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“The Green Productivity Advisory Committee (GPAC) is a unique network, which links private corporations to an international organization to promote a sustainable society in Asia,” wrote President and CEO Setsuhiro Shimomura, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, GPAC Chairperson, in his opening remarks for the 8th GPAC meeting. The annual gathering of GPAC members was held in Tokyo, 12 February, where Dr. Toshiaki Yoshizumi delivered the remarks in the absence of Chairperson Shimomura.
Since its establishment by the APO in 2003 with high-level representatives from over 60 leading environmentally conscious Japanese corporations, the GPAC has played a critical role in supporting and promoting the APO’s Green Productivity (GP) Program. The annual meeting revitalizes the eco-commitment of GPAC members, offers an opportunity to review the progress and achievements of ongoing GP initiatives, and cooperate in planning GP activities such as the Eco-products International Fairs (EPIFs) and APO Eco-products Directory series.
The highlight of the 2010 meeting was the election of a new board chaired by Teisuke Kitayama, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Chairman, who succeeded Shimomura. Chairperson Kitayama briefed the meeting on the success of the EPIF 2009 held in the Philippines and its contribution to the eco-movement in the host country. He requested the continued support of other members to increase GPAC contributions to the Asian region. Chairperson Kitayama is also the chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the 2009 and 2010 EPIFs. Four of the five vice-chairpersons were also newly appointed including Representative Executive Officer, President, and Chief Operating Officer Yukio Yanase, Orix Corporation; President and Chief Executive Officer Hajime Bada, JFE Steel Corporation; Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Takashi Yamagishi, Teijin Limited; and President Tsuneaki Taniguchi, Japan Productivity Center. The vice-chairmanship has been expanded from three to five due to the appreciation of the APO’s GP activities by the private sector.
In addition to a detailed report on the EPIF 2009 by the APO Secretariat and Chairperson Kitayama, the final preparations for the EPIF 2010 were described and a presentation on the planning for the EPIF 2011 was given by Indonesia and India, respectively. Vice Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rachmat Gobel thanked the APO and GPAC members for their efforts and support in preparations for the EPIF 2010 in Jakarta, 4−7 March. “This will be the first big eco-related event held in Indonesia since the financial crisis and will contribute to the revitalization of the economy,” stated Vice Chairperson Gobel. Director General, National Productivity Council and Additional Secretary, Government of India N.C. Vasudevan, IAS, also conveyed the Indian government’s commitment to hosting the EPIF 2011 and sought the support of GPAC members.
The two-hour meeting ended with closing remarks by APO Secretary-General Shigeo Takenaka, who thanked the GPAC for its continuous support for the EPIFs and the APO Eco-products Directory. He then listed the tangible results that EPIFs had produced in previous host countries: in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, green purchasing networks were established; in Singapore, an eco-labeling system was prompted by its hosting of the EPIF; and in Malaysia, a local eco-products exhibition will be held in October this year. “I hope that the sixth and seventh EPIFs will also produce significant results,” stated Secretary-General Takenaka.