– CEO of APC to deliver keynote speech on practising ’360 degree’ sustainability, and participates in the Food, Beverage and Agriculture working group, to agree on commitments and policy recommendations geared towards increasing sustainability.
SINGAPORE, Nov. 25, 2014 / PRNewswire — CEO of Asia Plantation Capital, Barry Rawlinson, delivered a Leadership Perspective keynote speech at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development 2014, held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
The three day forum has gathered business leaders, NGOs and policy makers from around the world, to share practical solutions for sustainable growth and creating shared value with economic, social and natural capital.
In his keynote speech, Barry Rawlinson spoke about promoting sustainability, but at the same time going beyond the simple concept of environmental consciousness, and on to promoting and attaining higher levels of sustainability.
“It is neither possible nor desirable for businesses simply to be environmentally aware,” said Rawlinson.
“Sustainability has to be holistic, and that has always been the abiding ethos of Asia Plantation Capital. It’s what we believe in, and what we strive for. On top of various green initiatives that are mandatory for all our company’s activities, APC has been partnering the communities in the areas in which we operate, to raise the standards of education; improve the quality of life; and provide for social improvements through cultural and economic developments. This approach reaps wider benefits in terms of sustainability, as communities realise that there are positive alternatives to illegal logging and deforestation.”
“The implementation of a holistic sustainable approach,” he continued, “has to come from top management, and the message has to be consistent, communicable, and reinforced by active participation to all members of staff.”
He added, “The message of sustainability is ingrained in our corporate mission and the values we espouse as an organisation, and we make sure that we practise what we preach.”
An example of APC fulfilling their commitments to a socially conscious ethos can be seen in their programme to finance employees in either the purchase of their own homes, or in the upgrading of their existing accommodation. APC also encourages and allows employees to grow food crops on the company’s plantations – supplementing and augmenting their food supplies. Surplus food crops, as determined by the employees themselves, can be sold on the open market, thereby providing extra income.
APC’s Group Marketing Director, Adrian Heng, sat on the panel of the Food, Beverage and Agriculture working group, with his peers consisting of representatives from Unilever, ZSL, Monsanto, Food Industry Asia, and Landmark Asia.
“Businesses today need to understand the leading role they can, and must play in leading the charge towards sustainability,” said Heng. “Profitability and sustainability are not two separate and conflicting concepts. With some planning and commitment, they can actually complement each other, and we at APC would like to suggest that they should be inseparable. We have to find ways in which we can work with governments, NGOs and local communities to make a positive impact. We view corporate responsibility as not simply being about profit for shareholders and investors, but also about genuinely engaging individuals and corporate entities; encouraging them to contribute positively to society and the environment.”
Asia Plantation Capital’s achievements in the field of sustainable business have already attracted international recognition, with a host of awards being garnered, including ‘The best Sustainable Forestry Asset Manager 2014′, from CFI.co, as well as being shortlisted in the finals of the ‘Sustainable Business Innovation Award’, by Organic Monitor, at the finals held in Paris. This is on top of multiple awards for end consumer products from the company’s plantation projects.
As a Singapore based company with offices throughout Southeast Asia, APC is helping to put corporate entities based in Asia at the forefront of sustainable business practices.
This high-level working group brings about agreements on commitments and policy recommendations to increase sustainability in the food, beverage and agricultural sectors. Recommendations concluded will then be presented to decision makers and policy makers at a series of regional meetings in 2014.
The Responsible Business Forum was recently named the ‘World’s Greenest Event’ at the Green Meeting Industry Council Awards in Frankfurt. It aims to present practical ways in which to accelerate solutions for a more sustainable world, while increasing business and industry growth, seeing keynote addresses by representatives from government bodies around the world, WWF Singapore, WWF Philippines, Forum for the Future, FSG and many more.
Notes for Editors:
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About Asia Plantation Capital
- US$ 600 million – combined value of assets owned and under management
- US$ 53.5 million – turnover in the last financial year
- US$ 100 million – turnover forecast for current financial year
- 2,000,000 – Aquilaria trees today, on Agarwood plantations.
Asia Plantation Capital (APC) is the owner and operator of a diverse range of commercial plantation and farming businesses across the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, and is part of the Asia Plantation Capital Group of associated companies. Its focus is on multicultural and diverse plantation projects geared to the domestic and commercial demands of the countries in which it operates. Working closely with, and supporting local communities, is an underlying core principle of the APC business, providing social and cultural support, as well as investment, to move these communities away from deforestation and illegal logging activities, previously seen as a main source of income in some regions of Asia. Established officially in 2008 (although operating privately since 2002) the group now has plantation and agricultural projects on four continents, with operational projects at various stages in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Laos, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, North America and Europe.
Promoting the use of sustainable and certified wood is the best way of preventing deforestation, protecting biodiversity, and combatting poverty in the tropical rainforest regions. For the yachting sector (a major user of teak) which strives for excellence and which is already involved in environmental efforts, this is also a way of ensuring that no wood from illegal logging is used.