Singapore's public sector outlines plans to go green

Afifah Ariffin Channel NewsAsia 6 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE: Singapore's public sector is taking the lead in going green when it unveiled its first action plan on Monday (Jun 5), outlining its collective efforts in environmental sustainability.

Specifically, it aims to reduce electricity and water consumption by 15 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, by 2020. From 2013 to 2015, the sector accounted for about 4 per cent of the country's total electricity consumption and 3 per cent of total water consumption.

The public sector comprises of 16 institutions and 64 statutory boards, with more than 145,000 workers and operates about 1,000 facilities across the island.

The plans also include embarking on innovative initiatives and projects, such as food waste recycling in public sector premises and a floating solar testbed in Tengeh Reservoir.

Speaking at the opening of the Singapore Sustainability Academy on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said: "We will expand our green procurement policy to cover more products and adopt green practices for public sector events. Such efforts will help the Government reap cost savings, and build up capabilities in urban sustainability.”

The Singapore Sustainability Academy is a joint collaboration led by property group City Developments Limited (CDL) and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore. It is the first major "people, public and private" initiative in support of Singapore’s environmental and climate change goals.

As a nod to its green credentials, the Singapore Sustainability Academy's new building is self sustainable for its energy needs. For instance, solar panels installed on the building's roof are able to generate enough energy. It is also made of wood from responsible sources and uses smart technology to control lighting and air conditioning.

"It will be a hub for thought leadership, sharing of best practices and we want - whether it is public sector, private sector or people sector - everybody to come and contribute to conserve the environment,” said Ms Esther An, CDL's chief sustainability officer.

Source: CNA/de


Public sector to cut water and electricity usage by 2020, saving S$62.5 million annually
NEO CHAI CHIN Today Online 5 Jun 17;

SINGAPORE — The public sector will use less electricity and water in its bid to do more for the environment, under an inaugural three-year sustainability roadmap unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

The water and electricity saved can fill up 360 Olympic-sized pools and power 50,000 households a year respectively, translating into annual savings of some S$62.5 million in total for the Government.

On Monday (June 5), Mr Teo, who is also Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service and Coordinating Minister for National Security, announced the public sector’s plan to cut electricity consumption by more than 15 per cent, and water consumption by more than 5 per cent by 2020, from Financial Year 2013 levels.

Comprising 16 government ministries and 64 statutory boards, the public sector is Singapore’s largest employer with about 145,000 staff.

From 2013 to 2015, the public sector accounted for 4 per cent of Singapore’s total electricity consumption and 3 per cent of total water consumed, on average.

The electricity savings will amount to S$60 million a year, with the reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to that of almost 28,000 cars in a year, according to the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020, which is available on the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources’ website.

Electricity-saving measures include replacing or upgrading aircon systems and lights, and promoting good consumption habits.

The water saved will translate into cost savings of almost S$2.5 million annually. Water-saving measures include having water-efficient fittings in buildings, efficient irrigation systems and replacement of inefficient aircon cooling towers.

All new public sector buildings will also attain the Green Mark Platinum standard, and existing buildings will strive for at least the Green Mark Gold standard. The new Our Tampines Hub – whose second and third phases will be completed this year – is an example of a Green Mark Platinum building.

Agencies that lease office spaces are to lease them from buildings with at least a Green Mark Gold Plus rating, when their current lease expires.

Plans are also in place to buy “green”. The public sector plans to hold events and functions only in venues with at least Green Mark-certified rating. Since 2015, the public sector has been buying only printing paper with the Singapore Environment Council’s Green Label certification.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Sustainability Academy at City Square Mall, Mr Teo said the public sector can accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and “have a demonstrative effect”.

By 2020, 5,500 public housing blocks will have solar panels, tripling the deployment of solar energy to 350 megawatt-peak, from the 126 megawatt-peak today. The plan is to have more than 1 gigawatt-peak after 2020, which will represent about 15 per cent of electrical power demand at peak during the day, said Mr Teo.

Under the global Paris climate agreement, Singapore has committed to cut its emissions per dollar of gross domestic product by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. “To achieve our objectives, we will require a concerted effort – from government, from businesses, and from everyone in Singapore,” said Mr Teo.

The Singapore Sustainability Academy, jointly created by property developer City Developments Limited and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, is fully solar-powered. The facility, which is used for training and networking, is also the first in Singapore to have its construction materials – Cross Laminated Timber and Glued Laminated Timber – verified as coming from responsible sources, said CDL deputy chief executive Sherman Kwek. This entails scientific tests such as DNA analysis to minimise the risk of the wood coming from illegal logging.


PUBLIC SECTOR BY THE NUMBERS
145,000 Number of public officers
4% Its share of Singapore’s total electricity consumption (on average, 2013 to 2015)
3% Its share of Singapore’s total water consumption (on average, 2013 to 2015)
50,000 Number of households which the electricity savings can power for a year (or 290 GWh)
360 Number of Olympic-sized pools which the water savings can fill each year (or 900,000 cubic metres a year)


Public sector to lead green push by cutting electricity, water use
It will also occupy environmentally friendly premises and buy more green products
Melissa Lin Straits Times 6 Jun 17;

Singapore's biggest employer plans to slash its consumption of electricity and water as part of a nationwide "go green" plan unveiled yesterday.

By 2020, the public sector will use 15 per cent less electricity and 5 per cent less water compared with 2013 levels, according to the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 announced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

As part of this, the temperature setting for thermostats in air-conditioned public-sector offices will be set higher, Mr Teo said.

Such steps could save about $62.5 million a year, apart from being gentler on the environment.

For a start, premises will be greener. All new public-sector buildings will attain the highest Green Mark Platinum standard, and existing buildings will aim for at least the Green Mark Gold standard - to take their place in the certification scheme for environmentally friendly buildings.

Events and functions will be held in venues with at least a Green Mark Certified rating - the basic certification grade.

The public sector will also buy more green electronics and paper products for its offices. Food waste will be recycled in public-sector premises and a floating solar test-bed will be set up in Tengeh Reservoir. The sector will also continue to invest in green technologies and seek innovative ways to harness renewable energy.

"This will help transform the way the public sector operates and set an example for the wider community to adopt sustainability as our way of life," added Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security.

The public sector is Singapore's largest employer, comprising 16 ministries and 64 statutory boards, and about 145,000 officers.

From 2013 to 2015, the sector accounted for an average of 4 per cent of Singapore's total electricity consumption and 3 per cent of total water consumption.

Under the Paris Agreement, Singapore has committed to reduce emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, hoping to peak around then.

"To achieve our objectives, we will require a concerted effort - from government, from businesses and from everyone in Singapore," Mr Teo said at the official opening of the Singapore Sustainability Academy, a major training and networking facility focused on promoting sustainability.

The zero-energy academy - it will produce its own power using solar panels - is located on the rooftop terrace of City Square Mall in Kitchener Road, and was jointly created by developer City Developments and a non-profit organisation, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore.

Welcoming the public sector's action plan, the Singapore Environment Council said it has seen increased interest among private- sector firms in going green.

"One major driver behind this is the growing number of discerning consumers who are choosing which product to buy and which company to support based on their ethical and environmental cultures," said a spokesman.

"As ethical green consumerism grows in Singapore, it will increasingly make good business sense for companies to act sustainably."

The plan was one of several green initiatives announced yesterday. These include the launch of an eco-label to help consumers identify products with reduced packaging. Singapore Post and Singtel have also started a nationwide recycling programme for unwanted electronics.


Getting Singapore to go green
Melissa Lin Straits Times 7 Jun 17;

On Monday, the public sector unveiled an action plan to slash its consumption of electricity and water in a bid to fight climate change.

By 2020, the public sector will use 15 per cent less electricity and 5 per cent less water compared with 2013 levels, according to the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020.

Meeting the targets could result in cost savings of about $62.5 million a year.

The sector will also embark on green initiatives. These include food waste recycling in public-sector premises and the procurement of sustainably sourced paper products.

As a low-lying island state, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as higher sea levels, hotter weather and more extreme rainfall.

In its Second National Climate Change Study, which was released in 2015, the Centre for Climate Research Singapore projected that the average temperature in Singapore could increase by up to 4.6 deg C by the end of this century.

The study added that the sea level could rise by up to 1m if no action is taken.

The latest move to go green by the public sector demonstrates the Singapore Government's commitment to the Paris climate change agreement.

The Republic has pledged to reduce its emissions intensity - the ratio of carbon emissions to each dollar of the gross domestic product - by 36 per cent from 2005 levels, by 2030.

It has also pledged to stabilise emissions, with the aim of peaking around 2030.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean has said that achieving these objectives would require a concerted effort from the Government, businesses and everyone in Singapore.

With the public sector - Singapore's largest employer with about 145,000 officers - taking the lead to go green, the hope is that businesses and individuals will follow suit.

Melissa Lin

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