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Business owners, listen up – you can save the planet and turn a profit

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THE BUSINESS case for making our economy more sustainable is clear.

Globally, transitioning to a circular economy – where materials are reused, re-manufactured or recycled – could significantly reduce carbon emissions and deliver over US$1 trillion in material cost savings by 2025.

The benefits for Asia and the Pacific would be huge. But to make this happen, the region needs to reconcile its need for economic growth with its ambition for sustainable business.

SEE ALSO: Asian trade bucks the protectionist trend – but struggles with sustainability

Today, the way we consume is wasteful. We extract resources, use them to produce goods and services, often wastefully, and then sell them and discard them.

However, resources can only stretch so far.

By 2050, the global population will reach 10 billion. In the next decade, 2.5 billion new middle-class consumers will enter the fray.

If we are to meet their demands and protect the planet, we must disconnect prosperity and well-being from inefficient resource use and extraction. We must create a circular economy, making the shift to extending product lifetimes, reusing and recycling in order to turn waste into wealth.

These imperatives underpin the 5th Green Industry Conference held in Bangkok last week, hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the........

© Asian Correspondent