Earth Hour HQ to relocate to Singapore

Qiuyi Tan Channel NewsAsia 20 Feb 12;

SINGAPORE: Climate change movement Earth Hour is moving its global headquarters from Sydney, Australia to Singapore.

It is expected to move to Singapore in May.

Earth Hour started as a one-city campaign in Sydney in 2007.

By 2011, the movement has spread to 5,251 cities and towns, reaching some 1.8 billion people in 135 countries.

The global movement encourages individuals, businesses and communities to switch off lights for one hour on the last Saturday of March every year.

Earth Hour executive director and co-founder Andy Ridley said Singapore offers the level of connectivity and opportunity the campaign needs to move forward.

He said: "Great for business, great for communications, brilliant for digital. And it's got great people who can work for us.

"To move to Singapore in a geographical sense makes total sense - Earth Hour is growing really big in India and in China and in Indonesia, as well as Latin America and the (United) States. So many reasons to move here.

"Sydney is the most beautiful city and we'll be sad to move from there but it's a long way away from the rest of the world."

Earth Hour's Singapore headquarters is expected to lead the campaign's outreach to businesses.

It will join some 135 international non-profit organisations currently using Singapore as a global base.

A key objective of Earth Hour is to get people to go "beyond the hour" in their commitment to environmental protection.

This year's Earth Hour takes place on 31 March, at 8.30pm.

The Singapore event will be on Orchard Road, and organisers are hoping for a 6,000-strong turnout.

- CNA/al/wk

Earth Hour moving HQ to Singapore
Republic well placed to drive campaign forward, says green movement
Feng Zengkun Straits Times 21 Feb 12;

EARTH Hour, a global climate change movement, is making Singapore its home.

The agency, which is behind the annual event that encourages people to switch off their lights for an hour on the last Saturday evening of March, is moving out of its global headquarters in Sydney to come to these parts by May. And it will be

hiring people here to fill its ranks.

The group has eight members, four of whom will move here. It plans to recruit four full-timers here and more temporary staff for its events.

Earth Hour executive director and co-founder Andy Ridley said in a press conference at Ion Orchard yesterday that Singapore is well placed to move the campaign forward.

'Sydney is the most beautiful city and we'll be sad to move from there, but it's a long way from the rest of the world,' he said. 'Moving here makes total sense geographically.'

He added that Singapore is great for business and communications, and brilliant for digital work. It also has 'great people who can work for us', he said.

Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007. By last year, it had spread to more than 5,000 cities and towns across 135 countries, rapidly gaining traction in India, Indonesia, China, Latin America and the United States.

Its Singapore headquarters is expected to lead its outreach to businesses.

A key objective of the movement is to get people to go 'beyond the hour' in protecting the planet.

Its offices will be at Tanglin International Centre, located on the former grounds of the Ministry of Education in Kay Siang Road.

The building, now a dedicated space for non-profit groups, is already home to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Singapore Environment Council and Fauna & Flora International are expected to move in this year.

About 135 international non-profit organisations are now using Singapore as a regional or global base.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) aims to get 150 such international non-profit groups from all sectors here by 2015, creating 2,500 jobs in the process.

Mr Goh Chee Kiong, the EDB's director of clean technology, said at the press conference that Asia will play an increasingly major role in the 'global sustainability landscape' and Singapore will help to implement green initiatives in the region.

This year's Earth Hour takes place on March 31 at 8.30pm. The Singapore event will be in Orchard Road and organisers are hoping for a 6,000-strong turnout.

The campaign theme, revealed yesterday, is 'I Will If You Will'. It is aimed at encouraging people to make longer-term green pledges.

Former model and WWF Singapore's official Earth Hour ambassador Nadya Hutagalung, for example, has pledged to dive with sharks off southern Australia alongside Mr Ridley if 10,000 people pledge not to use plastic bags and straws for the rest of the year.

Earth Hour sinks roots in Singapore
Liau Yun Qing ZDNet Asia 20 Feb 12;

SINGAPORE--Earth Hour, part of the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), has moved its global operations from Sydney, Australia, to Singapore due to the country's advantage as a business hub.

Andy Ridley, executive director and co-founder of Earth Hour, said Singapore will act as the global headquarters for Earth Hour, which has over 70 offices around the world, and the team of eight members from its Sydney office will relocate here.

"We were looking for a city with a certain attitude to take Earth Hour to the next step," he explained during a press briefing here on Monday, adding that Singapore not only has the organizational skills and talent but as a business hub, it was ahead of the other candidates Earth Hour had in mind.

Goh Chee Kiong, director of cleantech at Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), who was also at the briefing, welcomed the move, saying that the country strives to be the "hub" for non-profit organizations. There are currently 135 such organizations that have sited their regional or global offices here, he noted.

Ridley also debunked the idea that Asia-Pacific countries are not as involved with the green initiative. He noted that participation from emerging countries, especially those from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) region, has been "massive".