Do you have a recycling box or corner in your home? If you do, who placed it there? Chances are, it was implemented by a woman in the family. After all, women are typically the most effective consumption change agents for their families, as well as their communities and businesses.
On top of that, studies have found that women influence at least 85 per cent of global consumer spending, which includes making household decisions about groceries, health, wellness and travel. And increasingly, the female of the species is also playing a greater role in “higher value” investments such as property and vehicle purchases, and Environmental, Social and Governance investment.
Clearly, women are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to saving our planet. And to ensure the momentum keeps growing, women’s advocate Trina Liang-Lin, CEO and chair of World Food Future, has gathered a group of like-minded individuals to launch sustainability society Women in Sustainability and Environment (Wise).
Launched in November, Wise aims to foster greater green participation, inclusiveness and visibility of women involved in sustainability — as consumers, investors and professionals.
The genesis of this women-centric green society came about due to conversations that Liang-Lin had with friends about various sustainability issues during the pandemic.
“I realised a number of my friends were like me, looking at sustainability from the particular lens of their business objectives and personal endeavours. There were many questions and it seemed a natural next step for us as friends to band together, to support each other, exchange ideas and learnings and to collaborate,” says Liang-Lin, who was previously the president of the Financial Women’s Association of Singapore and UN Women.
“Over time, we realised that we really should organise ourselves and not just pay intermittent lip service to the word ‘sustainability’, but to galvanise and rally deep-rooted support within our networks.”
To achieve this, Liang-Lin rallied like-minded friends, including Mrinalini Venkatachalam, the COO of Halo Health Asia and Lynn Yeow de Vito, co-founder of Loop PR, to form the committee for Wise.
As sustainability is a very broad-based and complex subject, the team felt a need to narrow their focus to align themselves with global targets and goals, she adds. Under the guidance of minister Grace Fu, the society decided that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12 — to encourage responsible consumption and production patterns — would serve as its guide post.
Its inaugural launch event, a panel on the topic “Fem-Fluence and Greenwashing — What We Need to Know Now”, will spotlight female-led consumer trends in sustainability as well as the practice of greenwashing.
There are also plans to start a series of Sustainability 101 lectures to cover the basics of sustainability and build mentorship links with polytechnics and other tertiary organisations.
The society will also launch the annual Wise Sustainability awards in the third quarter of 2022 with three categories: Women’s Sustainability Champion of the Year, Young Women’s Sustainability Champion of the Year and Corporate Sustainability for Women Champion.
The awards will recognise individuals and businesses that promote the most innovative and impactful sustainable practices and green solutions; honourees will have to display sustained engagement in promoting sustainable actions in their individual and business practices, as well as showcase key metrics of impactful change.
The goal, says Liang-Lin, is to play a role in growing a community of women’s organisations that is bound by the vision to create a greener world for all.
She adds: “Women are rising in power and influence in the sustainability space. We want to shine a spotlight on women as consumers, business owners, investors and professionals.”