Dear ESBN members and colleagues,
Welcome to the 6th meeting of the ESBN Executive Council.
When we last met, many were hoping for improvements from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2021.
It seems things are improving. Yet, the realities are that jobs are slow to return, and the crisis, while seemingly waning, does not allow us to let our guard down. We must highlight that the crisis has continued to stall progress towards many SDGs.
“Building back better” will require increased resilience by improving social safety nets, speeding up decarbonization, increasing energy efficiency, reducing pollution, increasing digitalization and ensuring livable cities.
These are the tenets of the “ESBN Green Deal for Business” which I am happy to support.
Tackling these challenges will require government-business cooperation and public-private investment. This is what the ESBN Green Deal for Business is set up for.
The Green Deal will encourage companies to go greener, work to decarbonize both their own operations as well as their supply chains, mitigate other negative environmental impacts, and act responsibly towards workers and communities.
We want the ESBN, through its Green Deal for Business and the Asia-Pacific Business Forum, to help inspire Asian leadership in sustainability, for ESBN members both to be inspired and inspire others, and to work with the United Nations and the private sector in the region to identify policies and initiatives needed to drive progress on sustainability.
Taking this opportunity, I am pleased to inform you that the next Asia-Pacific Business Forum, as a flagship event of ESBN, will be held under the theme of a “Green Deal for Business.”
The forum aims to identify a set of activities for a zero-carbon future, from decarbonizing energy to circular economy and green finance and accelerating climate action by businesses in the region.
The Executive Council and ESBN task forces in support of the Green Deal have drafted a Declaration that calls for the Green Deal for Business to be the roadmap guiding businesses to take the lead on climate action in our vast and diverse region.
I stand with ESBN and its members to ensure that we collectively get this done.
Thank you very much.