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Many think that greening a business requires sacrificing the bottom line. However, in 1996 the APO developed Green Productivity (GP) combining appropriate productivity and environmental management tools, techniques, and technologies. Since then, GP has been adopted by communities, public-sector organizations, and companies throughout the APO membership. To provide practical advice and support for GP practitioners, the APO established the Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC) comprised of high-level representatives from over 60 Japanese corporations that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in environmental technology. It meets annually to strengthen the GP network, review the progress of eco-initiatives, and provide guidance on the APO’s GP projects.
The 7th GPAC meeting was held in Tokyo, Japan, 28 January. Although convened in exceptionally trying economic times, 80 participants and observers attended, the highest number ever. Participants agreed with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Chairman and GPAC chairperson Dr. Tamotsu Nomakuchi when he emphasized the importance of environmental issues regardless of the depth of recession. In his opening remarks, Dr. Nomakuchi said that companies needed to provide leadership in simultaneously addressing the three global crises in finance, energy, and the environment.
The twin highlights of the meeting were the reports on preparations for the Eco-products Internatinal Fair (EPIF) 2009 in the Philippines and EPIF 2010 in Indonesia by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Chairman Teisuke Kitayama, who is vice-chairperson of the GPAC and EPIF Preparatory Committee chairperson, and by two special representatives of the future EPIF hosts: Former First Lady of the Philippines and EPIF 2009 Advisory Committee Chairperson Mme. Amelita M. Ramos, and Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Dr. Jusuf Anwar. In her heartfelt presentation, Mme. Ramos appealed to GPAC members to support the EPIF 2009 to be held 19−22 March in Manila. She was followed by Development Academy of the Philippines President Antonio Kalaw, Jr., who reported detailed EPIF 2009 plans. Then Ambassador Anwar and representatives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) conveyed the commitment of the Indonesian government to hosting the EPIF 2010.
Closing remarks for the two-hour meeting were given by APO Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka, who thanked GPAC members for their support for APO projects, including the EPIFs and Eco-products Directory. The APO hopes that the GPAC network will expand to ensure sustainable socioeconomic development worldwide.