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Technology making a difference in ASEAN sustainability efforts

19th April 2022

As one of the world’s fastest growing regions, ASEAN is known for its diversity when it comes to language, culture and state of development. What the 10 member states in the regional grouping have in common, despite their diversity, is a view that sustainability is an imperative today even as they aim for economic goals in the years ahead.

Already, half the population in ASEAN live in urban cities; by 2025, a further 70 million join them(※1). The way forward is to create more social value from today’s finite resources. Here, technological innovation is making a difference in many of the region’s public and private efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are no longer good to have but critical for the future. Technology has become the key catalyst for change as countries seek their sustainability goals.

NEC has enabled new possibilities and made lasting impact with technology. Guided by a human-centric approach, NEC has partnered stakeholders in the region to pave the way for sustainable projects to realise a decarbonised, liveable and sustainable future.

In a pilot trial in Thailand’s northern industrial estate, for example, the transportation of waste is being monitored in real time to ensure that it is carried out in a safe manner. This way, it does not impact the health of citizens in the area or damage the environment. Using a fleet management system that taps on GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, the Thai authorities in the region are now able to approve and track each truckload of waste taken from factories, to a waste processor that manages the waste. The pilot project, completed in 2021, is expected to expand to 14 industrial estates by 2023. The solution is helping to prevent illegal dumping of hazardous waste in public areas, while reducing fuel consumption for transportation by identifying the best routes. Its real-time nature enables the authorities to act flexibly while the historical data offers insights on how they can calibrate policies for each designated industrial area.

In many instances, technology has become the key catalyst for change, as countries seek their sustainability goals. Through partnerships in the region, NEC has tailored its solutions to fit the needs of public and private sector customers.

In Malaysia, a smart operation centre in the Selangor state enables the authority to monitor 3 key operational areas such as environmental, disaster management, and public services delivery to ensure the safety of citizens. The Smart Selangor Operation Center that operates 24x7 is equipped with a high-definition resolution video wall which is capable of displaying mission critical data including the delivery of public services and assistance in disaster management. The video wall with the current live feed empowers key decision makers with greater awareness and efficiency, a vital effort of transforming Selangor to be a smart state in ASEAN by 2025.

Tapping on different technologies, NEC’s partnerships in the region also include the development of smart hospitals in Singapore and Thailand.

In Singapore, NEC provides managed services to local hospitals, ensuring smooth 24x7 operations of a critical healthcare system that is linked to the national system. Plus, the services and technologies deployed offer enhanced user experience despite the complex IT infrastructure.

In Thailand’s Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, a different technology is in play. NEC’s renowned face recognition technology now allows for contactless registration, which results in greater patient convenience and comfort. The improved registration process also means more accurate information used throughout the facility. A paperless process helps accelerate registration for emergency case as well.

Technology making a difference in ASEAN sustainability efforts

Collaboration is Key for Success

More than technology, these efforts need close collaboration between different levels of government, the general public and the private sector to succeed. To this end, NEC has been working with stakeholders on the ground to not just provide the technology but also closely meet the needs of local communities.

In Singapore, NEC has worked with organisations such as industry group SGTech to donate preowned laptops to underprivileged families and make digital access more inclusive. NEC staff are encouraged to better maintain their laptops so that they can be repurposed and used to reduce the inequalities in digital access literacy.

Skills are also an important factor when it comes to uplifting the livelihoods of people, another critical sustainability goal.

In the Philippines, the non-profit NEC Foundation has been providing scholarship grants to academically deserving and financially challenged students pursuing university studies in engineering, computing, electronics, and related subjects. Since its establishment in 1986, the Foundation has empowered more than 300 students through quality education and promoting lifelong opportunities.

All these efforts align to NEC’s purpose as a social value creation company, which aims to realise a sustainable society where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. In ASEAN and across the world, NEC believes that infocomm technologies will be key to meeting many of today’s social development goals. Already, biometrics, artificial intelligence, 5G and other emerging innovations are making a real impact in multiple areas.

With closer collaboration with the various stakeholders involved, social values such as safety, security, fairness and efficiency will be increasingly within reach in the years ahead.

NEC's sustainability initiatives and other related materials are available on-demand at the Sustainability booth of NEC’s Visionary Day ASEAN 2022, NEC’s inaugural event in the region. The virtual event is available until 30 April, 2022. Please visit this link for more information.

Dannie Lau
Regional Purchasing & Environment Manager at Regional Purchasing and Logistics
NEC Asia Pacific


Dannie is the Regional Purchasing & Environment Manager for NEC APAC. Championing NEC’s global commitment to achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dannie collaborates with NEC affiliate offices in the APAC region (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and India) on sustainability and value creation towards Carbon Neutrality and Climate Change objectives. She is also responsible for the local offices’ compliance to the region’s regulations relating to ESG. Dannie works closely with the supply chain partners to implement responsible measures to reduce the environmental burden and risk of their business activities. In her Purchasing role, she co-creates with the various offices to formulate initiatives to improve operational cash flow, Global Partner Management, procurement compliance and governance.

Dannie holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University.

Related links

Sustainability in ASEAN >
NEC contributes to a sustainable world by co-creating with stakeholders to optimize ICT possibilities. See NEC's SDG activities in ASEAN.

NEC Visionary Day ASEAN 2022 >
This is a specially curated event organized by the NEC ASEAN teams to showcase their expertise and experience in the region.

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