EPA released a new report, “Combined Heat and Power: A Clean Energy Solution,” that provides a foundation for national discussions on effective ways to achieve 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020, and includes an overview of the key issues currently impacting CHP deployment and the factors that need to be considered by stakeholders involved in the dialogue.

The Department of Energy is also announcing new private sector commitments by five companies – Kingspan Insulated Panels, Cree, General Aluminum Manufacturing Company, PaperWorks, and HARBEC Inc. – to the Better Buildings, Better Plants program where firms commit to improving energy intensity by 25% over 10 years. Partners in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program have already experienced at least $80 million in cost savings. These actions alone are expected to save roughly $1 billion cumulatively by 2020.


News from the National Energy Efficiency Conference 2012:

The National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) is part of the learning network of the Energy Efficiency National programme in Singapore.

Its main objective is to provide thought leadership in energy efficiency, bringing together energy efficiency experts and industry energy professionals to share best practices and success case studies. This year, the second NEEC will take place on 19 and 20 September 2012 with the theme “Energy Efficiency as a Business Opportunity”.

Discover how energy is a controllable operating expense and learn to manage it in other parts of your business. Listen to our energy efficiency experts and visit our exhibition featuring a range energy efficient industrial technologies, practices and solutions. Some of the highlights and topics covered include:

Industry Benchmarking and Optimisation

Integrative Design for Energy Efficiency

Implementing an Online Energy Management System for ISO50001 compliance

Direct Current Distribution for Data Center

Power Plant Thermodynamic Performance Monitoring

Developing Singapore’s Energy Efficient Capabilities

Driving Energy Efficiency in Industry: Public and private sector perspectives

The full programme is available on line.

Keynote Presentations not to be missed include:

Energy Efficiency as a Business Opportunity: Focus on how Energy Efficiency is a business opportunity because it increases productivity and reduces cost. Also talk about the importance of having a system for managing energy so as to achieve improvements in EE.

•             Jim Kelly is Group Vice-President, Head of Global Energy Efficiency business for ABB. Energy efficiency is recognized as a central driver of growth for ABB’s customers including industries, utilities, transportation and buildings. ABB’s opportunities in energy efficiency are vast (over $15B in sales per annum) and this theme is a top 3 growth driver for the company. Increasingly, ABB is required to offer customers innovative solutions combining  elements from across the entire spectrum of the Group’s products, systems and services. Jim leads ABB’s global efforts in this business area bringing the full potential of “One ABB” to this important market opportunity.

•             Juan Aguiriano is Worldwide Managing Director of Sustainable Operations for DuPont Sustainable Solutions, is responsible for expanding a consulting practice that leverages real-world experience and proven approaches to help organizations improve and sustain return on operations and assets while reducing the environmental footprint. His mission is to deliver the right solutions to clients in the areas of environmental management, energy efficiency, capital effectiveness, and asset productivity.    An expert in corporate sustainability, climate change, and energy efficiency strategies, Aguiriano brings to his current position over 20 years of experience in running global operations in Europe and Asia. He has advised senior executives from some of the top 500 corporations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in industries such as oil and gas, power and utilities, cement, mining and steel.  Aguiriano joined DuPont in 1989 and until 2002 held regional and global positions in general management, finance, sales, and marketing for the company’s Lycra® business. In 2002, he became the Global Innovation Director for DuPont INVISTA Apparel, followed by an appointment in 2004 to Corporate Marketing Director for DuPont in the Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) region.  In 2005, he was named President, EMEA, for DuPont Safety Resources, which is now part of DuPont Sustainable Solutions. He assumed his current position in May 2008.

Another important session entitled Driving Energy Efficiency: Public and private sector perspectives will feature:

•             Chiu Wen Tung (EDB):Overview of Energy Efficiency in Singapore

•             Paul Westbrook (Texas Instruments): Energy Management in Texas Instruments

•             Cheong Kok Onn (GSK): Energy efficiency improvements in GSK and BMAC group

•             Ynse De Boer (Accenture): Sustainable Energy for All

The sessions on Developing Singapore’s EE Capabilities, will involve a range of speakers, including:

•             James Scott Brew (RMI) – Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

•             Tsoi Mun Heng (NRF) –Energy National Innovation Challenge

With Moderator: Dr Elspeth Thomas (ESI)

•             Prof SK Chou (NUS) –  Teaching Energy Efficiency – Context, Concepts and Challenges

•             Dr Mads D. Lauritzen (McKinsey) – The Green Campus: How to turn energy efficiency into competitive advantage

•             Kwek Chin Hin (NEA) – Energy Conservation Act and SCEM

With Moderator:  Dr Michael Quah (NUS)

The final session in the second day, Ken Hickson will be the moderator to bring together key speakers and produce appropriate outcomes.


Cutting Edge Wind Powered EV Charging Station & Clean Energy Expo Asia

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

Urban Green Energy and GE have unveiled the world’s first integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station. The innovative Sanya Skypump pairs UGE’s cutting-edge vertical wind turbines with GE’s electric vehicle (EV) charging technology to offer completely clean energy to power electric vehicles. For more news and demonstrations of advances in Renewable Energy technology and systems, visit the Clean Energy Expo Asia in Bangkok 12-14 September. Read More

News from Clean Energy Expo Asia 2012

Impacting the future of clean energy in Asia

Despite the uncertainty over economic growth and policy priorities in developed economies, global new investment in renewables rose 17 percent to a record US$257 billion in 20111.This was more than six times the figure for 2004 and almost twice the total investment in 2007.

In Asia, where some of the fastest developing economies are located, renewable energy presents a viable option to meet ever increasing energy demand. With its abundance of natural resources, governments across Asia are putting in place strategies to decrease reliance on fossil fuel and promote the development of clean energy sources.

To further drive the momentum and enthusiasm in clean energy development in the region, Clean Energy Expo Asia 2012 returns this year, with a bigger showcase from leading players in clean energy financing, project development and technology innovation. From 12 – 14 September 2012, leaders in clean energy will gather at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, Bangkok, Thailand for the fourth edition of the premier Trade Fair and Conference for clean energy solutions.

“Renewable and sustainable energy remains a key concern globally and a top priority in the region. Asia is rapidly moving to establish robust energy policies that will drive the future of clean energy in the region. This year, Clean Energy Expo Asia makes its way to Thailand, aligning itself with the flourishing clean energy landscape in the Greater Mekong subregion. Thailand is fast emerging as a hub for clean energy project development and the growing number of clean energy projects in the neighboring ASEAN countries further underlines the nation’s role in advancing clean energy solutions. Staging Clean Energy Expo Asia in Thailand brings participants closer to the rising opportunities in these markets,” said Mr. Michael Dreyer, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse.

“As the government agency operating directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, Thailand’s Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is responsible for promoting Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions. Exhibitions are vital to the country’s economy and industry development. Clean Energy Expo Asia 2012 adds to TCEB‘s success in attracting a major regional show to Thailand for the first time.

Clean Energy Expo Asia’s show profile fits into Thailand’s national agenda in energy and it brings limitless potential to ASEAN. As such, TCEB is working closely as a consultant and partner with the organizer; Koelnmesse to provide full event support. This includes market study support, links to private sectors and government agencies, as well as being part of the buyer appreciation program: Be My Guest. This program seeks to attract potential international buyers to CEEA 2012”, said Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Exhibition Director of TCEB.

A showcase of leading-edge innovations and opportunities Clean Energy Expo Asia’s Trade Fair continues to attract international exhibitors from countries and regions including China, Germany, Taiwan and Singapore. Leading companies such as Conergy, National Instruments, Phoenix Solar and Versol Solar have confirmed their participation. .

Host country Thailand will be making their debut at the show, with over 15 companies participating independently and in the pavilion hosted by the Renewable Energy Industry Club, Federation of Thai Industries. Among the leading players participating at the Pavilion are Royal Equipment Co., Ltd and Asia Biomass Co. Ltd.

“CEEA 2012 will further accelerate Thailand’s plans of becoming a leader in the renewable energy landscape in Asia. Our collaboration with Koelnmesse combines the expertise of a well-known organizer of global trade fairs and conferences with Thailand’s strong pipeline of renewable energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry Club of the Federation of Thai Industries and its members strongly support CEEA 2012 through our participation in the exhibition pavilion and conference as well as through the organization of the technical visits and clinics,” said Mr. Phichai Tinsuntisook, Chairman, Renewable Energy Industry Club, Federation of Thai Industries.

China will also be well represented on the Trade Floor this year. Among those exhibiting for the first time at Clean Energy Expo Asia is China’s Yunnan Tianda Photovoltaic Co., Ltd., one of the first and largest professional companies in China that provides solar modules and photovoltaic systems.

Advancing the discussion on clean energy solutions

This year will see the introduction of the Renewable Clinic, a new business segment that facilitates renewable energy and energy efficiency developments in Thailand. Throughout the duration of the event, delegates who are embarking on new clean energy and energy efficiency projects in the country can book a 15-minute meeting slot with an expert of their choice. Over 20 renewable energy experts will be available on-site to provide expert advice on project management, visualization, planning, due diligence, resource assessment, as well as feasibility studies and post-planning considerations to keen project developers. .

Technical site visits to demonstrate the importance of renewable energy Another first at Clean Energy Expo Asia is the technical site visit to two renewable energy plants. To be held on 15 September, the full-day site visit to the Gunkul Solar Power Plant and the Dan Chang Bio Energy Plant offers an opportunity for delegates from across the globe to have a glimpse into the state of renewable energy development in the nation, while sharing the opportunities and challenges in renewable energy in Thailand.

Located in Dong-Khon, Sankhaburi in the Chainat province, Gunkul Solar Power Plant, the leading producer of solar energy in Thailand, will showcase its zero carbon emission operation to delegates during the site visit. Similarly, Dan Chang Bio-Energy Co., Ltd will share with delegates how its power plant utilizes bagasse, a byproduct from the Mitr Phol sugar mill situated next to it, to generate steam and electrical power. Dan Chang Power Plant also purchases agricultural waste from surrounding farms to increase the community’s income and reduce waste. In total, Dan Chang Power Plant has successfully saved up to 100 million liters of oil used for power generation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by up to 250,000 tonnes.

Leading the conversation on renewable energy

This year, the Clean Energy Expo Asia Conference’s three plenary sessions and 25 tracks will delve into the business, finance, policy and commercialization aspects of sustainable energy. Two new tracks this year will focus on cleantech public relations. Targeted at communicators and key business leaders, the sessions, Media Communications for Energy and Environmental Issues and The “Do’s And Dont’s” of Communicating Energy and Environmental Topics will provide insights into how companies can improve their communications strategy for environmental issues.

Clean Energy Expo Asia’s keynote will be presented by Mr. S. Chander, Director General, Regional and Sustainable Development Department of the Asian Development Bank, who will speak on Building the Clean Energy Foundation and the Global Outlook. This will be followed by the opening plenary, Shaping a

Game Changing Business: The Future of Clean Energy in Asia. Featuring a panel of international industry experts, the plenary will be moderated by Dr. Chris Hartshorn, Vice President – Research of Lux Research.

Financing and commercialization of sustainable energy projects are in the spotlight this year with sessions such as, Analyzing and Structuring Energy Efficiency Projects For Greater Positioning, Renewable Project Finance: Mission Critical Success Factors; Mobilizing Renewable Funds: Exploring Financing Sources and Innovative Mechanisms; and Bridging the Finance Gap. These sessions will shed light on developing sustainable energy project plans and ways to ensure the right funding to bring these plans to life.

In total, participants can expect to meet and hear from close to 100 leading players from around the world in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. These include Mr Alexander Lenz, President – South East Asia & Middle East, Conergy Asia and ME Pte Ltd; Dr Bartosz Wojszczyk, Managing Director, Global Business Growth & Strategy, GE Energy; Mr Carl Kukkone, Chief Executive Officer, VIASPACE Inc; Ms Pauline Chong, Associate Director, Renewable Energy & Environment Finance, Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Terry Fry, Senior Vice-President for Demand Management and Energy Efficiency, Nexant and Ms. Wandee Khunchornyakong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SPCG Public Company Limited.

Last year’s Clean Energy Expo Asia featured over 170 exhibitors and drew more than 5,200 participants from 62 countries.


In Autoblog Green (14 August  2012):

Urban Green Energy and GE Announce First Sanya Skypump Installation

World’s First Integrated Wind-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installed in Barcelona

Urban Green Energy (UGE) and GE (NYSE: GE) have unveiled the world’s first integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station. The innovative Sanya Skypump pairs UGE’s cutting-edge vertical wind turbines with GE’s electric vehicle (EV) charging technology to offer completely clean energy to power electric vehicles.

Installed by UGE Iberia, the Spanish branch of New York-based Urban Green Energy, the first wind-powered EV charging station is located at Cespa’s global headquarters near Barcelona. Cespa is the environmental services subsidiary of Ferrovial Servicios, the world’s largest private transportation infrastructure investor.

More Sanya Skypumps will be installed later this year in the U.S. and Australia at shopping malls, universities and other locations.

The integrated system incorporates both the energy production capacity of UGE’s 4K wind turbine and the EV charging capability of the GE Durastation in a single unit, with all required electrical systems located within the tower.

Designed for commercial and government customers, the Sanya Skypump combines environmental benefits with a strong statement to customers and the public.

“Since launching the Sanya Skypump, we have received inquiries from companies around the world that are looking to embrace sustainability,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of UGE. “The Sanya Skypump is one of those rare products that enable institutions to demonstrate their commitment to the environment while providing a really useful service as well.”

The Sanya Skypump delivers power through a GE DuraStation EV charger, which enables faster charging using higher voltages.

Charles Elazar, marketing director of GE Energy Management’s Industrial Solutions business in Europe, says, “GE is launching a family of electric vehicle charging systems in Europe offering domestic and commercial users a range of easy-to-use, flexible systems to help make electric vehicles a practical, everyday reality.”

GE is a keen supporter of electric vehicles and has announced plans to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 for use as company cars and to lease to corporate customers through its Fleet Services business.

About Urban Green Energy

With installations in over 65 countries, including installations for several government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, UGE is changing the face of distributed renewable energy. UGE puts users in control of their energy source by designing and manufacturing more versatile wind turbines and hybrid wind/solar systems for use in applications ranging from residential to commercial, from suburban US homeowners to off-grid telecoms towers in rural Africa. Visit today to learn how together we can create a greener tomorrow.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at

GE Energy works connecting people and ideas everywhere to create advanced technologies for powering a cleaner, more productive world. With more than 100,000 employees in over 100 countries, our diverse portfolio of product and service solutions and deep industry expertise help our customers solve their challenges locally. We serve the energy sector with technologies in such areas as natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear energy; wind, solar, biogas and water processing; energy management; and grid modernization. We also offer integrated solutions to serve energy- and water-intensive industries such as mining, metals, marine, petrochemical, food & beverage and unconventional fuels.


Research Leads to Advances in Efficiency for Heating & Cooling

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

A new research facility was recently set up at the University of Sydney to study ways to improve energy consumption at homes and workplaces in Australia and internationally. Australia’s first comfort laboratory aims to find the balance between optimum indoor condition and energy required to achieve that. And with developments from a Queensland University of Technology researcher, the energy required may turn out to be negligible with a solar cooling and heating system that is designed to run independently of the electricity grid. Read more

In Sustainability Matters (31 August 2012):

University of Sydney researchers will be looking for ways to slash one of the world’s biggest single sources of energy consumption – the heating and cooling of buildings – at a state-of-the-art new laboratory.

Australia’s first comfort laboratory, a research facility that will also improve homes and workplaces in Australia and internationally, was opened today by Greg Combet, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation.

Professor Richard de Dear, Director of the laboratory, said: “We now spend an average of 90% of our time indoors. By helping us understand how humans react to temperature, light and sound in an office or at home, this laboratory will let us improve the quality and comfort of that time.

“While there is a widespread belief that the ‘optimal temperature’ for human productivity is 21.5°C, a figure that has been enshrined in many tenancy contracts, there is no scientific basis to this belief.”

He added: “By understanding the most efficient way to provide comfort, we can also lower energy and other resource costs. This has significant impacts on the sustainability of Australian businesses, drives productivity and increases our competitiveness in the low-carbon future.”

The laboratory consists of two rooms fitted with a multitude of sensors and controls, allowing researchers to control indoor conditions such as temperature, ventilation, airflow and direction, acoustics and lighting level, direction and intensity. As these conditions change, researchers will monitor occupants’ impressions of comfort.

The comfort laboratory is the cornerstone of the University of Sydney’s research into indoor environmental quality (IEQ), a field of architecture and design science that combines psychology, physiology, sustainability and architecture to investigate how sustainability and human experiences influence productivity at work and comfort at home.

The laboratory is located at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. The Dean of the Faculty, Professor John Redmond, said: “The comfort laboratory will draw on the faculty’s expertise in architecture, lighting, acoustics and sustainable design. This facility presents a unique opportunity for Australian research and a competitive edge in the global market.”

Professor de Dear is an internationally renowned expert in IEQ and thermal comfort. His work forms the backbone of national and international energy-efficiency and building standards.


In Sustainability Matters (30 August 2012):

A Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher is developing a solar cooling and heating system for the home that will run independently of the electricity grid and generate domestic hot water as a by-product.

Paolo Corrada, a PhD student in QUT’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, said the system he has designed cuts energy consumption by 90%.

“My target is to make it 100% so that the system is self-sufficient to run off the main grid, costing the homeowners nothing to run,” Corrada said.

“Heating and cooling account for about 65% of energy consumption in a house, whereas cooking accounts for only 6% so it is easy to see why air-conditioning devices are the main targets to reduce our energy consumption.”

He said the system is based on the use of an absorption chiller which is a well-proven, efficient technology.

“An absorption chiller uses a chemical process to reject heat and, when using waste heat or heat generated by renewable energy, is more effective than the more common mechanical process of vapour compression at deflecting heat.

“By using renewable energy from the sun we are providing an excellent technology to slash power consumption and the peak demand, especially in subtropical remote areas.

“The design is revolutionary because it incorporates also a desiccant wheel to remove moisture from the air and it uses the rejected heat from the absorption chiller to regenerate itself and to produce hot water for the house.”

Corrada said the combination of the two technologies together increases the unit’s efficiency by 40% when compared with the current solar cooling systems on the market.

He added that the system’s innovative design meant it was also much quieter because it used a small pump instead of a compressor like the standard split systems.


Resorting to Sustainability for Islands in the Sun & Eco-Tourism

Posted by Ken on September 5, 2012
Posted under Express 174

Sustainable development and eco-tourism are getting a welcome boost from two quarters: the Banyan Tree Group and the Eco Flores Network. Nina van Toulon is the driving force behind the first ever Eco Flores Congress will be held from 26-29 September in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, providing a forum to stimulate sustainability efforts throughout the island group. And Banyan Tree has renewed its partnership with EarthCheck, to achieve the highest level of sustainable operations, incorporating scientific reporting to an international standard. Read More

Media announcement (31 August 2011):

Banyan Tree Group, a leading developer and manager of premium resorts, hotels, spas, galleries, and golf courses signed two key agreements today, reaffirming its commitment to sustainable tourism development.

The commercialised arm of Banyan Tree, GPS Development Services (GPS), which provides development and technical expertise internally within the Group as well as to external parties, signed a memorandum of understanding with EC3 Global, the international environmental management and certification company that owns and manages the EarthCheck program.

As the first Singapore-based company to officially partner with EC3 Global, GPS is now able to deliver end-to-end sustainable tourism development services and expertise to external parties, overseeing the entire process.  Through their successful implementation of sustainable projects for Banyan Tree’s portfolio of properties, GPS will leverage on their expertise in project planning, development management, green technical advisory and engineering technology, while EC3 Global will contribute its expertise on engaged destination management, building and precinct planning and design standards, community and destination master planning and certification.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global and EarthCheck, said, “The sustainability challenges of tomorrow will demand a new set of professional design skills and innovation. The partnership with GPS will offer our clients an integrated set of planning and design solutions.”

This partnership represents a key milestone for Banyan Tree as it enables GPS to leverage on EC3 Global’s extensive portfolio of over 1,300 hospitality and travel clients in 73 countries, bringing additional revenue streams to the Group. “With this alliance, GPS is able to ramp up its pipeline of external clients in new markets and work together with EC3 to offer a multidisciplinary team that can provide end-to-end solutions for our clients,” said Ms. Lim See Bee, Executive Director of GPS. She added, “This partnership also enables GPS to provide confidence to development approval agencies that all aspects of the project have been considered through an independent assessment of sustainability performance.”

In the second agreement signed, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts renewed their partnership with EarthCheck, confirming an ongoing commitment to the highest level of sustainable operations with year-on-year performance measurement verified by a third party and scientific reporting to an international standard. EC3 Global owns and manages the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification program that assists businesses in the travel and tourism sector to monitor and reduce their environmental impacts in the core areas of energy, water, waste, community, paper, cleaning and pesticides.

Building on its existing sustainability programme, Banyan Tree will continue extending the Group’s participation in EarthCheck, with a view to have Banyan Tree and Angsana branded resorts certified and supported by expanded capacity building frameworks. As of August 2012, 16 resorts are already part of the EarthCheck program.

In April 2012, Banyan Tree Lijiang became the first resort in China to achieve EarthCheck Gold Certified status. Five resorts have achieved Bronze Benchmarked status (Banyan Tree Ungasan, Banyan Tree Ringha, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Angsana Velavaru, and Angsana Ihuru) and are pursuing Silver Certification.

Seven more resorts are working towards achieving EarthCheck benchmarked status including Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico, Banyan Tree Bintan in Indonesia, Banyan Tree Madivaru in Maldives, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Angsana Bintan, and Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel in Laos. Additionally, Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, and five other elements of Laguna Phuket are pursuing EarthCheck Benchmarked status as part of the precinct of Laguna Phuket’s sustainability efforts.

Proudly commenting on the renewal of the partnership, Mr. Abid Butt, CEO, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts said, “We are encouraged by the performance of our resorts respective to industry baselines and best practice levels, and are proud of their dedication to bettering the community and environment in which each resort resides.  We are enthusiastic about the market intelligence EarthCheck’s data provides which allows us to continue working to be a leader within sustainable tourism.”

“This collaboration reinforces our commitment to engage stakeholders of all levels within the development process, and deliver sustainable solutions regardless of the project’s scale or the level of local regulatory infrastructure supporting sustainable development, “ summed up Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Holdings and Chairperson for Banyan Tree Global Foundation.

Congratulating Banyan Tree on their continued commitment to sustainable development and triple bottom line reporting, Stewart Moore said, “Banyan Tree is regarded as a market leader and we are proud to maintain our partnership with the company and have more properties certified with the EarthCheck program.”


Gaia Discovery (26 August 2012):

Turning big dreams into reality is never easy particularly when you’re talking about the complex subject of sustainability. One lady who’s not letting this deter her from her mission to build a more sustainable future for Flores, Indonesia is Nina van Toulon. Sam Tyers reveals the story behind this inspirational change-maker.

Entrepreneur, mother, long term environmental campaigner, Nina is the inspiration and Founder behind The Eco Flores Network. She is no newcomer to advocacy and humanitarian work, having previously founded an orphanage fund in Ningbo, China 1993-1997, and organized educational and green initiatives in her hometown in Enspijk, Netherlands. So it comes naturally for her to follow her dreams and start The Eco Flores Network to inspire a sustainable approach to the future of Flores.

When you dream big, realists, with every good intention, try to steer you away from failure, by reminding you of the difficulty, the risk, and the customary ways of doing things that ought to be followed. Since Nina began the groundwork for Eco Flores in 2011 she has listened carefully to these voices of concern and calmly replied, “Yes, but we just do it.”

Nina’s dream began when she first visited Indonesia over 20 years ago as a traveler. In awe of the beauty and nature she found she began dreaming of someday moving to Bali. Over time her vision changed after feeling disappointed with South Bali’s urban sprawl and her focus shifted to the more remote location of Flores.

Located in the Indonesian archipelago, the island Flores is part of the eastern islands, Nusa Tenggara Timur and offers a stunning ecosystem of mountains, jungle, sandy beaches and a vibrant and world renowned underwater world. With a rich cultural history and breathtaking natural wonders Flores is blessed with innumerable options for the development of eco tourism.

In 2010 Nina bought land along Waecicu Bay on Flores, with the hopes of building a small eco-hotel with twelve rooms that could support her and provide employment to young people from Indonesia who have come to call her “mom.” But as she planned to move to Flores from the Netherlands, she became concerned as she watched Labuan Bajo rapidly develop from a small fishing port to a tourist hub.

Many people were moving there with the hope of benefiting from the growing opportunities from tourism, but sadly rapid development was leading to concerns about waste management (particularly plastics), health care, and education. Instead of constructing a small hotel, Nina moved her attention and focus to establishing the Eco Flores Network. She hopes to build two or three family cottages on her land instead so as not to put the heat on the already fast moving tourism development on Flores.

Not one to sit back and just watch this happen, Nina began working with local community organiser Papa Joe to publicize his work with Plasticman, a volunteer initiative works to recycle Labuan Bajo’s growing plastic waste, and raise the profile of some of the challenges faced by the development of tourism.

While this partnership was making a difference, it wasn’t enough for Nina, or for Flores. She knew there needed to be coordinated action on a broader scale to change the course of development in Labuan Bajo, and Flores more broadly, hence the founding of the Eco Flores Foundation.

The aim of the Foundation is to promote networking, share expertise, and facilitate a coordinated approach for the long term sustainability of Flores. Nina’s vision was to achieve this through two main goals. The first, to identify and address the immediate issues that have emerged out of modern development on the island. The second, to promote a green movement based around ecotourism, which as the backbone of the island’s economy will underlie the extent to which sustainability is achieved on Flores in the future.

In the last year The Eco Flores Network evolved out of the Foundations work to promote and connect those interested in the long-term sustainability of the economy, environment, and cultures of the island of Flores. The Network now not only links hundreds of local individuals, communities, projects, organizations, businesses, and government offices, but also connects this local community with growing numbers of relevant Indonesian and International academic, research and technical experts.

While this was an incredible achievement over such a short space of time, Nina was very aware that she didn’t just want the Network to just be another talking shop, she wanted it to produce action. And so the Eco Flores Congress was born.

The Eco Flores Congress

The first ever Eco Flores Congress will be held from September 26-29, 2012 in Labuan Bajo to catalyse and officially facilitate the coordination of the work of The Eco Flores Network. The Congress hopes to provide a forum to mobilize green efforts on Flores by facilitating sharing of information, cooperation, and transparency about sustainability efforts.

To deliver this event Nina rallied support from individuals locally and internationally who love Flores and share in her commitment to sustainable development. Through this she has established volunteer support, sponsorship from the New Zealand Aide Program and World Wildlife Foundation, and added support from a range of corporate and international NGO’s, including SwissContact. And Gaia Discovery will be the events partner in media.

Approximately 200 local and international participants are now set to attend this event, let’s hope it’s the first step towards bringing Nina’s dream of a sustainable Flores to life.

Nina’s enthusiasm and relentless commitment to building a more sustainable Flores is incredible, especially when circumstances do not allow her to currently be based in Flores. Her ability to reach out, connect and engage with people is inspiring. As is her passion to not only conserve and protect nature, but also to empower the people of Flores to shape the long term sustainability of the island and ecosystem they live in.

I look forward to seeing Nina again at The Congress in September and also to hear more about her plans for the land in Waecicu Bay, which she now tells me will be kept mostly natural. Driving change and choosing a different way of doing things is not always the easiest path, Nina provides an inspiring example of how to follow your dreams and find a better way, let’s hope it pays off for Flores.

More Information

To find out more about the challenges faced in Flores take a look at the Eco Flores website, follow Eco Flores on Facebook and Twitter @ecofloresorg.