UCSI’s SDG Week: Sustainable Consumption, Our Responsibility

UCSI’s SDG Week 2018 began on a positive note with a forum entitled “Sustainable Consumption, Our Responsibility” where the focus was on smart consumer habits.
In his opening speech, UCSI’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Senior Professor Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff emphasised that many countries in the world today are facing extreme poverty and gender inequality where life is short and poor.
He said, “Greenhouse gas emissions are higher, giving rise to irreversible consequences and income inequality is increasing. Hence, developing sustainability is relevant to all.”
“The SDGs are forward-looking and inclusive. The young people today must have a say and a hand in shaping the future. It should happen not tomorrow but today. They must develop skills and also a sense of mission and space for them to function,” he said.
“We want to empower the university and the community by reaching out and reaching in, breaking down barriers to achieve the SDGs,” he added.
In his opening speech, President of Malaysia Consumer Movement, Darshan Singh Dillon expressively illustrated his concern that Mother earth “is in pain” and that we have to “ease her out of her misery”.
His said that we need to have a clear commitment to make a difference and practice sustainability. His expectations were that the participants of the forum would leave with a commitment and promise to be better consumers, rising together because we have to, but because we want to.
This was followed by a speech by Consumer Claims Tribunal Malaysia Chairperson, Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs, Wan Rufaidah Dato Haji Wan Omar. She was impressed that UCSI is among the few universities promoting and advocating the SDGs.
She posed the question of: Will the future generation have access to resources like us now? Her advice was to act now and stop the damage while consuming less, and consuming responsibly. ”Purchase what we need rather than what we want. Let’s do this not only for ourselves, but for future generations,” she said.
In his keynote address, 14th President of the UNESCO-Affiliated International Association of Universities (IAU) and Chairman of Islamic Science University of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, gave a talk on how sustainable consumption is everyone’s responsibility.
He highlighted the worrying fact that every year during the month of Ramadan a total of 270,000 tonnes of food go directly into the dustbin and if stacked, would be the equivalent of 30 KLCC buildings.
He emphasised that we need to ask the question, do I need this? He coined the phrase “sustainability means enough for everyone forever”.
Waste Management Systems Sdn Bhd Executive Chariman, Dato’ Mizan Yahya addressed the issue of rewiring consumerism and how to look at it as a personal investment that needs to be fully understood.
He said that we should stop and re-evaluate by understanding our weaknesses, looking deep into our motivations, seeking usefulness, giving more things way and doing what makes us happy.
University Malaya’s Associate Professor Dr Sumiani Yusoff advocated sustainable consumption based on the integrated approach of Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Recover.
For Tesco Malaysia Corporate Services Director Azliza Baizura Azmel, her pledge was to reduce food losses and food waste across production lines, and to reduce the use of plastic bags; instead using recyclable items for the packaging of Tesco products.