Climate change impacts the way we live today and will shape the way how the future generations will live. Efforts for its mitigation and raising more awareness on sustainability practices require the collaboration of all parties, be it individuals, governments, the private sector and the community.
Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam’s (BIBD) Sustainability Framework announced recently underscores the bank’s commitment in playing a pivotal role in supporting the nation’s sustainability drive, in line with their role as a Partner in Progress.
Through different initiatives, the bank is taking the lead on sustainability practices not just within their business, but also in the domestic market by promoting stewardship among Brunei corporates, supported by digitalisation, sustainability funding, community education and social inclusion.
This approach is continuously promoted through awareness, dialogues and joint actions with relevant stakeholders, including the Brunei Climate Change Secretariat (BCCS) and NGOs.
One of the Sustainability Framework’s pillars is Responsible Entrepreneurship, where the bank is actively engaging with business owners and NGOs on ways they can help educate, promote awareness, engagement to help them adopt more eco-conscious business decisions and become responsible entrepreneurs.
As part of BIBD’s SME 360 brand refresh campaign, the SME360 SERIES, which runs from January to May, features a series of virtual forums and engagement sessions with business owners and stakeholders to discuss challenges, best practices, perspectives and opportunities in the economy.
Part of the virtual series is the Eco-Chat: Towards a Sustainable Nation, held in collaboration with Community for Brunei to raise awareness on not only on the climate change crisis, but also to build a culture of sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship.
According to co-founder, Community for Brunei Shinny Chia, they aim to promote more awareness by inculcating small but impactful actions across multiple levels of society.
“Eco-Chats aim to create awareness about different and simple practices across three major polluting industries, and we are hoping that by creating the general awareness we are able to start a conversation around it and move things,” she shared.
The initiative will also see sub-campaigns and accompanying activities which address consumption habits across the polluting industries, she added.
The Eco-Chat series will feature talks and engagements on four main topics of the Circular economy, Fighting plastic pollution, Sustainable food production and consumption and Sustainable fashion.
Under the initiative, one of the virtual talks will be in collaboration with Asean Youth Advocates Network (AYAN) Brunei, in boosting awareness on issues revolving around sustainability and its challenges in a larger scale mitigate challenges involved in the matter.
Participants from ASEAN are expected to join the series of talks to share their views and experiences on various issues pertaining to sustainability and climate change. At the same time, it is also hoped to enhance responsible thinking and awareness not just on the way we live our daily lives, but also on how we conduct businesses.
Efforts to highlight issues on sustainability, its awareness, climate change and environmental protection require strong support and collaboration from all levels of individuals, communities, schools and business, with emphasis on a Whole of Nation approach to move forward towards the sustainable goal.
This is envisoned in the Sustainable Nation campaign which will inspire and encourage individuals, communities and NGOs to come forward in supporting the national sustainability agenda.
Giving her take on BIBD’s support for a more awareness on eco-conscious and responsible entrepreneurship among the community, founder of MY Actions For SDGs Nurul Hadina Haji Alias, also one of the collaborators in the initiative, said the bank’s efforts in highlighting issues of sustainability has enhanced more public awareness towards the agenda of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and paves the way for a more collective community action.
Offering her take on the importance of sustainability for the future generation, one of the initiative’s collaborators, President of Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD) Lin Ji Liaw said that sustainability is not just important for the future generation, but also to maintain present day livelihoods.
“Sustainability is not a buzz word and is not a fad that ‘comes and goes’. Sustainability is a way of life and it is a responsibility for all stakeholders,” she added.
Meanwhile, BCCS head Noor Dina Zharina binti Haji Yahya, said from the government’s standpoint, Brunei’s goal to become a lowcarbon economy and climate resilient must be embraced by entrepreneurs, as this policy has also paved the way for more opportunities in the low carbon sector and in generating new – portunities for businesses to look with the new demand now. They need to be green as an organisation and ensure that they internalise any of the environmental cost, to ensure that it minimises the risk that they leave or impact to the environment,” she said.
At the same time, Noor Dina said that businesses must try to become more creative and provide low carbon or green services as part of their businesses, as the demand for low carbon choices is increasing.
She said the linear model for businesses is no longer applicable as they now have to move into the circular economy. “Climate change will impact everybody, not just our country, but also in the international level. If climate change impacts like sea level rise and extreme weather will impact businesses and the community at large,” she stressed.
This is why, Noor Dina said, everyone needs to be on board, especially entrepreneurs because if they can be enablers and have businesses more responsible in terms of how they operate and provide goods and services, they can play a very important role in enabling climate action at the very least for Brunei.
Country Director AYAN Brunei Afiqah Zailani, also on board in the Sustainable Nation Campaign, on her thoughts on climate change impacts, said climate change is accelerating very fast and it is vital for all to take the time and start re-learning and restructuring our life choices.
Shinny said that we are now a point in history where climate change is accelerating fast and we need to understand that we cannot consume resources without considering its consequences. “Sustainability should be the way of the future. There’s no more of ‘are you a sustainable business or are you not’. As we move forward, sustainability issues should be a core focus for everyone.”
Sutainable Nation Campaign/Eco-Chat
– To raise awareness on climate change crisis and build a culture of sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship through engagement with different NGOs and businesses
– Aims to create awareness about different and simple practices across three major polluting industries
– Promote more awareness by inculcating small but impactful actions across multiple levels of society
Whole of Nation Approach
– Climate change mitigation and awareness on sustainability practices require the collaboration of all levels of individuals, governments, private sector and the community
– Brunei’s goal to become a lowcarbon economy and climate resilient must be embraced by entrepreneurs, as this policy has also paved the way for more opportunities in the low carbon sector and in generating new green sectors