Singapore, June 21, 2016 – The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has announced Mr. Tai Lee Siang as its new Chairman. Mr Tai Lee Siang, from Singapore, is the first Asian Chairman to helm this international body since its founding in 2002.
The appointment is the second accolade that Singapore has achieved in the area of green buildings and sustainability this month. The city nation was ranked second highest on consultancy firm Solidiance’s Global Cities for Green Building Performance Index 20161 in June.
WGBC is a global network of national green building councils in more than 100 countries. With over one hundred thousand buildings and almost one billion square metres of green building space registered globally, WorldGBC is a key player in driving sustainability issues worldwide.
With the ratification of L’accord de Paris (Paris Agreement) this month, there is greater impetus for the world to do more for sustainability.
Mr Tai will push ahead with WGBC’s plans to help its network country members achieve their environmental goals.
As the first Asian Chairman of WorldGBC, Mr Tai has ambitious plans for the Council to transform Asian cities.
He said: “Asia presents a unique case in sustainability; being home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population on one-third of the world’s land mass. This makes it one of the more high- densely populated regions. Coupled with the rapid urbanization, our pressing need for sustainable buildings and cities naturally has spawned many green solutions. Together with the Asia Pacific Network GBCs, I hope to further advance the transformation of Asian cities towards more sustainable and livable models which can be replicated in other global cities.”
One of his key missions for WorldGBC is to grow its membership and its corporate network. He also intends to lend more support to existing Green Building Councils (GBCs) in individual countries to empower them and increase their influence. At the same time, he will encourage formation of new GBCs in countries, to strengthen sustainability efforts in those regions.
No stranger to the sustainability movement, Mr Tai is currently honorary advisor to the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), where he was formerly its President from 2009 to 2011. He was also a past president of the Singapore Institute of Architects.
His appointment as Chairman of World GBC cements Singapore’s status as a staunch supporter of sustainability efforts. Mr Tai intends to tap his background and familiarity with the region to promote global exchange of green practices and commerce.
Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “Tai Lee Siang has been a true champion of sustainability, and has worked tirelessly to transform the industry and position green building as a one of the most effective solutions to climate change.
“It is this commitment, expertise and strong leadership that has earned him his place as the new Chair of our Board of Directors. Together with our fellow Directors, I look forward to working with Lee Siang to seek to create a world in which greener buildings lead to a better quality of life for everyone, everywhere.”
Growing Green Champions to Expand Outreach
In addition to focusing on the building industry, Mr Tai intends to adopt a more holistic approach to encompass all levels of sustainability in cities and urban lifestyles.
He said: “As part of my Manifesto for the WorldGBC, we should develop stronger channels to give voice and platforms to individuals and organizations and to honour and encourage all those who contribute towards our mission. We also want to expand and intensify our outreach programme to grow ‘Green Champions’. Our outreach should not only be focused on our members, but also include all parties that our GBCs do business with. Therefore, I would urge the WorldGBC to pay attention to the needs of cities, governments and end-users. Cities have become the main battleground of climate change and governments’ policies do have direct impact on the Green Building movement.
The WorldGBC must be engaged at the highest level of governance. We can only do our job better if the end-users understand the benefits of green buildings. Therefore, our projects must deliver outcomes that matter to our eventual customers through effective communication, publicity and education.”
Singapore ranks 14th for environmental performance 2 and the country’s companies consistently topped the region for sustainability3. Thus, the country has much to share with the world in green efforts. As Singapore works towards its pledge to reduce emissions intensity by 36% from 2005 levels, green businesses in the Republic should also look into bringing its best sustainable practices and green solutions overseas, thus expanding their global footprints.
As President of Design Business Chamber of Singapore (DBCS), Mr Tai is also keen to explore ways to use design in enhancing sustainability efforts. He said: “While constructing green buildings and homes is a good first step to environmental sustainability, the fundamental design thinking that goes into city planning and building of the environment has to be further strengthened in lifestyle changes. This continued pursuit of innovation can pave the way for a more sustainable lifestyle comprising less consumption and greener practices down from the community to individual levels.”
About World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
Formed in 2002, the World Green Building Council is a network of national green building councils in more than one hundred countries, making it the world’s largest international organisation influencing the green building marketplace.
The WorldGBC’s mission is to strengthen green building councils in member countries by championing their leadership and connecting them to a network of knowledge, inspiration and practical support.
Notes to editors
The following Directors have been appointed to the WorldGBC Board:
The new Directors will join these existing Board members:
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