Anna Beech, Civic Exchange


Anna Beech is a senior project manager with Hong Kong-based public policy think tank Civic Exchange. She is currently focused on ecological restoration, work with Beijing-based film maker John D Liu and his Environmental Education Media Project.

Before joining Civic Exchange Anna was based in London where she spent five years working in the office of the Mayor's Climate Change Advisor. There she ran multiple projects, worked with business stakeholders and political leaders, and helped develop London's pioneering Climate Change Action Plan. She also spent a year as sustainability manager of the Arcola Theatre.

Stories from Anna Beech, Civic Exchange

Plasticity HK 2013
May 10, 2013
This multi-layered environmental question keeps on being asked, seemingly with few answers that translate into action. With the Center for Biological Diversity estimating that 40 per cent of the world’s ocean surface is now littered with plastic waste, this issue must be addressed and urgently. We need to focus on the issue in a new way, and in doing so create new opportunities. Plastic waste creates large, expensive and unnecessary impact on society because of its ecological impact. Ecosystems give us everything we need to live – air, water, energy and food.
Shark fins drying on an industrial scale
January 21, 2013
Our oceans are the most important ecosystem on the planet. They provide a third of our world with food, produce more oxygen than all the rainforests combined, remove half of the atmosphere’s manmade carbon dioxide and control our planet’s temperature and weather. Individuals and businesses both have a responsibility to protect our precious and delicate ecosystems – as consumers, we can demand more sustainably sourced products; and as businesses, by creating better systems of production and innovating to reduce their impact on the Earth.
IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012 Red Hot Debate
October 11, 2012
Business and ecosystems are linked. All businesses affect ecosystems and rely on the services they provide. However, 60 percent of the world’s ecosystems have been degraded over the past 50 years. From food, to fuel, to freshwater – nature provides the fundamental infrastructure needed for our societies to survive and prosper, but we are destroying the source of these vital ingredients for life. We can no longer rely on the current economic model, which originated in the Industrial Revolution, to doing things. We must work with nature rather than against it.
London's Olympic Park site - before and after
July 27, 2012
The London Olympics 2012, which start today with the much-anticipated opening ceremony, is hoping to be the greenest Olympics in history. The Olympic Delivery Authority, which is responsible for building the Olympic Park, acknowledged from the beginning that the construction would impact the environment. Thus, they have taken a number of measures to reduce the impact of their construction work - reducing energy use, protecting wildlife, managing air and water quality, and reducing waste. These showcase what can be achieved by construction projects across the globe.
Plasticity Forum Rio
June 18, 2012
The Rio+20 Earth Summit begins in two days time. It provides a platform for world leaders, the private sector, NGOs, campaign groups and many others to come together to discuss how to develop a green economy, how to eradicate poverty and what an institutional framework for sustainable development would look like. For the third Earth Summit (the 2nd was in Johannesburg 10 years ago) there are seven priority areas: decent jobs, energy, building sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness. That’s a lot to cover in three days.
Runnning toward sustainability
May 21, 2012
Avoiding the accusation of greenwashing is not easy for businesses. How do we judge whether a business is truly interested in reducing its carbon emissions and waste, or just wanting to look as if they are doing so? One way is to look at what community events a business supports. Running is a popular sport worldwide, with millions of people taking part in marathons all over the globe. These races need sponsors and race organisers across the world are trying to make their events greener. Sponsorship can help race organizers introduce green measures to their races and in turn, helps the sponsor become aligned with enabling sustainability education and action in the community.
Congestion charging
March 16, 2012
Shenzhen, which trails only Beijing within China in terms of the number of vehicles it has on its streets, recently announced plans to launch a congestion charge in 2016. Shenzhen has 2 million registered vehicles; five years ago it had one million and its maximum capacity is thought to be 2.1 million vehicles. According to Shenzhen’s traffic bureau the city’s vehicle density is the highest in China, with 300 vehicles for every kilometer of road.
Green student activists at the Canadian International School
January 12, 2012
I recently attended a meeting in a large, airy building with wooden beamed ceilings and a huge Christmas tree in the corner to talk with committee members of a new environmental initiative charged with promoting green living  throughout the organization. With such campaigns as Meatless Mondays, Lights Out Fridays, and a complete ban on the use of plastic bottles, one would think you were talking to a large corporation making its first moves into the sustainability world.
Penguin sweaters needed
November 02, 2011
With news of another oil spill, this time off the coast of New Zealand, requests have been made for people to send knitted sweaters for the rescued penguins. 100 percent wool only, and yes, this is 100 percent true. There is a strong link between knitting jumpers for penguins, dealing with the consequences of our consumer society, swap parties and being happier.
Vertical farming
August 31, 2011
Urban farming methods can enable city dwellers to grow their own food, save money and reduce carbon emissions from transport and energy use associated with food production.
Loess Plateau before and after
July 08, 2011
  Hong Kong can boast more tree, moth, bat, butterfly and dragonfly species than the United Kingdom. Green space is accessible simply by jumping on a train or bus.