From Asia to Antarctica: Eco-Business launches new climate change campaign

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From Asia to Antarctica: Eco-Business launches new climate change campaign

Singapore, 23 February 2018—As summer in the Southern hemisphere heats up, scientists have once again sounded the alarm that the sea ice in the Antarctica is declining, and the global climate is at a critical tipping point.

The need for climate solutions from policymakers, businesses, and individuals has never been greater or more urgent. In a bid to inspire and deliver the change needed, Asia Pacific’s leading publication on sustainable development Eco-Business today launched a new climate change campaign, ‘Changing Course’, as it prepares to set sail on a 14-day expedition to Antarctica.

Eco-Business founder and managing editor Jessica Cheam will join Climate Force: Antarctica 2018 along with 80 global changemakers. Led by O.B.E Robert Swan, a renowned environmentalist and explorer who was the first man to walk to both North and South Poles, the expedition departs on February 25 and aims to raise awareness about the severity of the global climate crisis, as well as the urgent need for everyone to shift to sustainable ways of living.

Cheam was selected for the Antarctica expedition after winning City Developments Limited’s (CDL) E-Generation Challenge 2017 last November, organised in partnership with the Global Green Economic Forum (GGEF). Competition participants were tasked to write a 3,000 word essay with their proposed solutions for climate change and finalists had to deliver a 20-minute presentation to a panel of distinguished judges from the sustainability sector.

In the past 50 years, Antarctica has been experiencing one of the highest rates of warming. Last July, an iceberg the size of the US state of Delaware broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf[1], sparking fears about sea level rise. Global sea levels are already expected to rise from 0.2 metres to two metres by 2100[2]. But scientists say that melting Antarctic ice sheets could push this to as high as five metres[3], which would inundate many of the world’s coastal cities.

“It is a huge honour to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the most pristine, last wilderness on the planet. It is visibly suffering the effects of climate change, and though it may be too remote a location for most people, what’s happening in Antarctica has a very real impact on our lives and societies,” said Cheam, who founded Eco-Business in 2009.

“In the decade that I’ve spent documenting the impact of climate change, I’ve witnessed how it affects businesses, societies and individuals around the world. It’s not an abstract concept but a reality confronting millions of people today,” said Cheam, who was formerly the environment and political correspondent at Singaporean national daily The Straits Times.

“There is no shortage of solutions to the climate crisis—these range from renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure to more sustainable diets and consumption — but these solutions are not being scaled up fast enough… In Antarctica, I hope to chronicle the impact of climate change from a different perspective, and tell stories that will inspire change,” said Cheam.

Esther An, chief sustainability officer, CDL, said: “CDL has been a long-time advocate of sustainability and climate action for more than two decades and this is reflected in our business operations as well as community outreach initiatives like the CDL E-Generation Challenge, which we have run for the past eight years.”

“Jessica’s long-standing advocacy on sustainability issues and her extensive outreach to the public, policymakers, and business community make her the unanimous winner of the competition. CDL is proud to support her expedition to Antarctica and be part of the exhibition that will showcase images captured.  We look forward to seeing the exciting climate solutions and new perspectives on the issue that will emerge from this journey,” An added.

Christina Lee, founder and chief executive officer, GGEF (Global Green Economic Forum), said: “GGEF believes that women and the youth have immense untapped potential to deliver actionable solutions to climate change. We are proud to support outstanding young people like Jessica Cheam, to join the International Antarctic Expedition. They always return with fresh perspectives and new ideas that emerge from this experience are sure to accelerate the journey towards a sustainable future for all. GGEF believes in one to a million – one individual to influence a million, that’s why we invest 20% of our income to foster future leaders.”

Visual storytelling for the climate

As part of the Changing Course campaign, Eco-Business will be producing an independent, short documentary in partnership with filmmaker Fraser Morton about the impact of climate change in this wild, untouched landscape.

A photo collection and short documentary from this journey will be the highlight of the Changing Course exhibition to be held from 1 June to 12 July in Singapore.

At its heart is the belief in the power of media to inspire change and change the course of history. The exhibition will feature photos that tell the story of the greatest challenge of the 21st century and humanity’s response to it.

Eco-Business is also launching a global photography competition, where winners will get a chance to see their works displayed at the Changing Course exhibition. Readers can send in photographs documenting climate impacts or solutions in their community, or upload them on Instagram with the tag #changingcourse. Three photos and three Instagram posts will be chosen for the exhibition.

Japanese electronics giant Sony is a key partner for the Changing Course exhibition. Cheam and Morton’s expedition will be filmed entirely with Sony equipment.

Kazuhito Takata, Head, ILC Marketing Department, Sony South East Asia, said: “Sony is pleased to partner Eco-Business on this project to document the effects of climate change in Antarctica. Despite the harsh weather conditions the team will face, we are confident that the quality and reliability of the Sony α7RIII Mirrorless camera and lenses will capture this stunning vista in all its natural glory. This project also supports the sustainability commitment that Sony has been embarking on- the Road to Zero campaign- that strives to reduce environmental impact in our wide range of products. Taking this opportunity, we also wish the team a safe, successful and pleasant journey.”

OCBC Bank, another sponsor of the Changing Course campaign, has also committed to spreading the message on climate change impact on its different platforms, including screening Eco-Business’s Antarctica documentary at various bank branches.

Ms Koh Ching Ching, Head of Group Corporate Communications at OCBC Bank, said: “Environmental sustainability is a journey. By supporting the Changing Course campaign, we hope to do our part in raising awareness about the impact of climate change. Over the years, we have steadily stepped up our efforts to protect the environment. Whether it is through the #OCBCCares Fund for the Environment to fund ground-up initiatives, our biodiversity project at Coney Island or our employees’ volunteer efforts in various environmental conservation programmes, we want to positively influence behaviours and attitudes, and effect change in the community we work and live in.”

Going beyond the exhibition, Jessica and Fraser are also separately producing a documentary with Asian broadcaster Channel NewsAsia on climate change, told for the first time through an Asian lens. More details will be announced later this year.

The duo will be flying from Singapore to Argentina and back on Emirates, an official airline partner of the campaign.

Follow Eco-Business’s Antarctica journey on the Changing Course microsite.

For more information, contact:

Vaidehi Shah
Assistant Editor, Eco-Business


About Eco-Business

Eco-Business is the leading media company serving Asia Pacific’s sustainable development, clean tech and responsible business community. Its platforms include the award-winning site, quality custom publications, and high-impact bespoke events catered to deepen discussions on sustainability. Its aim is to build a strong and sustainable social enterprise that helps Asia Pacific’s businesses along an environmentally and socially responsible, low-carbon path.

About CDL

City Developments Limited (CDL) has been Singapore’s property pioneer since 1963. It is a Singapore listed international property and hotel conglomerate involved in real estate development and investment, hotel ownership and management, facilities management and the provision of hospitality solutions. As a socially responsible corporation, CDL is fully committed towards environmental sustainability and has been taking the lead in shaping Singapore’s built environment since the 1990s.

About Global Green Economic Forum

GGEF (Global Green Economic Forum) is a social enterprise headquartered in Singapore that reinvests part of its income to foster future leaders in building a sustainable environment and community.

GGEF runs business conferences, awards and workshops to promote sustainability in business. It aims to inspire current leaders and foster future ones. GGEF has been sponsoring youth to attend international events such as the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition. GGEF raises its operation funding through events in Asia and reinvests 20% back into fostering future leaders.

About Sony Electronics Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.

Based in Singapore, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It serves as the regional management and marketing headquarters for Sony’s consumer as well as broadcasting and professional products, overseeing Asia, Middle East and Africa regions. For more information on Sony’s products and services in Asia Pacific, please visit

About OCBC Bank

OCBC Bank is the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. It is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. Recognised for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank is consistently ranked among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance and has been named Best Managed Bank in Singapore by The Asian Banker.

OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.

OCBC Bank’s key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has more than 600 branches and representative offices in 18 countries and regions. These include over 330 branches and offices in Indonesia under subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and more than 100 branches and offices in Hong Kong, China and Macao under OCBC Wing Hang.

OCBC Bank’s private banking services are provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which operates on a unique open-architecture product platform to source for the best-in-class products to meet its clients’ goals.




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