World recognised sustainability expert addresses HK conference on business significance of green supply chains

Hong Kong (2 June 2010) – The Business Environment Council (BEC) today hosted the Green Supply Chain Management Forum: Risks, Rewards & Roadmap of its 2010 EnviroSeries Conferences with an in-depth look at the importance of transitioning to a green supply chain and the risks and rewards in store for Hong Kong in doing so. Experts from different industry sectors explored the need for Hong Kong to improve and opt for more responsible, less wasteful and more sustainable business practices.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Knight OBE, an internationally recognized expert on environmental and social issues proclaimed that sustainable development is the world's largest supply chain challenge. “If the planet was a retailer, it would be soon out of stock,” he stressed the urgency for companies to take appropriate actions in building a sustainable environment.

On a more positive note, however, through his work with business and government, Dr Knight has helped to shape a vision of what lifestyles would look like in a low carbon, one planet, poverty-free world and through understanding what that means for both business and their supply chains.

Dr Knight has made over 500 speeches on sustainable development topics in over 40 countries spanning nearly 20 years. He is the founder of Single Planet Living, which helps businesses create and manage innovative products and consumer-focused sustainable development strategies and is an independent advisor to the Virgin Group, ensuring a single co-ordinated approach to Sustainable Development. He also manages the Virgin Earth Challenge (a US$25 million prize for carbon sequestration), The Virgin Rainforest Challenge and its HIV programme.

Featuring international and local experts from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, adidas, Sustainable Sourcing Ltd., GS1, DHL, RICOH, WKK International (Holdings) Ltd., Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Green Ideas Green Actions, the conference looked at ways of how commercial companies and organizations could implement green supply chain management to not only address public concern on the environmental impact of people’s purchases, but also support a long-term vision that greens our society’s entire consumer cycle.

In concluding the conference BEC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Thomson said: “Transitioning to a green supply chain requires reflection on the current practice and recognition on the overall benefits of such approach. We will be able to reduce carbon emission, develop effective sourcing and optimize business performance by re-evaluating the way we conduct business, from planning, purchasing and managing the use of resources to shipping and distributing final products.

"Let’s look beyond the risks and see prospects for collaboration between innovative minds and enterprising investors to create a low carbon Hong Kong."

The Green Supply Chain Management: Risks, Rewards and Roadmap was part of BEC’s annual EnviroSeries Conferences, a programme designed for a broad range of stakeholders to address and discuss key environmental agenda critical to the sustainable development in Hong Kong and mainland China.