POSTED 2 Sep 2019 - 11:06

How may businesses in Singapore reduce their carbon footprint and help mitigate climate change?

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What kind of role can they play?

Top Response

Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and MD, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Asia

Climate change is one of the defining global challenges of the 21st century. Businesses have an important role to play, but we cannot expect businesses to act on the scale required without the government setting the right conditions for them to do so.

This means that policies like a...


Patrick Lee, CEO Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited
2 Sep 2019 - 11:13

The issue of climate change has massive business, societal and environmental impact. Companies can make a difference by 1) Supporting climate change mitigation policies; 2) Formulating their own climate change strategy; 3) Setting carbon emissions reduction targets; and 4) Measuring their progress.

As a bank, our biggest impact is made through the businesses we finance and support. Standard Chartered is an early leader in sustainable finance and we have been evaluating environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks since 1997. We are committed to supporting our clients in adopting ESG best practices and mobilising the capital needed to mitigate climate change.

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Gavin Milton-White, VP Enterprise, Asia Pacific, CommScope
2 Sep 2019 - 11:12

An often-overlooked issue in developed economies (eg Singapore) is understanding the energy efficiency and environmental footprint of buildings. Energy use in buildings and construction is responsible for 36 per cent of global energy consumption, according to an industry report.

CommScope strives to reduce the industry's environmental footprint together with partners and trade organisations through various global initiatives. We've seen to date that making the right network connectivity and infrastructure choices that meet high energy efficiency and industry-compliant standards can help end customers save some 28.6 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions and US$1.6 billion in energy costs annually.

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Anders Liss, Country Manager, Scania Singapore
2 Sep 2019 - 11:12

Businesses should not neglect the area of transportation, which is central to building sustainable supply chains. If transportation is provided by third parties, businesses can prioritise greener providers that are committed to lowering their environmental impact.

These could be transport providers that have systematic ways of reducing fuel consumption or upskilling their drivers to be more fuel-efficient. Or they could be providers that adopt renewable fuels such as biogas, biodiesel and hydro-treated vegetable oil, which reduce emissions by up to 90 per cent.

As the transport industry has yet to be fully decarbonised, businesses can make smart choices now to mitigate climate change. These include encouraging staff to use public transportation, providing company buses or choosing tele-conferencing over air travel.

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Ivy Lai, Country Manager, Philips Singapore
2 Sep 2019 - 11:12

Circular economy principles - reusing, recycling and remanufacturing materials - can be key competitive differentiators, as consumers are increasingly aware and conscious of the product choices they make. To this end, businesses must adopt innovative business models and maximise the lifetime value of products and solutions. We extend our sustainability efforts by applying EcoDesign principles to increase the energy efficiency of our products, so everyone can make a difference. We are also committed to carbon neutrality by 2020 and are the world's first health technology company to have its carbon dioxide emission targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative.

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Damien Dhellemmes, Singapore Country President, Schneider Electric
2 Sep 2019 - 11:12

We are running out of time to tackle and mitigate global warming effects; all companies need to do their part. Digitisation brings new avenues and means to help business reduce their carbon footprint. By leveraging IoT, businesses can manage energy usage and drive more efficient operations. As an example, our regional HQ at Kallang has been transformed by IoT technology and is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-2020.

Apart from technology solutions, it is important for businesses to empower and support one another, to achieve the common goal of mitigating climate change; no one should be left behind. With ongoing efforts to support local SMEs in their sustainable journeys, Schneider Electric hopes to contribute further in the country's transition towards a low carbon economy.

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Ho Nyok Yong, President, Singapore Green Building Council
2 Sep 2019 - 11:11

Going green not only benefits the environment, it also benefits the businesses and organisations themselves. Some organisations in the built environment sector have already invested in sustainability measures for their business operations that can help to mitigate climate change.

But change does not happen overnight, especially for smaller organisations. They can, however, begin by taking small steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Companies can start with some easily attainable measures such as getting employees to turn off lights when not in use, unplugging equipment/devices from power sockets at the end of the day and also by making use of reusable water bottles in the office. Organisations can also identify the barriers and motivators for staff, and create activities to change behaviour.

This will make the desired carbon-reduction behaviours easy and attractive to adopt, especially when it becomes a social activity that colleagues can do together.

Organisations can also use certified green building materials for their office fitting-out or renovation, creating low-carbon workplaces with long-term benefits to employee health and wellbeing. Companies can also encourage employees to lower their commuting emissions by taking public transport, biking or carpooling to the workplace, and offering them incentives to do so.

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Amra Naidoo, Co-Founder and Partnerships & Operations Director, Accelerating Asia
2 Sep 2019 - 11:11

Preparing an urban metropolis such as Singapore for the onset of climate change requires impetus from businesses to support the government's latest agenda in mitigating the effects of climate change for the island. Aside from being conscious about resources such as going paperless and recycling, businesses should look to the latest in emerging technologies such as green building, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) to reduce carbon footprints.

As these solutions become commonplace, access to data and machine learning insights can help businesses make cost-effective decisions while eliminating waste inefficiencies. While inherently costlier to implement, I would advise business owners to factor in long-term benefits and savings and not merely focus on short-term expenditure. Reducing your carbon footprint will undoubtedly impress your stakeholders and build greater credibility for your business. It is possible to work together to combat climate change and create a win-win situation all around for everyone!

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Sean Toohey, EVP and President, Asia-Pacific, Ecolab
2 Sep 2019 - 11:10

Whether it's saving water and energy or reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, there's a growing realisation that these priorities go hand in hand with business growth and profitability. To begin with, businesses must have sustainability at their core. They must work together to collectively raise the corporate responsibility on sustainability standards. At Ecolab, we are privileged to help drive these positive developments forward by helping our customers work more efficiently and reduce costs, while lowering their impact on the environment. Business leaders have a vital role to play; while we can't mitigate climate change by ourselves, together we can drive the progress the world needs.

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