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Sustainability

Public sector sets more sustainability targets with launch of new green movement

SINGAPORE: From ramping up solar capacity to replacing government vehicles with cleaner energy models, the public sector is setting new sustainability targets to meet its goal of peaking carbon emissions around 2025.

This will come under its new sustainability movement, GreenGov.SG, which was officially launched on Monday (Jul 12). The initiative is part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 that was unveiled in February to advance the national agenda on sustainable development. 

The Green Plan charts Singapore’s green targets over the next 10 years and is spearheaded by five ministries: The environment, education, national development, trade and industry, and transport ministries. 

READ: Public sector to set first carbon emissions target as part of sustainability drive

Under GreenGov.SG, all premises will deploy solar photovoltaics "where feasible". The public sector will increase solar energy deployment to 1.5 gigawatt-peak by 2030, which is equivalent to powering more than 260,000 households a year. 

This will account for three-quarters of the national solar target of 2 gigawatt-peak by 2030, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, who was speaking at a forum to kick off Climate Action Week 2021.

To pave the way for greener transport, all new government cars will have to be cleaner energy models from 2023. By 2035, all government cars will run on cleaner energy.

Targets have also been set to improve resource efficiency within the sector. By 2030, the public sector aims to cut energy and water use by 10 per cent from the average of the last three years, said Ms Fu.

The sector has also committed to reducing the amount of waste disposed by 30 per cent from 2022 levels.

As for buildings, all new and existing public sector buildings will be required to achieve the Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy standard or equivalent, which is the highest rating under the system that evaluates a building’s environmental impact and performance. All government data centres will have to achieve the Green Mark Platinum standard by 2025, said Ms Fu.

READ: New and existing buildings required to be more energy efficient under revised BCA standards

The scope of GreenGov.SG will be expanded to include public sector infrastructure and operations, such as public transport infrastructure and healthcare facilities. This will double the number of premises covered, from 800 to 1,600 facilities, said Ms Fu.

For example, the Government is looking to halve the amount of energy used to produce desalinated water and is exploring new technologies in reverse osmosis to improve the production of NEWater.

In the defence, a sustainability office will be set up to drive the planning and implementation of green efforts. By 2030, the Defence Ministry (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will reduce their carbon emissions growth by two-thirds by doubling their solar adoption in camps and bases, electrifying their administrative vehicle fleet, and trialling green aviation fuels.

"These targets will apply to the whole spectrum of public sector operations, and ensure that sustainability is embedded at the core of public sector functions," said Ms Fu.

“By integrating sustainability and climate resilience into our policies and programmes, we will engender a shift in our companies and across our economy, as consumers and investors increasingly prioritise low-carbon products and solutions,” she added.

She added that the Government will support Singapore companies in the transition, through incentive schemes such as the Energy Efficiency Fund and Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy.

READ: Green Plan 2030 aims to use ‘government influence in a more concrete way’: Grace Fu

A new initiative called the Enterprise Sustainability Programme will also help to support local companies in building capabilities in sustainability and in developing new products and solutions for the green economy.

Under GreenGov.Sg, public officers will also be encouraged to contribute actively in the country’s green efforts.

Regular sharing sessions will be conducted within the public sector to promote the exchange of ideas, best practices, and the latest technological solutions. This will help to "inspire and support public officers to champion ground- up initiatives", said the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) in a media release.

Campaigns will also be organised to raise awareness and encourage public officers to take simple steps to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

Source: CNA/ad

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