Greening the Public Sector
By now, you might have already heard of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 — our national sustainability agenda (if you’ve not, we’ve got your back) — but have you heard of GreenGov.SG?
What is GreenGov.SG?
Achieving Singapore’s sustainability goals will require everyone to play their part. That is why a new sustainability movement by the public sector called GreenGov.SG was launched earlier this year which will support the national sustainability agenda mapped out in the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Setting new and ambitious goals
The Government will lead efforts to ensure Singapore remains a green and liveable home by putting sustainability at the core of everything we do. Under GreenGov.SG, the public sector has set new sustainability targets with the aim of peaking its carbon emissions around 2025. Some of these targets include:
- Reducing energy and water use by 2030 by 10 per cent from the average of last three years.
- Increasing the use of solar energy deployment to 1.5 gigawatt-peak, which is the equivalent to powering more than 260,000 households a year.
- All new and existing public sector buildings to attain the Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy standard or equivalent — which is the highest accolade to measure a building’s environmental impact.
- All government data centres to achieve the Green Mark Platinum standard by 2025.
- All government cars will run on cleaner energy by 2035.
- Reduce the amount of waste disposed of per person by 30 per cent by 2030, from 2022 levels.
These targets will apply to a whole spectrum of public sector operations, going beyond government offices and schools, to green all public sector infrastructure and operations. This will double the number of premises covered, from 800 to 1,600 facilities.
Case Study #1: MINDEF and the SAF
The main sources of emissions in MINDEF and the SAF come from building infrastructure and military platforms. MINDEF aims to reduce overall emissions growth by two-thirds by 2030 and halve emissions from 2030 levels. A key way MINDEF is doing so is to deploy more solar panels in SAF bases and camps with the aim of doubling solar adoption by 2025 (from 20 to 50 mega-watt peak). This is the equivalent of powering 12,500 4-room households!
MINDEF also aims to attain the Green Mark Platinum Super-Low Energy standards for all new large and retrofitted buildings. The Army will completely replace its current administrative vehicle fleet with electric vehicles by 2030 with charging infrastructure set up progressively. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will equip newer vessels with energy-efficient LED lights and ozone-free water-mist fire suppression systems and explore garbage converters to reduce waste volume. Meanwhile, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will trial green aviation fuel for some of its F-16 jets.
Case Study #2: Sustainable Hawker Centres
Sustainable features will be found in new hawkers centres such as the Bukit Canberra Hawker Centre, Fernvale Hawker Centre and Senja Hawker Centre, which will open next year.
For example, the Senja Hawker Centre will have features such as food waste digestion, rainwater harvesting, and solar panels. This is part of the Hawker Centres Transformation Programme, which will be implemented progressively at new hawker centres, and those currently undergoing redevelopment.
Embedding sustainability in our core business areas
By embedding sustainability in our core business, the public sector hopes to become a positive influence and spur a shift towards more environmentally-friendly products and solutions. One of the ways is through green procurement. As a major buyer of goods and services, the public sector will influence our service providers and suppliers to be more sustainable, and encourage our companies to grow their capabilities to thrive in the low-carbon economy.
All government agencies will be required to purchase products (e.g. electrical appliances, water fittings, interior building materials, furniture, and electric vehicles) that meet high efficiency or sustainability standards.
We will also factor in companies’ sustainability-related policies and practices when evaluating government tenders.
As sustainability becomes a key consideration in procurement decisions, this will trigger a mindset shift among suppliers and partners and create a ripple effect in the wider economy.
The public sector will also enable a green citizenry through education and community-based programmes. Making use of various citizen touchpoints across all agencies, we will raise awareness and educate the community on sustainability issues.
Case Study #3: Schools
Apart from aiming for at least 20% of schools to be carbon neutral by 2030, reducing schools’ sector’s net carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2030, and piloting sustainability features and related concepts in four schools, we’re aiming for every school and student to be eco stewards.
The Eco Stewardship Programme builds on current environmental efforts in schools. This will be done holistically through the 4Cs:
- Curriculum: Enhance teaching and learning of sustainability in Science and Humanities, and integrate campus sustainability features into learning resources.
- Campus: Enhance campuses with sustainability features with solar panels, LED lights, and energy-efficient fans.
- Culture: Practise daily habits like reducing food waste, energy use, and encourage students to champion sustainability practices among peers.
- Community: Leverage community partnerships to offer students more environment-related learning opportunities, and a better understanding of future “green jobs.”
Building a culture of sustainability
The public sector is one of the largest employers in Singapore, with over 150,000 public officers working in Ministries and Statutory Boards.
To encourage public officers to practise sustainability in their work and daily lives, we will organise regular sharing sessions to promote the exchange of ideas, best practices, and the latest technological solutions. We also hope this will inspire and support public officers who wish to champion ground-up initiatives.
We will also organise campaigns to raise awareness and encourage public officers to take simple, sustainable steps.
Realising the Singapore Green Plan together
The public sector will lead the charge towards a more sustainable and low-carbon future, through GreenGov.SG.
However, achieving Singapore’s sustainability goals is a whole-of-nation endeavour which will require the public, private, and people sectors to work together to co-create solutions.
Let us all join hands to build a greener and more sustainable Singapore and make the Singapore Green Plan a reality!