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?
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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...

Responses

Tan Man Ee, Chief Operations Officer, NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd
2 Sep 2019 - 11:10

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and NatSteel is committed to doing our utmost to reduce the company's carbon footprint. As climate change has now been brought to the forefront by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, hopefully there will be more energy from companies and individuals alike to tackle this problem. Through collaboration and improving efficiency in the entire value chain, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by shortening the supply chain. For example, by recycling steel scrap in Singapore, we are reducing our carbon footprint by more than half as opposed to exporting the scrap, producing steel overseas and bringing the finished steel back to Singapore. We are also participating in events such as International Built Environment Week, through which we hope to be able to raise further awareness about the construction sector's carbon footprint.

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J Heinrich Jessen, Chairman, Jebsen & Jessen Pte Ltd
2 Sep 2019 - 11:10

We have been carbon-neutral since 2011. We achieved this by investing into footprint-reducing processes and then purchasing credits to offset the remaining emissions. But when it comes to sustainability, it is not rewarding to be ''the first'' or ''the only''. To make carbon neutrality a mainstream business objective, governments can help by offering incentives and removing disincentives; companies can help by measuring their carbon footprint and setting targets to neutralise it; buyers can help by making low carbon intensity a key purchasing criterion. Only then can we hope to get the critical mass necessary to make a real difference.

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Ooi Boon Hoe, Chief Executive Officer, Jurong Port Pte Ltd
2 Sep 2019 - 11:09

Climate change remains one of the most significant challenges of the modern age. In a bid to do our part in mitigating this issue, Jurong Port is developing port-centric ecosystems that will contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint for the industries it serves.

Jurong Port houses the world's largest port-based Solar Generation Facility, where solar panels on two-thirds of its warehouse roof generate a capacity of 9.6 megawatt-peak, reducing 11,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. We have also incorporated environmental features into infrastructure redevelopments, using green construction material and methods to upgrade two berths, reducing the carbon footprint of civil works, making it the world's first Green Berths. As part of Jurong Port's vision to become a Next Generation Multipurpose Port over the next few years, we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the various industries that we serve.

Victor Mills, Chief Executive, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
2 Sep 2019 - 11:09

Climate change is a great equaliser. If businesses don't change they'll go under - literally as sea levels rise and financially as resources dry up. More businesses now realise true sustainability is only achieved when they use less of the earth's resources and reuse or recycle more of the resources they use. In other words, the commercial self-interest to survive is driving businesses to change wasteful linear production models by transforming them into beneficial circular models. This action will do more to mitigate climate change than any other with the exception of the widespread availability and greater use of renewable energy.

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Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and MD, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Asia
2 Sep 2019 - 11:09

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 carbon tax are necessary, and then firms will adjust their behaviour in response. It is very welcome that Singapore has introduced such a tax, although the rate of S$5 per tonne is in the order of 10 times smaller than what is needed. As a rich country, Singapore should be taking significantly more than its fair share of emissions reductions, and also playing a role in encouraging coordinated policy throughout Asean. Business can also plan to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves through mitigation and adaptation activity. Given that the carbon price is likely to rise, it would make sense for longer-term decisions to be made assuming a price more like S$50 a tonne to ensure that investments are robust to the kinds of policy changes that are likely to become necessary in future.

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Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman, PwC Singapore
2 Sep 2019 - 11:08

Climate change is an existential issue for humanity. Singapore alone will not be able to reverse the risk, but both businesses and individuals in Singapore can certainly do their part. One practical way is for businesses to start taking responsibility for their carbon footprint using frameworks such as the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. Measuring an organisation's carbon footprint is a common first step to managing and reducing global carbon emissions. At PwC Singapore, we have been tracking our carbon footprint for a number of years now and have steadily reduced our carbon emissions per staff.

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Alan Ng, Co-Chair, Brands for Good In partnership with Carbon Care Asia Limited
2 Sep 2019 - 11:08

Businesses in Singapore are not required to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. Identification of climate-related risks faced is also not mandatory. Businesses cannot manage their risks when they do not identify and measure them. Other parts of the world has more stringent requirements regarding climate-related risks, For example, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited is proposing to tighten disclosure requirements on climate-related risks. The same is not happening here. To reduce their carbon footprint, Singapore businesses should first measure their emissions by way of carbon assessment. They will then be better positioned to identify climate-related risks and to mitigate their impact on business.

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John Bittleston, Founder and Chair, Terrific Mentors International Pte Ltd
2 Sep 2019 - 11:08

There are three key things that businesses can do.

1) Business in Singapore still uses an inordinate amount of paper. Double-sided printing, and using technologies that enable e-signatures, e-invoices and e-payment will help reduce this. The way I discipline myself is to say that each sheet of paper I use threatens one breath in my future.

2) Meetings are often called when a webinar conference call could be just as effective. There is also some anecdotal evidence that people in call meetings speak more frankly presumably because the chairperson isn't there to growl at them.

3) The problem with climate change is that everyone thinks everyone else should/will solve it. So the best way to mitigate climate change is for everyone, starting at the top, to make an effort to do their part.

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