Tackling Corporate Sustainability in Climate Change
2016 is the hottest year according to NASA, and in recent years, Singapore has the seventh-largest ecological footprint despite our small size! If you’re a changemaker who wants to make a difference and create an impact to a greener future, join us for this event where you can learn, engage and network with experts in this field!
Guest of Honour
Mr Heng Chee How
Deputy Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress
He will grace the event on 22 April 2017 at 12pm – 1pm
Shell Companies in Singapore
Social Mission Advocacy Manager
Ben & Jerry’s
Director – Innovation Programs
Corporate Affairs Group, Intel Asia
A Very Good Company
Chief Sustainability Officer
City Developments Limited
Head of Corporate Responsibility, Asia
Angels Of Impact
The Wedge Asia
Choose to visit one of them
Explore and understand how the hospitality industry can make a difference to environment by adjusting our business operations and strategies. Hilton Singapore is the first hotel in Asia to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Chain of Custody certifications – part of Hilton’s strategy toward more responsible and sustainable sourcing around the world. This visit is a great opportunity to learn about other industry-leading initiatives by Hilton to promote environmental sustainability through a guided hotel tour, which will also take you to the less seen back-of-house to understand the actual workings of hotel operations.
Asia Pacific Breweries
Step into the home of Tiger Beer and see how we brew Singapore’s iconic beer, with just four high-quality ingredients! The Tiger Brewery Tour takes you behind each step of the brewing process – from milling the malt to packaging. You’ll even get a chance to taste the “wort”, which is beer before it is fermented for alcohol! To round it off, you will try your hand at tapping the perfect pint of draught beer, and sample some of the freshest beers that will touch your lips. The whole tour takes up to an hour with another 45 minutes in the Tiger Tavern for the beer appreciation session. In the beer appreciation session, you get to try our local brewed beers for free!
Bring your "A" Game and come prepared as we dive deep into issues related to Corporate Sustainability! Hear from experts in the field as we will bring in speakers from large corporations as well as individuals who have helped shape a more ethical Singapore. Topics include innovations in sustainability, corporate environmental responsibility as well as employee-led sustainability initiatives.
10.00am: Opening address by GCNS president, Ms Goh Swee Chen
10.30am: Keynote + Plenary discussion
Tackling climate change through corporate sustainability
The world has largely come to an agreement that climate change is a manmade phenomenon, which will have significant impact on Earth’s inhabitants. Therefore, the Paris Agreement was signed among governments towards a joint commitment in reducing and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Earlier in the same year, the Millennium Development Goals was also revised as the Sustainable Development Goals was established among the 193 nations.
Thus with such strong political commitments, it is evident that the stage is set with clear political signal that any future plans and their implementations must take into consideration the impacts it has on climate change and sustainability. Businesses, which traditionally exist as a profit making mechanism machinery, will now have to work within the new global agenda. While larger companies have the financial capacity and resources to cope with this, smaller ones often struggle for survival let alone the ability to incorporate something else as part of its business operandi.
12.00pm: Session with Minister, Mr Heng Chee How
1.00pm: Lunch (provided)
2.00pm: Breakout session 1
Room 1: Developing business innovation in sustainability
The key to progress, particularly in times of economic crisis, is innovation. Just as some internet companies survived the bust in 2000 to challenge incumbents, so, too, will sustainable corporations emerge from today’s recession to upset the status quo. By treating sustainability as a goal today, early movers will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. That competitive advantage will stand them in good stead, because sustainability will always be an integral part of development.Room 2: Workshop on CSR101 (for YCSRLA Participants) Room 3: Debate on carbon trading
And in the new world order where sustainability takes the centre stage, there’s no alternative to sustainable development. Even so, many companies are convinced that the more environment-friendly they become (or if they implement corporate sustainability), the more the effort will erode their competitiveness. They believe it will add to costs and will not deliver immediate financial benefits.
Currently, sustainability in companies usually falls under marketing, human resources, financials or operations; and often in isolation from one another. Hence, changing this, while necessary, isn’t going to be easy. Enterprises that have started or are keen to start the journey will face different challenges at each stage of change, and must develop new capabilities to tackle them.
“The most economically efficient and fair way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to set a carbon tax, so that emitters will take the necessary actions… ...“The most economically efficient and fair way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to set a carbon tax, so that emitters will take the necessary actions,”said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, in a speech outlining the government’s 2017 budget.
Singapore intends to implement a carbon tax from 2019 as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse emissions. The system, when implemented from 2019, will target direct large emitters of greenhouse gases, rather than individual electricity users such as households. While the Government said, it has started industry consultation and will also reach out to the public; it is looking at a tax rate of between S$10 and S$20 per tonne of emissions. Revenues from the plan would go in part toward new technologies that are designed to help industry reduce its emissions.
3.30pm: Tea break (provided)
4.00pm: Breakout session 2
Room 1: The power of employee led sustainability initiatives & partnerships
The private sector has immense potential to contribute enormously towards climate change mitigation efforts and the sustainability movement. Companies that proactively pursue sustainability measures benefit not just their business and their shareholders, but also their employees, their clients, their suppliers, and the wider community as well.Room 2: Individual's actions towards a climate-resilient Singapore
Such sustainability measures implemented by companies do not have to be strictly initiated in a top-down fashion by the upper management. They can also be inspired by employees of any position, from the bottom up. The alternative perspectives of employees can lead them to introduce innovative ideas that can make a huge difference.
Young working adults should be aware that they can leverage on their companies’ greater resources, reputations, and networks to maximise the efficacy and impact of their sustainability efforts with the backing of their companies.
Sustainable planning: When one brings up the word “sustainability”, what goes through one’s mind? The focus here will be solely on the environmental aspect of creating a sustainable singapore. As Singapore continues to see an increase in its population, it is crucial for Singapore to prepare itself for climate change - which we are very vulnerable to. Strategies and efforts have been rolled out to create a more sustainable lifestyle as well as a pleasant urban environment. Whether Singapore is able to see in improvement in energy efficiency; recycling rate or a reduction in water consumption by 2030, it all boils down to individual’s efforts to create a climate-resilient Singapore.
Raising awareness of climate change: Singapore government has always implemented measures to lessen the impact of global warming which is a key impact of climate change. The government believes that everyone can reduce carbon footprint and support the preparation of the climate challenges ahead. We export nearly 90% of food supply and climate changes will pose a threat to our ability to sustain food supplies. Additionally, climate change can potentially lead to rising health concerns among Singaporeans. Since climate change would affect sovereign risk through economic and health performance, how can youths work with the government to play a part in this effort?
Sharing of project examples and outcomes achieved by youths: Singapore government is aware of the issues. However, youths may not be aware of climate issues and are not doing something to lessen the impact of climate change because they do not personally experience the effect (such as increased risk of drought and floods) occurring in their lives. How do we let youths realise the impact of climate change on the daily lives of Singaporeans? How do we empower youths?
5.00pm: Closing remarks
5.30pm: Home sweet home
10.00am: Opening remarks
10.30am: Keynote + Plenary discussion
Green washing: The good, bad and evil on corporate sustainability
Often green washing is not an outright attempt to be deceptive, but rather stems from failing to consider environmental impact measures with the same robust attention as is usually given to more established and familiar measures of business performance.
As the impacts of climate change gets more serious, corporations must take into account the environment when discussing corporate sustainability. For some companies the desire to appeal to ‘green’ consumers and to be perceived as a good corporate citizen is enough to encourage deliberately deceptive claims. These companies deserve the criticism and derision not only for their direct attempts to dupe the public, but also because they discredit the efforts of other, more responsible companies that are making credible efforts and achieving measureable results. Despite the perception, however, most companies do in fact embed ‘green’ practices within day to day operations and initiatives; therefore, on average, the primary causes for green washing has nothing to do with malfeasance or bad intent.
However, some companies pretend to carry out environmental protection measures when in actual fact, it either does nothing for the environment or damages it further. This ‘Greenwashing’ phenomenon is used to legitimize the operations of an unsustainable company by masking the deleterious impacts of the company. Hence, companies should ensure that they are being honest and transparent when implementing environmental protection initiatives so that they have the confidence of the society and also help make tangible improvements to the environment.
12.00pm: Lunch (provided)
1.00pm: Breakout session
Inspiration speakers series
The final installment of the GCNS Youth Sustainability Forum is a series of short presentation to conclude the forum. The Inspiration Speaker Series will be similar to the famous TED Talk series, with the opportunity for participants to ask questions and open a dialogue with the speakers at the end. The intention of this series is to provide participants on the different grassroots efforts that are taking place in Singapore. Through this effort, the speakers would be coming from very different backgrounds, this will prove that the each speaker would have something unique to add.
After having two days of intensive learning, the participants of GNCS YF will be leaving inspired, and many participants would be curious to see how they could contribute, and sometimes the corporations may not be the best stepping stone for individual efforts. The intention of this series is to empower and inspire our attendees to go and make a change.
2.30pm: Closing ceremony
3.00pm: Networking session (tea break will be provided)
Join us as a volunteer
This event attracts the next generation of leaders who are passionate about the issue of sustainability. We are looking for individuals who share similar goals and objectives. If you would like to get involved in this movement, please email us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us as Youth Organising Committee
Are you up for an adventure? We are looking for passionate individuals who wants to make a difference and contribute to the sustainability field. Join us as the Youth Organising Committee 2018 to plan, organise and execute the next GCNS Youth Forum!
View Youth Organising Committee 2018 Composition