Singapore Business Federation helps companies connect to more green growth opportunities

At today’s Asia Pacific Sustainability Leadership Forum, the Singapore Business Federation signed two Memorandums of Understanding and a Letter of Intent with international partners to connect local businesses to international technological and financing network for more green growth opportunities.

Held in conjunction with the Global Entrepolis @ Singapore (GES) Business Leaders Summit 2011 at Resorts World Sentosa, the Asia Pacific Sustainability Leadership Forum is organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the apex business chamber that champions the interests of the Singapore business community in trade, investment and industrial relations. The forum highlights the latest trends and opportunities of sustainability as a business imperative.

Speaking at the forum’s welcome address, Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, said that sustainability is an imperative for global businesses, and is emerging as a market driver that presents opportunities for value creation and profit. He highlighted that sustainability is becoming pervasive throughout the global economy, and many international companies are stepping up their sustainability efforts, working in close collaboration with stakeholders, other businesses, and governments.

In response to this sustainability imperative, SBF has been actively helping local companies understand the importance of sustainability and find ways to tap on green growth opportunities. For example, SBF established the Sustainable Development Business Group (SDBG) in 2009 to facilitate the sharing of best practices, project financing, and access to incentives and business opportunities. SBF also initiated the Singapore Sustainability Awards to recognise companies for their green efforts and to share best practices, and the Singapore Sustainability Alliance (SSA), a broad network of government agencies, business communities and research institutions.

Building upon these previous good initiatives, today’s forum by SBF is another good platform for more local companies to understand about the sustainability imperative, learn about best practices, and explore collaborations. In addition, SBF signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and a Letter of Intent (LOI) at the forum to further connect Singapore companies to international networks to build technological and financial capabilities, and to create market access to green growth opportunities.

The first MOU was signed between SSA and the Copenhagen Capacity, the co-founder of the International Cleantech Network, and will foster stronger relations in the clean tech sector between Singapore and Denmark, through business visits, student internships and exchanges, and joint case studies.

The second MOU was signed between SBF and the Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation (SMBC), and will provide more opportunities for environmental businesses in Singapore and Japan, through forging alliances, fast-tracking commercialisation of sustainability solutions, and facilitating knowledge and technology sharing.

The LOI was signed between SBF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to explore the feasibility of setting up an independent CEO-led Sustainable Development Platform, which would provide local companies access to WBCSD’s international network of best practices, research and studies, and collaboration opportunities.

With these strategic partnerships established by SBF, Singapore companies are in a good position to tap on the increasing green growth opportunities and ride on the megatrend of sustainability. However, local companies should not only tap on new opportunities but more importantly should also explore how they can make their own business more sustainable.

In his keynote address at the forum, Dr David Lubin, Chairman, Esty Sustainability Network, and Founder and Director, Palladium Group, shared that there is a need to accelerate the transition to sustainable business practices, and companies need more execution and integration of sustainability into their business.

For business leaders in Singapore, the question of: “How can my business ride on the megatrend of sustainability?” should be answered with: “By integrating sustainability into my business and tapping on green growth opportunities at the same time.”

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