Call for sustainable innovation at Think Tank Asia 2


Call for sustainable innovation at Think Tank Asia 2

Veolia Water Technologies this week held its Think Tank Asia 2 seminar at ESSEC Business School’s Asia–Pacific campus in Singapore. The full-day executive workshop gathered 20 leaders and influencers from key industries across Asia to explore future business models and to spread environmental awareness in the region.

The day served as a follow-up to Veolia’s first Think Tank Asia, which took place in December last year. As explained by Ivy Latour, marketing and communication director (APAC), Veolia Water Technologies, “This time, we invited more like-minded industry professionals who, like Veolia, strive to drive their businesses forward through innovation in a resource-scarce world, and it proved to be a great knowledge-exchange and networking session for everyone involved.”

Designed by ESSEC Business School’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Smart Cities, the workshop engaged participants in a critical discussion of the geopolitical issues and factors around the sourcing of natural resources, and in an exploration and analysis of key business concepts that effectively drive sustainable innovation. The first session focused on the politics and markets of resources, and participants’ discussions were largely centred on how governments and the open markets play considerable roles in determining corporations’ access to scarce resources.

In the second session, on sustainable sourcing of resources, Ynse de Boer (managing director for Strategy & Sustainability at Accenture Strategy) introduced the idea of circular economy business models in supply and value chains. Business leaders in attendance were encouraged to consider the barriers that prevent companies from transitioning from a linear to a circular economic model and were inspired to explore beyond the perceived limitations of their current business models.

“By facilitating open discussions on how businesses can reduce their ecological footprint, we are one step closer to conserving precious raw materials for future generations,” said Latour. “We need to recognise that there are limitations to what we can extract from the environment and to uncover creative ways to re-use what has already been extracted. We are now operating in a world with limited resources, but if we adapt quickly, we can delay a future where we are left with zero resources.”

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