An article, Turn the Little Red Dot green, in today’s The Straits Times, featured some quotes from me. Here’s my full response to the media query for the article:
I think environmental awareness has increased over the years as people get more exposed to environmental news over the web. However, the increase in awareness has not resulted in a corresponding increase in action. There is still a gap or disjuncture between awareness and action.
One reason for this gap is that people don’t feel a sense of responsibility for our environment. The government has been so efficient in tackling environmental issues that we “outsource” actions to the government who will take care of the environment on our behalf. Read more
Is your company looking for a free tool to monitor the latest happenings about your green business or environmental news? Are you struggling to keep yourself updated about what your customers and stakeholders are discussing about your company brand?
This post shares why your company should monitor your business, stakeholders, and industry, and how you can use the free Feedly tool to set up a free dashboard to keep track of news, websites and blogs related to your business.
Business Success Begins with Monitoring
In the globalised market, customer needs, government regulations, industry trends, and competition can change in a short period of time. For your green business to succeed in this rapidly changing market, you would have to constantly monitor what is going on in your industry, and what your customers and stakeholders are saying about your brand or your competitors. With this information, you can plan ahead and adjust your business strategy and focus accordingly. Read more
We are curious about whether the political parties involved in this 2015 General Election are interested in environmental issues. So we took a look at parties that released their 2015 manifesto and here are some of the environmental issues mentioned:
National Solidarity Party
No mention of environmental issues in their manifesto.
People’s Action Party
Our city will be :
- vibrant and liveable with excellent physical environment, infrastructure and connectivity, green and sustainable
- an endearing home for all Singaporeans with :
- more housing choices and supporting amenities
- pedestrian and cyclist-friendly precincts
- abundant greenery and common spaces
- transformed with dramatic new developments :
- the greater Southern Waterfront
- the Rail Corridor
- a 2nd CBD at the Jurong Lake District
- Paya Lebar Airbase
- a city where Singaporeans can enjoy nature, leisure, lifestyle, arts and heritage
- a Smart Nation, where daily life is enhanced and made seamless by technology.
Increase investment in green and energy-saving technologies beyond current plans to target gap between venture capital stage and commercial production.
Accelerate introduction of new technologies such as driverless cars and electric vehicles with a view to moving away from car ownerhsip and treating cars.
Much more to be done to encourage consumers to adopt solar energy and batteries to store energy that can be sold back to the grid.
Tighten greenhouse gas emissions and play a leading regional role.
Look to become a regional leader in new green technologies and in stopping other threats to the the environment through much greater recycling particularly of plastics.
Cohesive strategy on private car ownership rather than a mixed message. Car clubs and car sharing schemes.
Encouragement of electric car usage with linkage to green industrial strategy.
Singapore Democratic Alliance
No mention of environmental issues in their manifesto.
We propose a dedicated Energy Efficiency Certification scheme where local SMEs can voluntarily apply to an Energy Service Company to be audited on their energy consumption practices and be advised of energy efficiency practices and targets that could be adopted. The Scheme will subsidise the audit fees. Tax incentives should be introduced for companies that meet the recommended energy efficiency targets.
We should promote green infrastructure in our towns such as the use of renewable energy, development of cycling and walking towns, and facilitation of sharing economies. We should promote local and urban farming using advanced agro-technology and local food marketing techniques leveraging the local economies of the HDB Heartlands.
We propose a target of 15% of electricity consumed in HDB towns by households and commercial properties be generated by renewable energy by 2030. The HDB’s Solar Capability Building Programme should aim to provide solar panels on the roof of every suitable flat by 2030. We also propose grants be given to Town Councils to promote residential waste recycling and food waste recycling at hawker centres and commercial food establishments. Clear performance targets on recycling should be set for the Town Councils.
We propose the introduction of cycling lanes on selected trunk roads without additional widening of the roads as far as possible. Public education for motorist and cyclists should be increased, and appropriate signage should be put up along those roads. Along roads which are too narrow for dedicated cycling lanes or where cycling lanes have not yet been built, we propose bicycle signs be painted to clearly indicate to motorists and cyclists that these are shared lanes. We also propose for the Highway Code to be amended to educate motorists on the rights of cyclists to share the road and in ensuring their safety. Theory and practical tests should include and highlight this section.
We propose a bicycle-sharing scheme to be developed for short journeys where bicycle-docking stations can be set up between residential areas and transport nodes, and within heritage trail and park connector routes. The scheme should be integrated with mobile applications and EZ-Link cards for registration and payment purposes. We propose for the number of locations with car-sharing facilities to be increased from over 100 to more than 300 by 2025. The government should lead the public education of car sharing together with the car-sharing operators. Prime parking lots in HDB estates and commercial properties in town centres should be assigned to car sharing.
To enhance the walkability of existing HDB estates and towns, we propose speed limits be further reduced in areas where pedestrian traffic is heavy. Roads leading into these zones with reduced speed limits should be clearly demarcated with the use of road surface paint and made narrower. Traffic signals along minor roads should be replaced with well-lit zebra crossings, stop lines, and stop/give way signs. Removing traffic signals puts the onus on drivers to slow down and be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists. Where traffic signals are necessary at main crossings and major roads, countdown timers should be available for pedestrians and right-turn signal lights should be installed. Where possible, street-level crossings should be prioritised over overhead bridges or underpasses.
We propose AVA’s Food Fund should be enhanced to provide incentives for local food producers who meet measurable outcomes, such as amount of food produced per unit of land. The Food Fund should be expanded to assist community farmers achieve successful cultivation of their plots and sell their produce in local markets.
We should also protect and preserve our natural heritage and habitats for our future generations and foster a green consciousness necessary for the 21st Century.
We propose Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), Social Impact Assessments (SIAs), and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) should be made mandatory by law for all development projects affecting green areas, existing infrastructure and the building of new infrastructure before those projects are approved. The impact assessments should also accompany the land use Master Plan and made permanently accessible in their entirety to members of the public via the websites of the relevant agencies.
We propose all planned projects be made available for public inspection over a period of time appropriate to the scale of the project. This should be reinforced with mandatory public hearings on the plans and relevant impact assessments. For local developments, the inspection and hearing should be done at a local site accessible to the affected local communities. This fosters citizen participation and allows adequate time to reassess the plans when reasonable concerns are raised.
We propose a Climate Change Risk Assessment should be performed and regularly updated by the National Climate Change Secretariat to understand the risk posed to Singapore by climate change. Challenges and adaptation policies should be communicated to citizens to raise public awareness and promote environmentally sustainable policies. As part of this, a task force needs to perform scenario planning for adverse and extreme weather changes. Contingency plans should be drawn up in response to these scenarios.
Green Future Solutions provides customised education and training services for different audience. Here’s the talks, workshops and tours that we can conduct.
If you are looking for a speaker to educate your employees or share about environmental topics at your corporate event, we are available for speaking opportunities on these topics:
- Waste Minimisation and Recycling
- Energy and Climate Change
- Green Strategies for Businesses
- Sustainable Singapore
- The Sharing Economy in Singapore
- Circular Economy in Singapore
- The Seven Habits of Green Conscious Singaporeans
If you are looking for a trainer to conduct training for your employees or participants on sustainability topics, or conduct hands-on craft and DIY demonstrations, we are available to conduct these workshops:
- How to Green Your Business
- Implementing an Eco-Office Programme
- Organising Sustainable Events
- Engaging Employees in CSR
- ISO14001 Environmental Management System
- Environmental Aspects and Impacts
- Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in Singapore
- Upcycling of Waste Material into Useful Items
- Lamp Making from Unwanted Wooden Pallets
- Making Glass Decorations from Unwanted Glass Bottles
If you are looking to organise a tour or visit to educate your employees or participants about environmental topics, we can help to facilitate tours to places related to these topics:
- Waste Management and Recycling
- Green Buildings
- Water Management
- Energy and Climate Change
- Nature and Biodiversity
Singapore has recently submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. Each country is requested to submit their INDC before the Conference of Parties in Paris in December this year so as to facilitate the development of a new global climate agreement for the post-2020 period.
Singapore’s INDC states that it intends to reduce its Emissions Intensity (EI) by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise its emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. Singapore’s Emissions Intensity or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per S$GDP (at 2010 prices) in 2005 is 0.176 kgCO2e/S$. A reduction of 36% would mean that Singapore’s EI in 2030 is projected to be 0.113 kgCO2e/S$. Read more