Derek Newberry

More Developments: Fostering a Sustainable Business Climate in Asia

Since covering the lighter side of sustainable enterprise in China last week, I thought it would be helpful to discuss a more practical effort underway to make social and environmental impacts a mainstream consideration among businesses in the quickly developing East Asian region. ASrIA has recently published a new clearing house for climate change information and strategy on their website.

This comes at a crucial moment for business strategies on global warming. Recent PR blitzes on this issue surrounding events like “An Inconvenient Truth” have helped to create a sense of the immediate necessity to act on climate change, but there is some amount of difficulty in taking the first step. As the Post recently noted, that is the “inconvenient” part of the film. Fortunately, there are signs that the general public is taking this dilemma seriously, and the private sector is very much involved. As ASrIA notes in an introduction to their Climate Change Portal, there were about $12 billion in trades on different carbon markets last year. The will on the part of many businesses and governments is there- that ambition would turn to practice if there were a sense that collective action was underway.

This is where the Climate Change Portal comes in. Policy-makers, entrepreneurs and investors in particular can use the site to access a huge array of resources on climate change including an array of information from reputable sources such as the IPCC, links to the GHG Protocol created jointly by the WBCSD and WRI, and CINCS, an investment network that focuses jointly on poverty alleviation and environmental protection through private enterprise. The site is oriented towards Asia-based users, but it is definitely worth a look if you are seeking general information on climate change or just want to regain that feeling that there is hope out there post-Al Gore movie viewing. The site might not be as entertaining as watching Win in China contestants scale the Great Wall, but then gain it will probably be a more convincing argument for your next board meeting.