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Considering women affect some 70 percent of brand purchase decisions, according to a report by PwC, the launch of Singapore-based nonprofit society Women in Sustainability and Environment (WISE) comes just in time to capitalize on their potential to effect change.

Unveiled last Thursday, following the close of COP26 on 12 Nov, WISE seeks to promote “greener participation, inclusiveness, and visibility of women involved in the sustainability space,” whether as consumers, investors and professionals. It’ll do so through educational events, mentorship, networking opportunities, and more.

The society aims to help achieve Singapore’s Green Plan 2030, as well as the United Nations’ sustainable development goal 12, which calls on the world to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”.

“We can’t afford to be part of the blah blah blah — we need to be part of the 1.5 degrees,” says president of WISE, managing director of Templebridge Investments, and Her World Tribe member Trina Liang-Lin.

Women and sustainability

After the signing of an MOU with the Singapore Management University to build knowledge and programmes in sustainability, the event hosted a panel discussion on fem-fluence — women’s consumer influence — and sustainability, moderated by Debra Soon, group head of marketing and communications at Aviva SingLife. 

Applying a gender lens on the climate crisis actually makes perfect sense, the panelists say. “Women are not better than men at sustainability and environment,” explains Jaclyn Seow, head of ESG and impact at Openspace Ventures. “Women are disproportionately affected by climate change because they lack resources to retrain, for example, and they need other women who can take on those perspectives and allocate resources.”

“It’s amazing to see the work women do on the ground, especially for the underprivileged,” adds Nichol Ng, co-founder and CEO of FoodXervices and co-founder of The Food Bank Singapore. “Next year, with inflation rates and food costs rising, it’ll be worse than during the height of Covid, so since women have [remarkable influence on consumer spending], they can help others.”

“WISE can be the pebble that starts the ripple effect,” says guest-of-honour, Minister for Sustainability and Environment Grace Fu. “It’s time for us to put our influence to work.”

To keep up to date on WISE’s upcoming events, visit wise.org.sg.