A new APEC Green Supply Chain Cooperation Network is being put into action to facilitate the reduction of pollution and waste linked to manufacturing and logistics networks in the Asia-Pacific while boosting secure trade and economic growth.
The network will guide public-private sector development of green supply chains in APEC economies—supply chains in the APEC region move about half of global trade. The initiative was endorsed by APEC Leaders in Beijing last November. Trade and environment officials from the region moved forward with its adoption during working-level policy meetings this week in the port city of Cebu.
In focus is environmentally-friendly, economically viable purchasing, production activity, and distribution and consumption of goods and services. Industries that could play a role range from automobiles and electronics, to retailing and financial services.
A newly launched pilot green supply chain center in Tianjin, the world’s tenth largest port city, will bring together officials, businesses representatives and researchers to support the growth of the sector. It lays a foundation for the establishment of additional centers in APEC economies that could serve as a backbone for regional efforts to advance green supply chains under the network.
An expert group is being formed to provide counsel in advancing the network. The group will stock take green supply chain practices in particular sectors as well as across the different stages of international production and supply chains. An annual dialogue, capacity building activities such as workshops and training, and an online portal are also being introduced to bridge implementation gaps between APEC’s diverse member economies.
On the occasion of the pilot green supply chain center opening, Wan Bentai, Chief Engineer at China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that China is taking unprecedented steps to strengthen the prevention and control of air, land and water pollution but that severe challenges remain. He added that sharing the concept and experience of developing an ecological civilization through active regional cooperation is vital to ensuring mutual green development.
Examples of green supply chain practices may include the use of easily disposable, low impact materials, recycling and operational efficiency enhancements. The adoption of such practices could help to cut carbon emissions and other forms of pollution as well as lower business costs.
“Trade in manufactured goods typically involves the movement of component parts and materials through international production and supply chains which can be quite resource intensive,” noted John Larkin, Chair of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment, which is overseeing implementation of the APEC Green Supply Chain Cooperation Network and member collaboration on related initiatives.
“Improvements to production and supply chain processes could help to ensure that goods and services are delivered to consumers more efficiently and with less strain on the environment,” explained Larkin. “The economic case for firms to embrace green supply chain practices can be strong, offering them potentially significant business cost savings.”
The network will further raise awareness of the possible benefits of green supply chains as well as build public and private sector support for these undertakings in the region. The Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on 5-6 September will review the initiative’s progress and chart the way forward.
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