Indonesia enjoys a vibrant economy and growing middle class, though much of the growth is based on a system of natural resource extraction that is just starting to seek real sustainability goals
When Facebook decided recently to establish an office in Indonesia, it wasn’t hard to understand the reasoning – the country is Facebook’s fourth largest market worldwide. That’s because Indonesia, a chain of more than 13,000 islands, is the world’s 16th largest economy, and its population of 250 million is young, eager and digitally smart.
Indonesia is rife with contrasts. Nearly 40% of its people live on less than $2 a day. And yet Indonesia is erecting the world’s first net-zero skyscraper, scheduled for completion in 2019.
The Pertamina Tower, as the 99-storey building is called, will get 25% of its energy from on-site wind turbines, a significant step towards net-zero status. The primary design consideration of this tower was energy use, and it will have features such as mobile “leaves” on its outer surface to protect from solar heat.
The Pertamina Tower will rise up like a shiny badge of modernism in the middle of bustling Jakarta. This capital city, meanwhile, suffers from regular flooding, as sections of its land are sinking through overuse of groundwater and its canals are stuffed with trash from its slums.
Indonesia is considered one of four “Mint” countries – the others are Mexico, Nigeria, and Turkey...