Earth Hour sinks roots in Singapore

Green advocate moves global base to city-state to leverage its business hub advantages and also notes rising participation in eco initiiatives among emerging markets such as India and China, exec reveals.

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".