Southeast Asia remains poised to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. However, with such rapid progress comes the need to carefully calibrate this growth sustainably by taking into account the needs of the environment.

Climate Change Challenges of Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia makes up about 20% of the world’s biodiversity and 10% of its population. Remaining on course for 4.8% growth in 2021 despite COVID-19, it retains its allure as one of the fastest-growing regions in the world.

This growth however, comes with a warning. Southeast Asia’s energy consumption has jumped by more than 80% since 2000 and is expected to double by 2040. Projections reveal an increase in carbon dioxide emissions of about 60% by then.


This is a worrying development given the region’s overwhelming dependence on non-renewable sources for primary energy supply.

The people of Southeast Asia have seen first-hand the threat of climate change and environmental degradation, as multiple floods threatened livelihoods in 2021. Without significant changes in the next decade, Southeast Asian nations will incur a loss equivalent to US$22.5 billion in GDP as a result of flooding.

Efforts for Sustainability in Southeast Asia

Having recognised climate change as a regional threat, all ASEAN nations signed the Paris Agreement. ASEAN followed up with a target of securing 23% of the region’s primary energy from renewable sources by 2025.

Large payoffs await the region as it pivots to a more sustainable approach. Southeast Asian economies could experience up to US$1 trillion in annual economic opportunities by 2030 from new growth areas for sustainability.

There are multiple ways to unlock the region’s green economy. Transitioning from non-renewable energy into sustainable sources is an ongoing endeavour. Governments in Southeast Asia have prioritised solar power to displace fossil fuel in the most recent development plans – in particular, with rooftop solar power.

Improving a nation’s logistics sector to become more efficient plays a key role as well. Digital supply chains, paired with automation and analytics, can help to lower carbon footprints.

Using big data to re-invent a city into a green and connected sanctuary plays an important role in the region’s drive for sustainable growth. Southeast Asia is progressing well on this front, with smart cities flourishing in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

These initiatives require long term commitment from the public sector as well as the private sector. This push for sustainable growth is a goal that can unite the entire region to improve lives for everyone for decades to come.


pledges to secure 23% of the region’s primary energy from renewable sources by 2025

Hitachi Is Committed to Supporting Southeast Asia’s Sustainability Efforts

Hitachi believes in social innovation, continually striving to improve people’s quality of life through innovative technological solutions. It is also the Principal Partner of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). In support of the region’s march towards a green society, Hitachi is leading the way from the front.

Below are three examples of how Hitachi’s technological offerings make difference:

Vehicle Sharing Service in Thailand

Thailand’s delivery market was projected to grow by 35% in 2020 due to the rapid growth of e-commerce. Such rapid growth has serious implications for sustainability efforts, as the transport sector accounts for the second largest emission of greenhouse gases. To mitigate the environmental impacts, Hitachi has launched a vehicle sharing service in Thailand. The launch of its live-tracking system will enable companies to locate and reserve vehicles to reduce the number of empty trucks on Thai roads. An optimised logistics system means lower carbon emissions in Thailand, a direct contribution to the decarbonisation goals of COP26.

Battery-Energy Storage in the Philippines

Hitachi and Manila Electric Co have installed a 2MW battery-energy storage system in Bulacan. Modular and movable in 40ft containers, these batteries offer stability for renewable energy sources, especially solar energy, which by nature, fluctuate throughout the day. This allows for the management of peak demand and energy, improved service reliability and power quality, and compensates for the intermittency of renewable energy generation.

Using Big Data Analytics in Singapore

The Singapore government has set on a long-term vision of achieving net-zero emissions, which includes reducing pollution from transport. The sector currently accounts for up to 15% of the country’s total carbon emissions.

Go-Ahead Singapore has stepped up by turning to big data analytics to optimise its operations. Hitachi supported Go-Ahead Singapore in measuring and improving their bus operation efficiency through the development and maintenance of a customised big data analytics web portal. This enabled scheduling staff to swiftly identify issues and resolve them promptly. Paired with accurate traffic data, Go-Ahead is able to deploy their buses more effectively. This reduces bus idling time in congested streets and lower vehicle exhaust emissions.