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South Korea: Notes from the Business for Environment Summit

By Jonathan Wright | 04/29/2010 | 5:31 AM

I am writing this blog en route back from Seoul, where I was privileged to be presenting at the Business for the Environment (B4E) Summit.

This was a fantastic event with speakers including Lee Myung-bak, South Korea's president, the presidents of the Maldives and Guyana, and CEOs from businesses such as LG Electronics, Puma and Siemens to name a few.  It was a powerful and influential event, with business leaders from large global companies pledging further commitments to some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems.

It was also a great display of the practical role that technology enablement can play, with video links from the auditorium to Sir Richard Branson and Al Gore,  and movie director James Cameron attended in Live 3D via Cinedigm's CineLiveTM Digital Cinema Technology.   CNN International will broadcast the plenary discussion in a program titled The Special Debate for Earth's Frontiers: The Future of Energy.

South Korea is pushing the sustainability agenda hard with its bold commitments to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by 2020.  It was great to see that many other business leaders were making similar commitments.  We are all challenged however to focus more on the “how” and to start delivering the step changes required to achieve lasting improvements.

I chaired a session on sustainable procurement and supply chain, and was joined by the Executive Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer of LG Electronics; the Managing Director, Asia, of Business for Social Responsibility and the President & CEO of World Environment Center.  The discussion focused on how to measure and create systemic solutions, how to embed sustainability metrics into supply chain decisions and how to work more collaboratively with suppliers. I was energized by the conference and the impact that we in supply chain can have across the broad social, economic and environmental agendas.

In our physical supply chains, we all influence raw material suppliers, manufacturers, warehousing and transportation operators.  Our supply chain ecosystems are constantly connecting new rural sourcing geographies and emerging consumer markets around the globe.  We must increasingly focus on the social and economic impacts that supply chains have on the environment – going beyond the carbon impacts.

For those of us who work in fulfillment operations in particular, we must continue to ensure that this topic remains front of mind. Its importance is going to continue to grow and by focusing on it we can make a difference to the environment and the lives of many.

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Jonathan Wright

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan Wright is a Singapore-based senior executive in Accenture's Supply Chain Management practice with global responsibility for the company's supply chain fulfillment client work. With 17 years' experience, he is a recognized thought leader in supply chain transformation and sustainability. He joined Accenture in 1997 after five years with Exxon Mobil Corp. Since joining Accenture, Wright has worked in the retail, communications, high-tech, and aerospace and defense sectors. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation.


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