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Walking Leo DiCaprio’s talk: 2 CEOs ahead of the Oscars

Before Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscars speech on Sunday, these two powerhouses were already doing their part for the environment

Not since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has a celebrity set the Internet abuzz about climate change, as Leo did on Sunday night when he gave his speech at the 88th Oscars.

“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world… Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.

Let us not take this planet for granted.”

Does it really take a celebrity to drive the movement, though? These 2 CEOs in Singapore are making a difference with their business practices, shaped by what they believe.

1)      G.S Sareen, founder of Omni United

GSF

What he’s doing: Changing the bad rep of tyres as toxic waste.

How: Working with US outdoors-clothing label Timberland to use recycled rubber from old tyres in the soles of the brand’s trademark footwear.

Why: “The tyre industry lacks sizzle. It’s a US$200-billion (S$265-billion) industry but most people don’t even know what brand of tyres they buy. When you buy shoes or buy a drink, you decide what to buy but, for tyres, consumers have no part in the buying decision.”

Current status: Timberland tyres earned runner-up recognition as a sustainable innovation during the Ethical Corporation’s annual Responsible Business Awards last September. In its sixth edition, the international award celebrates responsible business practices from around the world.

Read more here.

2)      Johann Heinrich Jessen, chairman of Jebsen & Jessen (SEA)

Johann Jessen
What he’s doing: Ensuring Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) compliance across the group.

How: The company stopped selling a toxic chemical called tributyltin that was used in paints to keep barnacles from encrusting ship hulls. It also ditched plastic-based covering and opted to produce paper-based packaging for the electronics industry in 1997.

Banned shark’s fin at company dinners in 1995, reportedly one of the first companies to do so.

Why: Pure survival of the fittest. The necessity of having to adapt and stay relevant is “just like in nature”.

“Nature reveals to us things from the ancient past, yet nature shows its adaptability to survive, too.”

Read more here.