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To promote Green Productivity (GP) activities, APO Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka gave a presentation at an environmental study meeting in Hakone, Japan, on 4 July. The meeting was organized by the Society for Special Projects on Eco-Efficiency and Eco-Design (SPEEED), an environmental network headed by Prof. Ryoichi Yamamoto, University of Tokyo, who is also Vice Chairperson of the Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC). SPEEED members are mostly directors and middle-level managers in charge of environmental issues in private companies along with environmental experts and consultants in academia and the public sector.
At the session titled Global Economic Crisis and Activities and Program for Creation of a Low-carbon Society in Asia, Secretary-General Takenaka spoke on GP-related projects including the Eco-products International Fair, the Eco-products Directory series, and the APO’s activities for the creation of a low-carbon society. The participants expressed interest in APO efforts, in particular the EPIFs and Eco-products Directory. They also appreciated the Secretary-General’s commitment to combining productivity with environmental concerns.
The session was conducted by five panelists including Secretary-General Takenaka; Ambassador for Global Environment Akihiko Furuya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Secretary-General of the International Green Purchasing Network Hiromi Mori; Sophia University Associate Prof. Toshi H. Arimura; and Chiba University of Commerce Prof. Tadahiro Mitsuhashi. After their presentations, they each conducted a Q&A session and led discussions with the meeting’s 80 participants.
Ambassador Furuya updated the audience on international negotiations on mid-term emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, which attracted significant attention. In response to a question, Ambassador Furuya stated that promoting environmental awareness through projects like the EPIFs in Asia was definitely helpful in creating a common understanding and goals to achieve a low-carbon society in the long run.
The APO’s EPIF epitomizes its GP ecoinitiatives since it provides a venue for various stakeholders from the private, academic, public, and governmental sectors to come together. The next EPIF will take place in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, 4–7 March 2010