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  Straits Times 31 Oct 07
Green topics will be red-hot at business forum
By Jessica Cheam

ECO-FRIENDLY business practices seem to be more of a requirement than an option nowadays, with the growing awareness of environmental issues.

The conundrum for companies: How to adopt these practices in a way that also maximises profits?

This was one of the many questions addressed at a roundtable discussion held yesterday as a preview to the upcoming Asia Business Leaders Forum to be held in Singapore next month.

And if the preview was anything to go by, environmental issues will be placed firmly at the top of the agenda.

The two-day high-powered regional forum for chief executive officers and senior executives, now in its second year, will kick off on Nov 15.

'For any major company now, going green is a foregone conclusion,' said Mr Peter Vogel, regional manager of Ricoh Global Services, Asia-Pacific.

'Shareholders increasingly demand that companies adopt environmentally friendly practices.

'And the challenge is making sure these initiatives can, and will, help the bottom line,' said Mr Vogel.

Other related issues such as looking at a company's business practices holistically, and quantifying environmental impact as a business cost, will be discussed at the upcoming forum.

In addition to environmental issues, key concerns that Asian business leaders face - such as talent management and prioritising growth in emerging Asian markets - will also be addressed.

One big problem, for example, is that Asian companies face a major hurdle in finding the right talent to help them drive their growth.

This is especially so if they lack a big brand name, said Mr Nigel Phang, director of business solutions at talent management firm Development Dimensions International (DDI).

The forum will be held at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort.

Related articles on Singapore: general environmental issues
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