SINGAPORE - Businesses and industries, together with the Government, have to do their parts in ensuring that economic development does not come at the expense of the environment.
This was the message from Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development on Tuesday.
The forum, in its third edition this year, is being held at the Marina Bay Sands until Wednesday.
"Environmental sustainability has to feature in business decisions and be discussed at board rooms," said the Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, noting that the exponential rise of the urban population and global development has also come with "irreversible" impact on the environment.
"Companies that understand the environmental impact of their activities derive competitiveness from it," said Ms Fu, pointing to the increasing importance of sustainability reporting for companies here. "It is becoming clearer that a well-executed environmental strategy will bring about stronger consumer branding, better relations with stakeholders and greater readiness for a resource-constrained future."
She noted that for Singapore, there is business potential in areas such as smart urban solutions, especially in exporting such solutions to the region and beyond.
"We expect collaborations between the Government, the private sector and research institutions to raise our capabilities in domains such as water, energy, mobility and other urban solutions."
Added Ms Fu: "Cities that are able to optimise resources to create good jobs, maintain a clean and liveable environment, and enhance the well-being of their residents, will do well globally and thrive."