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CEO Sustainability Series | Brice Degeyter, Founder and General Manager Bizsu

As part of the Sustainable Business initiative, the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore presents a leadership interview series where we invite CEOs and key executives to discuss crucial management qualities that drive successful sustainable transformation

 

Question 1. What does sustainability mean to your organisation?

First, sustainability is a broad term used widely, so we need to make it more specific. As increasing CO2 emissions are our main problem, sustainability to us means: reducing our CO2 emissions. Our priority, as a business specialised in energy saving, is to help companies do that. Then, we should not have to compromise between business and sustainability. Both are compatible.

We are entering a sustainability revolution, just like the digital revolution that happened in the 90s and 2000s. Any company that does not focus enough on it will have trouble. And we are already seeing it. The young generation is demanding change. Research shows nearly 40% of millennials choose a job because of the company's sustainability credentials, and 70% will stay longer if it gets demonstrated. In a survey from June 2022 on Apac consumers, 90% of respondents were willing to spend a premium on sustainable products, demanding sustainability at record levels. With both employees and customers expressing a need for sustainability, it’s now a distinguishing brand proposition.

 

Q2. How is technology helping your company achieve its sustainability targets?

Today, air conditioning represents 30% of Singapore's CO2 emissions. This is astronomical. So, this is a priority for us. And today we are happy that Bizsu provides the easiest and one of the best energy-saving solutions on the market. We help companies like CapitaLand save up to 51% on their AHU in LogisTech, a certified Green Mark Platinum Super-Low Energy building, one of the most efficient buildings in Singapore. Other big companies like Keppel Land, Bolloré Logistics, Intercontinental, Food Panda, JLL, and Accor have quickly followed suit and have started to work with us.

While reducing energy consumption, we also drastically improve air quality and temperature homogeneity. And we believe this is the way to go to achieve our carbon footprint reduction objectives.

But we want to do more. 3,000 years ago in the hot desert climate of the Middle East, cool buildings already existed. How? Traditional building designs included tall cooling towers that acted as air conditioners. These were designed to catch the breeze to cool building interiors - by drawing cold air from underground channels and pushing warm air out. This system, based on air circulation, allowed buildings to remain cool 24/7, even in the hottest places. Today, the most famous building of this kind exists in Harare, Zimbabwe - a rare remaining case.

Modern AC systems were invented a century ago by Willis Carrier, and have pretty much remained the same since. Although practical, their extensive usage has created a huge problem from increasing energy requirements to warming. Hence, we have to correct it now.

 

Q3. What advice would you give to other companies that are trying to address sustainability?

Any company can start saving money right now and improve its carbon footprint. They just need to implement an energy-saving solution as we offer at Bizsu. And it takes just a few minutes of installation for lifetime benefits.

Then, for other actions, I would follow Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling writer of ‘Sapiens’, guidance to allocate around 2% of its revenue.

Last but not least, I would advise companies to act sincerely and strictly avoid ‘greenwashing’. Otherwise, you may face backlash from your customers and/or your employees. 

 

 

 

This interview was conducted with Brice Degeyter, Founder and General Manager Bizsu

September 2022 | French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore

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