The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore recently won the ‘Best First Time Sustainability Report’ award at the ACCA Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards 2013. This award recognises NEA as the first public agency to take the lead in publishing its first Sustainability Report in 2012, in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
To coordinate and drive its sustainability initiatives and projects in the organisation, NEA set up a dedicated Sustainability Office in 2010. This shows the commitment of NEA’s management in integrating sustainability within the agency and its offices.
One of the key initiatives by the Sustainability Office is the 8 Effective Habits 10% Challenge, which encourages staff to practise eco-friendly habits. The target was to reduce electricity and water consumption by 10% below business-as-usual level by FY2016, and to reduce paper purchased from FY2010 level by 10% by FY2016.
The 8 Effective Habits are:
- Avoid the use of disposables
- Print documents only when necessary
- Use both sides of paper
- Recycle paper, plastics and cans
- Reduce water wastage by reducing washing time
- Switch at mains to reduce energy wastage
- Choose energy efficient alternatives
- Switch off lights when not in use
Other initiatives by NEA include using technology to reduce its carbon footprint, engaging staff regularly, and utilising mobile apps to engage the public.
With NEA taking the lead, other government agencies should also explore sustainability within their organisations and look at reporting what they have done. NEA’s Sustainability Report serves as a good case study not only for the public sector, but would also be useful for companies interested in sustainability reporting.
Source and images credit: NEA