The 4 Skills Environmentalists Need To Learn – FACT

July 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Insights

The 4 skills environmentalists need to learn are FACT – Forgiveness, Accountability, Clarity, and Thick-skinned.

1. Forgiveness

The first skill environmentalists need to learn is forgiveness, both forgiving others and forgiving yourself.

Some people in the environmental movement demand that others subscribe to their beliefs and are angry and upset when people behave irresponsibly. This leads to frustration and the lack of empathy when dealing with people whom they deem as “destroying” the environment. To change people, start forgiving them for their actions, and don’t put them down or be critical. We need to build trust with humility and empathy.

Some environmentalists put the burden of saving the environment on their shoulders. They feel guilt and shame when they forget to bring their own reusable bag or fail to finish their food. Their whole life revolves around doing the right thing, and being “answerable” to other environmentalists. They tend to burnout or be depressed over time.

We need to forgive ourselves and not take it too hard. We are not perfect so give ourselves a break. Try to focus on systemic actions that has greater impact, instead of beating ourselves over the inability to fit our waste into a jar. We don’t need a few people to do everything for the environment, we need a lot more people to do something for the environment.

2. Accountability

The second skill environmentalists need to learn is accountability, being responsible in what we say and do.

We need to be careful in the pursuit of environmental awareness and knowledge, we should not be misled or blinded by false environmental claims or “the sky is falling” scenarios. By learning about environmental issues from reliable sources that are supported with data or references, we can then judge for ourselves on the validity of the environmental problems and the possible solutions. It is too easy to exaggerate facts and mislead the public, especially when it involves technical or scientific issues.

Being environmentalists does not give us the license to exaggerate, mislead, or strike fear among the public. As we state our stand on environmental issues and encourage others to take action, it is important to base it not only on our convictions but also based on facts and adopting a constructive and positive mindset.

3. Clarity

The third skill environmentalists need to learn is clarity, which requires careful thought and self-awareness to be clear about the future, what you want to do, and how to get there.

Seek clarity on the sustainable future you wish to see and what you want to do to create that future. Understand that the future is not something that happens to us, we create the future. Have a clear vision, strategy, role, goals and targets, and work towards them over time. Take a long view but still be flexible to pivot and feel the stones while you cross the river.

Sometimes environmentalists are not clear what they wish to see and what they what to do. They demand things to change overnight without understanding the context, habits and process needed. They chase after a “hot” environmental problem one day and move to other “popular” problems the next day, thus never putting in the time and systemic actions required to solve the problem. They want to do everything yet end up doing nothing. They have lots of actions and stories to tell on social media, yet no impact to show on the ground.

Learn to seek clarity by asking yourself these questions:

What exactly is the future you wish to see and what are you trying to achieve? What’s your vision, strategy, role, goals and targets?

How do you measure and track to make sure you are meeting your goals and targets? Do you want to see real impacts? How serious are you? How long are you willing to work on it and commit?

Do you really understand the problems or the solutions that you are proposing? Do you know the difference between the root or symptoms of the problem? Do you understand context?

Do you need a team or money to do it? What resources or advice do you need? Are you duplicating the work already done by others, and how can you add value to existing work?

4. Thick-skinned

The fourth skill that environmentalists need to learn is to be thick-skinned, not just take criticisms from people against the environmental movement, but especially against people who believe in the environmental movement and think they have THE solution and criticise your actions as ineffective.

There is no ONE solution to solve our mess, instead there is a portfolio of solutions that demand actions from various stakeholders at different stages. Help those who are along the same sustainability journey. The journey is long, everybody appreciates an ally, not an asshole.

7 questions to ask yourself before starting environmental projects or initiatives

September 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Insights

For those starting environmental projects/initiatives (especially young people), ask yourselves these questions before you start:

1) What exactly are you trying to do or achieve? What’s your goals/objectives?

2) How do you measure and track to make sure you are meeting your goals/objectives?

3) How serious are you? Do you want to see real impacts, have fun, or meet school requirements?

4) How long are you willing to work on it and commit? 3 months, 1 year or 10 years?

5) Do you really understand the problems or the solutions that you are proposing? Do you know the difference between content and context?

6) Do you need a team or money to do it? What resources or advice do you need?

7) Are you duplicating the work already done by existing groups or the government? Is there a need to duplicate the work, and what/how can you value add or improve upon existing work?

Singapore to implement carbon pricing

February 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Insights

Now that Singapore will be implementing carbon pricing, the first question is whether it would be in the form of a carbon tax or a cap and trade system?

Carbon tax allows price certainty but uncertainty in emissions reduction. Easier to implement and price certainty is good for businesses. But usually tax increase is not favoured politically.

Cap and trade allows more certainty in emissions reduction but price can become volatile. Not easy to implement, need an agency to set up an emissions trading system.

I favour the straightforward carbon tax. Regardless of the type of carbon pricing – either carbon tax or cap and trade, what matters is that it is a well-designed system that can ensure that the necessary emissions reduction is achieved while providing certainty to businesses (in this economic downturn).

The second question is whether business and living costs would go up. I’m not too worried about this because the revenue from carbon pricing can be used to offset cost increases, in the form of reduced business tax, tax credits, household rebates, etc.

The third question is the scope and timeline for implementation of the carbon pricing. I think it would start with big emitters, likely those companies under the Energy Conservation Act, since they are already taking action to reduce emissions. I think carbon pricing would take at least 2 years or earliest 2020 before it kicks in, considering the need for legislation change, consultations, setting up the system, and considering the current economic downturn.

Just my preliminary thoughts, more details on the carbon pricing will be announced by the government soon.

Singapore Green Landscape 2017

February 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Insights, Publications

Singapore Green Landscape 2017

At Green Future Solutions, we do our best to keep track of the green groups and sustainability industry in Singapore through our annual Singapore Green Landscape, which is in its 8th edition this year.

The Singapore Green Landscape 2017 highlights the 13 key government reports that are related to sustainability, and introduces the 50 non-governmental organisations, non-profits and social enterprises; 72 green groups; 15 business associations and groups; 55 green websites and events; 27 government agencies; and 54 institutes and centres in Singapore, which are relevant to the environment.

We hope that this publication is useful for everyone who wish to know more about the state of the environment in Singapore, find and connect with the environmental organisations in Singapore, or explore personal and business opportunities.

Feel free to share this publication with others, thanks.


Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Key Reports
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - NGOs and Non-Profits
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Green Groups
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Business Associations and Groups
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Green Websites
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Government Agencies
Singapore Green Landscape 2017 - Institutes and Centres

The information listed in this publication is obtained from the web. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no liability will be accepted by Green Future Solutions for errors that may appear in this publication.

Published on 1 Feb 2017. Copyright © Green Future Solutions Group Pte Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Looking for a hotel or mall to improve waste reduction and recycling

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Insights

Most of the large hotels and malls in Singapore have recycling programmes, yet their recycling rates are very low at 7-9% in 2015.

We are looking to work with a hotel or mall in Singapore to understand their waste and try to see if there is room to improve their waste reduction and recycling.

This service is complimentary on the condition that the results and insights would be published as a case study for other companies. If there are hotels or malls that are interested, pls email us at Thanks!

Findings from Mandatory Waste Reporting

Image credit: NEA, Findings from Mandatory Waste Reporting (reporting period from Jan to Dec 2015)

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