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Ladies, Here’s How To Go Green

This network is composed of women championing a sustainable future

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second most polluting one after oil and gas? In August this year, a group of ladies got together to discuss this issue.

Organised by City Developments Limited (CDL), in partnership with fashion brand H&M, the event, entitled Sustainable Fashion, attracted more than 100 women participants from diverse backgrounds, including bankers, lawyers, academics, senior executives from both public and private sectors, NGOs, youths and undergraduates.

The team from CDL responsible for putting it together was Women4Green, the first network in Singapore for ladies working in the area of sustainability. Leading the charge is Esther An, CDL’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

“Having worked in the building and sustainability arenas for over two decades, I would safely say that industries related to green building, technology, engineering and energy are in general male dominant,” says An.

“Women4Green aims to bring together women executives in the various green industries to contribute towards climate action, sustainable business and social change. It hopes to harness the collective knowledge and expertise of successful female leaders to empower other women to incite meaningful change in their respective industries.”

The network ties back to CDL’s firm belief in the value that sustainability creates for society and the environment – something it has integrated into its business since the 1990s. It went so far as to develop a zero-energy Singapore Sustainability Academy, and established Women4Green in July this year to support its vision.

An explains that the network acts as a hub for knowledge sharing, networking and partnership, “It brings women together to actively develop ideas, foster growth and engage the community to call for a future where all women and girls have equal opportunities and rights.”

Already, Women4Green has amassed itself an impressive list of supporters. They include Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, who was recently appointed to the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation; Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council; and Christina Lee, founder & CEO of the Global Green Economic Forum.

“It is our privilege to have successful female leaders from various industries to voice their support of Women4Green’s mission. It is not a rigid society but a platform to enable knowledge sharing about sustainability through online sharing and regular events,” explains An.

The network intends to hold events on topics related to sustainable lifestyle and business practices, such as Sustainable Fashion, which was the inaugural one. It featured Mabel Wong, Executive Director of CSR Asia and Women4Green Ambassador for Australia and New Zealand, who presented the Ethical Fashion Report 2017, published by Baptist World Aid Australia, that ranks 106 fashion brands based on their environmental and social impact.

A second speaker was Wong Xin Yi, Sustainability Manager of H&M Southeast Asia, who shared insights on what a fashion company with a global presence like can do to counter the fashion industry’s negative impact for a more sustainable future. “The session provided an inspiring take on how one can shop for and dispose of their clothing responsibly,” shares An.

Although only three months old, Women4Green has received encouraging responses and ideas on how to move forward. An reveals that quarterly lifestyle events are in the pipeline that will bring women together to build a “green force”.

 “We believe that Women4Green will be on track towards empowering and engaging women to actively develop ideas, foster change and ultimately create a positive impact on the environment that will contribute towards a sustainable future.”

Women who are interested in contributing to the Women4Green network can share their thoughts via the CDL Sustainability Microsite.


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