(EnergyAsia, March 18, Wednesday) — Singapore-based Hitachi Asia Ltd has launched its S$80,000 Hitachi Environment Education Fund (HEEF), a joint initiative with Marsiling Secondary School. Aside from providing environmental education for the next generation, the fund seeks to nurture in Singapore youth the skills and responsibility for sustaining the environment. (US$1=S$1.54).

The HEEF was announced at the inaugural Hitachi Eco Conference 2009, an event entitled “Sustaining our Environment through Technologies and Collaboration” and organised with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), National Environment Agency (NEA) and the NUS Energy Studies Institute.

The conference addressed current environmental issues by promoting sustainable global solutions through innovative technologies. An exhibition showcased the Hitachi group’s collective technologies for environmental sustainability, while seminars were conducted focusing on two relevant concerns: energy efficiency and water treatment.

Keynote speaker Professor Daniel Esty of Yale University and author of “Green to Gold”, gave a talk on “Using environmental strategies to build competitive advantage”.

The event’s guest-of-honor, Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for the environment and water resources, said:

“It is encouraging to see corporations such as Hitachi play such a strong role in Singapore’s environmental efforts. The fund, together with the Hitachi eco conference, demonstrates the company’s keen social responsibility and its desire to nurture a similar passion and commitment for the environment among Singaporeans. This shared responsibility forms the foundation for sustainable development and ultimately, a future of lasting prosperity.”

The fund’s beneficiary, Marsiling Secondary School, is a Ministry of Education (MOE) north 5 cluster centre of excellence in environment education. Selected for its track record in environment education, the school has a comprehensive environment education programme, working with various partners to raise awareness among students on environmental issues.

The HEEF will be used for new environment-related projects and activities, monetary awards for students who exemplify eco-responsibility, and grants for training programmes to enhance teachers’ knowledge on various environmental topics.

Takashi Hatchoji, chief environmental strategy officer of Hitachi Ltd, said: “Our activities are focused on realising our Environmental Vision 2025 – a long-term plan to preserve the environment and promote a sustainable society through global warming prevention, eco-system conservation and the sustainable use of resources.

“We believe that sustainability begins with education. By nurturing eco awareness among the youth, we ensure that future generations will keep our Earth safe.

“By collaborating with government agencies and the commercial sector to discuss environmental issues, we can bring key influencers and decision makers closer toward striking a responsible balance with the environment.”