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by Ryuichiro Yamazaki
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On behalf of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the distinguished delegates to the International Conference on Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment. The APO is honored to organize this conference together with the National Productivity Council under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, with support from the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Let me quote the legendary Mahatma Gandhi, who once said that, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” The inherent crucial message therein is that mankind should live in a sustainable manner. Achieving sustainability in energy and the environment is essential to tackle the most adverse impacts of global warming which the world is facing today. Asia has a vital role to play in achieving this while continuing to strive for the sound economic growth required for improving the quality of life. The APO has been contributing to this endeavor and helping enterprises, corporations, communities, and governments in the region by promoting Green Productivity (or GP).
In 1994, the APO launched its GP Program, which is based on the concept of harmonizing productivity improvement with environmental protection, thereby leading to sustainable development. To expand its GP activities, in 2003 the APO, in collaboration with major Japanese corporations with demonstrated excellence in environmental management, established the GP Advisory Committee (or GPAC), whose role is to advise and support the organization in implementing environment-related activities. The GPAC identified three core activities in the area of greening supply chains, the most important of which was to organize eco-products exhibitions and conferences on a regular basis in the Asian region to promote GP among as wide an audience as possible. Therefore, the APO organized similar conferences parallel to the Eco-products International Fairs held annually since 2004 in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, and last year in Jakarta. This is the seventh international conference in the series and, inspired by the success of each, the APO is determined to continue this initiative.
Hosting this international conference clearly illustrates the Government of India’s strong commitment to tackling environmental challenges and addressing the issue of climate change while pursuing fast-paced economic growth. The theme of the conference was also carefully chosen and well timed to emphasize India’s focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It is my sincere hope that this conference will add momentum to efforts to achieve sustainable economic development through the promotion of low-carbon growth in India and the region. This conference has brought together stakeholders from all walks of life, including decision makers and leading experts from around the world, to deliberate on the energy and environment issues vital to sustainability. All of us gathered here today are called upon to take concerted actions in partnerships with shared responsibilities.
I look forward to the outcome of this conference and hope that the deliberations will help delegates to understand the key issues, enable them to take new initiatives, and prepare them for formulating concrete plans to achieve sustainability in energy and the environment in their home countries. Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Government of India and those involved in this conference as well as all the exhibitors from India and abroad who are participating in the Eco-products International Fair this year.
Thank you very much.