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Going green: Cambodia’s first eco-business directory launched

Tom Starkey

Cambodia has celebrated the launch of a first-of-its-kind Eco-Business Cambodia directory website – sponsored by Only One Planet Cambodia & Khmer Enterprise – now live.

The site, Eco-Business Cambodia was launched in response to the lack of information about Cambodian brands and business that build environmentally-focused practices into their products and services.

Only One Planet owner, Sandy Kotan, said that she is hoping that the directory – which is also available to view in Khmer – will give exposure to businesses that take eco actions while encouraging others to do the same.

Creating the Eco-Business Cambodia online directory

“I get a lot of questions from individuals, educators, businesses and NGOs looking for info or advice on how to be eco or how to promote their eco products. They are all trying to do good things but having difficulty finding current, reliable information,” she said.

“I have tried in a few different formats, but I eventually realized that a multitude of small, very focused information resources was just too hard for people to remember and was just adding to the ‘noise’,” she added.

The directory will put together in one easy-to-use site, thanks to supporting from Khmer Enterprise with costs, is now a reality.

She said that her organization believes that it takes a community to make meaningful change, and this site will mean consumers can ‘vote’ with their dollars and support businesses that don’t trash the planet.

“This strengthens those that are already eco-conscious and also gives a good example (and motivation) to other businesses.” Indeed, there is plenty to be motivated about for businesses to become greener.

The directory also has an interactive map location.

According to a study by global strategy and pricing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners, 85% of global consumers have become ‘greener’ in their purchasing in recent years.

“Across industries and countries, sustainability is a significant purchase criterion — though price and quality continue to dominate. One-third of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products, and companies should prepare for sustainability to become the expectation and not the exception in the future”.

While South East Asia lacks behind the global average in consumer preference for eco goods, an eco-business directory is putting businesses on the map for those who do care, literally. 

Cambodia’s eco-consumer trends

According to research from the site, some 34% of consumers lack the information which would help them choose brands with ethical practices and/or values.

“In addition to the business directory, there is also a robust information section. Articles, publications, videos and infographics for people who want to learn more or want to incorporate ‘eco training’ for their business or organization. 

“There is a resources section that gives info about how to reduce/recycle/reuse – with maps – to help people more easily reduce their impact by these means. To read more about Cambodia’s eco-tourism development click here.

Sandy said she welcomes anyone to join the site who wants to know more about eco-business or wants to sign up as one of the registered businesses.

“We want to encourage you to use it, share it, add your business, or encourage places you like to add their business, NGO, favorite repair shop, recycling efforts, or otherwise. Tell the venues you found via the site, and that you appreciate their efforts. Magic happens when people begin having these conversations!”

Those looking for more information can also join the next Eco Drinks event, which is being held at Bong Bonlai/YK Arthouse in Phnom Penh on June 30.

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