Date Published: 06 Nov 2009
Mr Howard Shaw, Executive Director,
Singapore Environment Council
Mr Andrew Tan, CEO, NEA
Ladies and gentlemen
1 It is my pleasure to be here this morning to address our partners from
the corporate world. I think many of us spend a great deal of our waking
hours at work. The office is thus a great place to start cultivating
eco-friendly habits among Singaporeans.
2 I am heartened that more and more companies in Singapore are embracing
green business practices. A survey by Spire Research & Consulting in
Sept 2008 revealed that 80% of the companies based in Singapore engage
in some form of environmental conservation activity. Of these 58% have increased their intensity of such activities over the
last two years1. The continued growth of NEA's Corporate Environment
Champions programme, from just 54 organisations in 2005 to more than 250
organisations today, is further evidence that supports this observation.
3 Green business practices make economic sense because they consume less
raw materials, energy or water without affecting the quality of products
or services. Going forward, we need to encourage businesses to think of
creative ways to raise resource efficiency, minimize waste and pursue recycling
efforts not only for staff members but also their customers.
4 Today's event
is thus a good opportunity for our Corporate Environment Champions to network
and share experiences in implementing environmental
initiatives. I understand that speakers from SMRT and Ricoh Asia Pacific
have also been lined up to share their environmental initiatives.
from the opportunity to interact, I hope that the positive experience
of companies that have implemented green measures will inspire you to do
more for the environment.
5 The Government is taking the lead in demonstrating the economic and
environmental benefits of such measures. Indeed, the Sustainable Singapore
Blueprint launched in April this year has set some ambitious targets to
maintain Singapore's reputation as a clean and green city. To sustain
our high environmental living standards, we encourage individuals and companies
to take action as well and play a part in helping Singapore become more
6 There is still much scope for companies, especially those with manufacturing
operations in Singapore, to do this. It may involve a review of operational
processes. For example, customers can return the used goods or the boxes
of crates used for packing the goods for reuse or recycling. Companies
can also encourage staff to recycle, install equipment that are more energy
efficient and implement green standards such as the Green Office Label.
Green Office Label for a Sustainable Singapore
fact, the common factor that binds all corporate entities, whether from
the manufacturing, services, or financial industries, is that they
have office operations. The Green Office Label standard is a simple and
effective way to cut waste, increase productivity, raise efficiency and
reduce cost. By working towards and maintaining the Green Office Label
Certification, companies can quickly enjoy cost savings, which will contribute
positively to the bottom line – something every company is aiming
for in these tough economic times. Hence, I would urge all of you to work
with your management to embark on this environmental journey. In fact,
39 offices will be receiving the Green Office Label later.
8 Another corollary benefit
of the Green Office Label is that it helps sustain environmental awareness
among staff. As staff gradually internalize
these environmentally-friendly practices and see for themselves the benefits
for doing so, they will also bring these habits back to their family, friends
and circles of influence.
This multiplier effect is what we need to get
more Singaporeans to live
a clean and green lifestyle.
9 I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 39 offices
receiving their certificates today. The three-fold increase in the number
of recipients of the certification this year promises a bright outlook
for the future of corporate and individual environmental responsibility
in Singapore. I look forward to seeing more and more offices in the country
attaining the standards of sustainable operations in the years to come.
Eco-friendly practices in the construction industry
addition to the companies receiving the Green Office Label today, I would
also like to commend the Singapore Contractors Association Limited
(SCAL) for their commitment to promote eco-friendly practices among contractor
firms within the building and construction sector in Singapore. I note
that SCAL will be partnering the Singapore Environment Council to develop
an industrial certification to acknowledge the best practices among contractor
closing, I would like to reiterate the important role that the corporate
sector plays in helping us towards sustainable development. I am happy
to see the enthusiastic response and turnout at today's event. By
committing the time and effort to be here today, both you and your organisation
have already taken an important step towards environmental consciousness
and responsibility. I am sure you will continue to find your role as Corporate
Environment Champions fruitful, meaningful and rewarding.
1 Report is available at http://www.spireresearch.com/pdf/press/PR-Enviro%20SG%20-%20Sep08.pdf