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People are more environmentally conscious, but not enough: Al Gore

By May Wong, Channel NewsAsia
07 August 2007

SINGAPORE: Businesses and consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, but more needs to be done at a faster rate, said former US vice president Al Gore.

Mr Gore, who is in Singapore for a two-day visit, gave a closed door presentation to about 600 people at the Global Brand Forum.

Being part of the solution to the climate crisis is in companies’ interests, he said, because doing so would help boost their reputations in the future.

And some local businesses are already heeding his call.

Elim Chew, president and founder of 77th Street, said: "We're working out with less advantaged people, making re-useable bags. They'll sew it, and we'll also get designs from a movement called Eco-Movement.

"And we're going to print this bag called ‘reuse me again and again and again’ so that people will understand they have to reuse the bag again and again, and so that we'll be able to save on plastic bags."

Lo Yong Poo, CEO of Goodrich Global, also does his part to contribute to the green movement. Through research and development, its supplier now uses ink that is more environmental friendly to print wallpapers.

“(The supplier has) replaced the traditional chemical kind of ink to a more water-based kind of ink to reduce pollution,” he said.

Mr Gore pointed out, however, individuals should also do their part by making simple choices such as installing energy-saving light bulbs and switching off lights when leaving a room.

Singapore is now moving towards compulsory energy labelling, but many believe that items such as air-conditioners and cars should also be given carbon labelling.

Penny Low, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, agreed that if the public can calculate how much carbon dioxide are being released into the atmosphere through their activities, "and what that translates to in terms of our carbon footprints, then I think we'll make a more conscientious effort to reduce that carbon footprints."

Mr Gore was given the inaugural Global Brand Forum Brand Icon of the Year award, which recognises individuals for their outstanding achievements in the area of global branding. - CNA/ac