Sustainability Summit in Asia 2018: Is the Circular Economy Achievable in Asia?

Policymakers, businesses
and consumers need to align interests in order to realise the circular economy
to drive nation's growth


Media OutReach - 15th November 2018 -
Implementing the circular economy is arguably the best chance Asia has in
reversing the causes of climate change and achieving the environment-focused
sustainable development goals. Yet there are challenges to be met. Businesses
and policymakers need to work together to adopt long-terms initiatives to
realise the circular economy for the country's growth.


Leading the conversation, over 200 scientists,
business leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, regulators, NGO representatives
and academics across Asia gathered at Sunway
City, Kuala Lumpur
for a stimulating discussion about the circular economy.


"Asian governments,
companies, groups and others can use circular initiatives to benefit changing
societies without sacrificing economic growth. From mass urbanisation to
innovation in agriculture, new ideas for sustainable initiatives matter to the
region and to The Economist. By
bringing global and regional experts to Kuala Lumpur we plan to debate how such
ideas can be implemented effectively," said Miranda Johnson, South-East Asia
correspondent at The Economist.


The full-day summit themed 'Going Full Circle' opened with a dialogue
on policy framework for sustainable development goals adoption in Asia before
outlining the need to drive mainstream conversation among policymakers,
businesses, as well as citizens to embrace long-term initiatives that will lead
to positive effect in economic goals while leaving a better planet for future


Speaking to conference attendees, Sadhguru, the
founder of Isha Foundation had a very pragmatic, reconciliatory message geared
to galvanise positive action. "We need not destroy business, we need to
transform businesses. We should strive to officiate the marriage between
ecology and economy."


Throughout the dialogue, delegates addressed the
need for public, private partnership to align interests and significantly step
up its development efforts across sectors to find multilateral solutions to
overcome transboundary challenges.


"We are living in an age where technology is
transforming the world. We can already see the effects of technology on the
global economy, geopolitics and society. With the right innovation and
invention, I believe the circular economy is achievable in Asia. I trust this
summit will provide meaningful solutions to advance the sustainable development
agenda in the region. We are delighted to partner with The Economist Events
through the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway
University for the second consecutive year," said Jeffrey Cheah, founder
and chairman of Sunway Group and Chancellor of Sunway University.


Another key highlight, The
debate motioning that sustainability must be approached using
global free market principles saw a spirited exchange between Robert Kraybill of
Impact Investment Exchange and Chandran Nair of Global Institute for Tomorrow.
The motion was defeated by Nair's advocacy that policymakers were crucial to
curb the free market's tendency to put profits and individualism before the
planet. Said Nair, "Rights and freedoms have to be redefined, rethink
governance (so that) collective welfare comes first. I urge the Malaysian
government to rethink that".


Finally, in the closing keynote, Yeo Bin Yee, minister of energy,
science, technology, environment and climate change, Malaysia urges her
government to take action; it is not only important to reuse, reduce and
recycle, she urges everyone to replace; "W
e need to
think about the problems plastics create and replace them with bio-degradable


Chaired by The Economist
, featured speakers included:

Yeo Bee
Yin, minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment, Malaysia

Kooloos, director, sustainable banking, ABN

Mortier, deputy chief investment officer, Amundi

Lohia, founder and group chief executive, Indorama

Makoene, founder, Made With Rural

Sachs, chairman, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University and director, United Nations Sustainable Development
Solutions Network

Ranstrand, president and chief executive, TOMRA


the latest agenda

engage with The Sustainability Summit on social media, follow @EconomistEvents


Founding supporter

The Jeffrey Sachs
Center (JSC)
is the hub of the
United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) for research
and policy practice to advance achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) in the ASEAN region. JSC was established in Sunway University through a
gift of $10 million from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. It is chaired by Prof
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UNSDSN and special advisor to the UN
Secretary-General on the SDGs. 

The Center is located in Sunway City, a rehabilitated mining wasteland turned
wonderland, and Malaysia's first green integrated township listed in the
country's Green Building Index. 


About The Economist Events

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