In this business tv show we look at how businesses can operate sustainably in emerging economies. Experts Stephen Philips, Chief Executive, China-Britain Business Council, Ian Coleman, Partner, Head of emerging markets, PricewaterhouseCoopers UK, Frederique Schillern, COO Asia Pacific, Equity Trust, and Chris Runckel, President of international business consultants Runckel and Associates, look at issues from energy to air quality, and what green steps are being taken in emerging economies.
Ian Coleman: I do believe that this issue of sustainability, broadening beyond climate change but sustainability which would capture thinking about employment practices as well as just sort of the climatic effects of this activity is going to be an absolutely central issue for the way in which emerging markets emerge.
Chris Runckel: In China a lot of water ways if you are standing next o it your eyes are tearing from the smell of chemicals. If you’re in China travelling for a couple of weeks often times you’ll develop a cough because of the higher levels of articulates in the air. In general pollution is a very big problem in most of these developing countries it’s a problem. In China throughout the eastern area it’s an increasing problem in Vietnam, it will be a bigger and bigger problem in India.
Frederique Schillern: I think we talked about China and its political and economic role in the world; it is more and more becoming a global player. That's going to mean for them to address things like the environment, in turn that means potential for a lot of companies dealing with environmental technology, environmentally friendly systems for example. It means that they have to open up their financial markets amongst other things, is one of the few things that is still very tightly controlled, that means of course an enormous amount of potential for environmental firms and all the advisory professional services that go with that.
Ian Coleman: I think it would be wrong to characterise emerging markets as a whole to being unconcerned about the environmental effects of their economic activity, I just don’t believe that to be true. There is a lot of evidence that they are hugely concerned. What we do need however to understand are the conflicting prioritisations that they have to address domestically. We need to turn the spotlight on our own practices as well and I do think that this whole sustainability agenda is one where leading by example will be, in the long run, a great strategy for developed market participants.
Stephen Philips: So how do you clear up the air, how do you do waste water treatment, how do you keep water clean, that type of issue and that’s really bringing together the best of UK technology to match the needs of China in terms of helping clean up the environment. There are also some very exciting projects going on led by British companies. A good example of that is ARAP who’s working on eco city just out of Shanghai outside Shanghai in a development called Dong Hang on an island called Chong Ming and that is leading the way in terms of developing a large urban centre for the population that tends to be migrating into urban areas but doing it in a way in which the impact on the environment is mitigated as much a possible.
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