Public sector to cut water and electricity usage by 2020

Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, at the Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA).
Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, at the Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA). ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
(From left) Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL Group General Manager; Mr Edwin Khew, Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore; DPM Teo; Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; and Mr Sherman Kwek, Deputy Chief Exec
(From left) Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL Group General Manager; Mr Edwin Khew, Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore; DPM Teo; Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; and Mr Sherman Kwek, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, CDL, placing a piece of the solar panel to launch Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA).ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The public sector will do its part in saving the environment by cutting water and electricity usage, as part of a nationwide "go green" plan unveiled on Monday (June 5).

By 2020, the public sector will use 15 per cent less electricity and 5 per cent less water compared to 2013 levels, according to the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 announced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Meeting the targets could result in cost savings of about $62.5 million a year.

All new public sector buildings will attain the highest Green Mark Platinum standard, and existing buildings will aim for at least the Green Mark Gold standard, which is a step above the lowest grade Green Mark Certified. The Green Mark is a Building and Construction Authority certification scheme for environmentally-friendly buildings.

The sector will also embark on green procurement of electronics and paper products, food waste recycling in public sector premises and a floating solar test-bed in Tengeh Reservoir. It will also continue to invest in green technologies and seek innovative ways to harness renewable energy.

At the office level, public officers will adopt greener practices such as "having a higher temperature setting for the thermostats for air-conditioned premises, and buying more green office products", Mr Teo said.

Events and functions will be held in venues with at least a Green Mark Certified rating.

"This will help transform the way the public sector operates and set an example for the wider community to adopt sustainability as our way of life," added Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security.

The public sector is Singapore's largest employer, comprising 16 ministries and 64 statutory boards and about 145,000 officers. From 2013 to 2015, it accounted for an average of 4 per cent of Singapore's total electricity consumption and 3 per cent of total water consumption.

Under the Paris Agreement - which sets non-binding targets to curb emissions that drive global warming - Singapore has committed to reduce emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.

"To achieve our objectives, we will require a concerted effort - from Government, from businesses and from everyone in Singapore," added Mr Teo who was speaking at the official opening of the Singapore Sustainability Academy, a major training and networking facility focused on promoting sustainability.

The zero-energy academy - it will produce its own power using solar panels - is located on the rooftop terrace of City Square Mall at Kitchener Road and was jointly created by real estate developer City Developments Limited and non-profit organisation Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore.