NEW YORK, 14 October 2021— Eurasia Group, GZERO Media and Suntory Holdings are pleased to announce the creation of the Sustainability Leaders Council, with an ambitious objective to create an action-oriented sustainability agenda for governments and the private sector, particularly in Asia, and help foster more resilient societies, reduce plastic waste, create economic value and build a more sustainable world. This Council also has two sponsoring partners: Indorama Ventures, a sustainable chemical company based in Thailand, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The Council, which was launched in advance of November’s COP26 Summit, has a clear mission: to illuminate Asia as a leading force for change within the climate and sustainability discussion. To bolster this mission, the Council is planning a virtual Summit, to be held on Oct. 21st and 22nd. Co-hosted by Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, and Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, the Summit will bring together global leaders from multilateral institutions, governments, and the private sector to create urgency, priorities, and blueprints for action around environmental sustainability.
“Climate change is our generation’s most pressing crisis, and we can only respond effectively if there’s a coordinated global response,” said Ian Bremmer. “As world leaders head to COP26, can we expect climate cooperation, or climate competition? I look forward to discussing these issues at the Summit.”
“Asia lies at the heart of sustainability challenges and solutions,” said Tak Niinami of Suntory. “At this Summit, we plan to go beyond preexisting narratives and address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?”
Event prominent participants include:
●Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group and GZERO Media
●Tak Niinami, CEO, Suntory Holdings
●Kevin Rudd, former prime minister, Australia; and president and CEO of Asia Society
●Ko Barrett, Vice Chair, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
●Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations and Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
●Shinta Kamdani, CEO, Sintesa Group
●Gillian Tett, Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times (moderator)
Anchoring the Summit is a new research report prepared by Eurasia Group, “Unlocking Sustainable Plastics in Asia,” which advocates for a much more dynamic role for both the public and private sector in Asia to counter the proliferation of single-use plastic containers, which have had an outsized impact on the environment. Among the report’s conclusions:
●Asia lies at the center of the global plastics economy, but the continent has until now been considered to be more of a source of problems than of solutions. In that context, it’s time for Asian governments, companies and populations to change their approach to how they use, produce and manage plastic packaging, with the ultimate goal of driving a “race to the top” ahead of local consumer pressure.
●So far, the scale and breadth of poorly managed plastic waste is such that progress has been elusive. Change must come, and soon, in how we create, use and dispose of plastics so that we can retain their benefits while limiting the harms often associated with their use.
●A solution requires progress in two key areas: a dramatic increase in recycling rates and the decarbonization of production whenever possible. New policies need to create the right incentives and opportunities to engage all segments of society, from consumers to large multinationals, which form the backbone of the plastics industry. Together, all the various stakeholders must work together to create a new system that inspires trust, calls out bad behavior, and strives toward collective goals, including the furthering of environmental justice.
Detailed Summary of the Sustainability Leaders’ Summit:
Session #1: Protecting the Planet: Asia’s Risk and Responsibility
Thursday, October 21, 2021, 8 am ET / 8 pm SGT
●Asia’s Environmental Impact: Understanding the science behind key climate risks affecting the region and how Asian governments and industry are contributing to problems and solutions
●Policy Priorities: How are policymakers and global organizations collaborating on climate action, setting and achieving targets, and working towards urgent outcomes?
●Innovation and Asia’s Future: Leading private-sector companies and investors discuss technology and innovation’s roles in tackling climate change
Session #2: Plastics: Unlocking Sustainable Solutions
Friday, October 22, 2021, 8 am ET / 8 pm SGT
●Sustainable Plastic: Since its invention, plastic has enabled innovation in manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, food storage and transportation, to name a few. But irresponsible and illegal approaches to plastic waste management, along with unclear or absent recycling regulations have turned it into a global problem. Will a shift away from plastics to alternative materials be better for the environment and cut emissions? Are there safer, more sustainable ways to use plastic?
●The Roadmap to Circularity: What are the practical pathways and roadblocks to a “circular economy”? How do we change attitudes and behaviors and move towards greater participation in recycling and reuse solutions? What role do policymakers have to play in this transition?
About Eurasia Group:
Eurasia Group is the world's leading global political risk research and consulting firm. By providing information and insight on how political developments move markets, we help clients anticipate and respond to instability and opportunities everywhere they invest or do business. Our expertise includes developed and developing countries in every region of the world, specific economic sectors, and the business and investment playing fields of the future. With our best-in-class advisory and consulting offerings and GZERO Media, the Eurasia Group umbrella provides the marketplace with a complete political risk solution. Headquartered in New York, we have offices in Washington, London, San Francisco, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Tokyo, as well as on-the-ground experts and resources in more than a hundred countries. "Politics first” grounds our work: Politics is the lens through which we view the world, and we are committed to analysis that is free of political bias and the influence of private interests.
About GZERO Media
GZERO Media is a company dedicated to providing the public with intelligent and engaging coverage of global affairs. It was created in 2017 as a subsidiary of Eurasia Group, the world's leading political risk analysis firm. In addition to producing the national public television program GZERO World with Ian Bremmer and its companion podcast, GZERO Media publishes the regular newsletter Signal, and daily text and video stories at www.gzeromedia.com and across social media channels.
About Suntory Holdings
As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Holdings offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products from premium spirits, beer and wine to brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds in Japan and the Asian market with our Premium Malt's beer and also owns the exceptional Japanese wine Tomi and the world famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection also includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, BOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong Tea, V and BRAND’S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.
Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $20.4 billion in 2020. Suntory is driven by Yatte Minahare - the spirit of bold ambition - and our 40,044 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
As a company that delivers blessings of water and nature to our customers, Suntory is committed to its mission to create harmony with people and nature. Always aspiring to grow for good, Suntory is devoted to giving back to society through protecting water resources, nurturing its communities and fostering the arts.
Director of Communications
Eurasia Group / GZERO Media