Tuesday, December 7, 2010

day81_AmCham Green Forum

AmCham Green Forum - Q&A Panelists
The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei ["Dedicated to promoting the interests of international business in Taiwan"] held a green forum yesterday - and I had the opportunity to attend. I am actually the sort of person who looks forward to events like this... so I was grateful for the chance to attend. Some of the presentations had very good in depth data with complicated issues and solutions, while others simply skimmed the basic principles and elements of "going green" - but it was motivational enough for a Monday afternoon. I also met some very kind, interesting, and influential people who work for some of the larger international companies (often American companies) with a presence in Taiwan. 

I always feel like talking about "green" is just discussing topics that you already know, have already heard, but just in case you don't have the opportunity to ponder our environment and our future as often as I do ;) Here are some quick notes of my own from the forum:

  • Projected worldwide population & poverty will only continue to increase. Poverty takes many forms (not just financial); the world is already experiencing other forms of poverty such as unavailability of electricity, water, and transportation in impoverished communities. How do we contribute to the problems? How can we work together to provide solutions?
  • Sustain-ability: The ability of a company to sustain it’s business through core products, services, and business model. With the increased demand for “green,” it is the sustainable companies that will be able to sustain the demand for their business. If supply is based on demand – green is what consumers are demanding.  
  • Solutions need to meet the triple bottom line – environment, economy, and society.
  •  The 3rd industrial revolution will be green: clean, lean, & mean. The market offering genuinely green products and services is lean, you have to stay competitive and provide genuine tangible results. 
  •  Sustainability = meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the future

Near the end of the discussion, when questioned what educational efforts are being made in Taiwan to educate the public… one panelist responded that labels are education. My thoughts on that? There is some truth to it – when you see a nutrition label on a piece of food, you immediately recognize the label, the components, and likely have an understanding of which parts are good and bad for your health based on what you are eating/consuming. In the same way, green building projects produce quantifiable measures that can be explained just as simply for a client or the public to understand… and overtime, I believe the understanding of these ‘labels’ will only increase. For example, there was much discussion about carbon footprints. We have to find ways to make the sustainable building process/results just as simple. 
If you ever want to pick my brain on the subject, this conversation could go on for days...
Grand Formosa Regent Taipei,
Lots of festive decor! Christmas is coming...


  1. This is cool. We are trying to be green at my office also. Perhaps we can talk about additional ways you can recommend. We recycle, have a paperless emphasis, use thermostats, no paper plates or cups...

  2. Mom... Will think of some ideas for you. We should sit down and brainstorm over Christmas :)