Eurocham’s fifth Green Business Forum saw a discussion between the private and public sectors on issues ranging from sustainable growth to eco-friendly developments in the country.
The undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Phan Phalla, opened the forum by addressing the need for more sustainability and inclusivity initiatives. He said the government prioritises green initiatives.
“Sustainability should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a burden,” he said.
In line with the forum’s focus on promoting green business strategies, Mr Phalla urged developers and entrepreneurs to apply more innovative models and strategic partnerships in their projects.
Sear Rithy, chairman of Worldbridge International, gave a presentation on his affordable housing project, Srey Mongkul Satellite City.
To launch several green initiatives at the housing project, including the installation of solar panels, Worldbridge has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Rithy said.
Fellow speaker Ing Susanne Bodach, managing director of Bee Green Building Consulting Cambodia, pointed out that only seven buildings in Phnom Penh are certified green, and urged developers to secure green certifications.
Michel Cassagnes, managing director of Archetype Cambodia, shared his experience implementing green initiatives in the workplace which he said resulted in a significant cut in electricity bills.
“There are challenges in going green, however. Some of them come from the lack of technical knowledge as well as low awareness levels,” said fellow panelist Thomas Gal, representative from Continewm Southeast Asia.
He added that most businesses now focus mostly on cutting costs as well as their short-term financial goals. Mr Gal encouraged businesses to look into green development strategies that can help them in the long term.