Tentatively called the Corporates for Sustainability Association, initiator Pleass Global Limited CEO, Warwick Pleass said they will come up with a snazzier name as other pertinent details about the association firms out.
The main purpose of the association is to catalyze action for a green business, through sharing and challenging their compatriots in the field of making money.
It is based on the premise that business profitability, sustainability and the protection of the environment go hand in hand, signifying a turning tide from businesses that rape the environment for pure profit to an increasing realisation that the former cannot survive without the latter.
“In Fiji a lot of businesses are already doing a lot of things to help the environment and make their businesses more sustainable,” Pleass said.
“A lot of companies are doing it for economic reasons, if you reduce your power bill it reduces the carbon footprint of your company, not a lot are doing it in their care for their environment.
“We don’t care why they are doing it as long as they are doing something.
“Everybody’s enthusiastic about the environment and sustainability but it’s just that we are all doing things on an ad hoc basis.
“Why don’t we form this association, meet regularly and learn from each other, because I may learn about what Clay Engineering is doing in terms of renewable energy and use this for greening my business.
“So by sharing information between companies that already have a passion for sustainability and the environment, we can feed off each other and improve our business and our profitability as well as improve our carbon footprint and sustainability and in the long term improve the environment in which we depend on.”
Association member ASCO Motors shared that retrofitting the company’s lighting system with the energy saver variety reduced their electricity bill.
Pleass said that the association will help dispel a prevailing misconception that adopting greener practices is expensive and help elevate the achievement of a green Pacific economy that is the focus of discussions at the Pacific Islands Development Forum underway in Nadi.
WWF South Pacific plays an advisory role and will help by ensuring that green sustainability practices adopted by businesses are measured against credible certified international benchmarks.
Communications Manager Patricia Mallam said the association is a platform for advancing collaborations between environment non-government organisations and corporate bodies for the good of the environment.
“What we need to acknowledge now that even more so now private sector partnerships play a key role in moving towards the growth of the green economy and we can no longer be on two sides of the spectrum where we say that they are the bad guys and we are good guys,” Mallam said.
“Benchmarking ourselves against certifications that are acknowledged, ensure that when we claim to be sustainable, we are credible because we have adhered to the high standards of certification.
“We are looking forward to developing this further for it will lead to a positive impact right throughout, not just for the environment but for the people as well,” she said.