New Green Compass tool helps firms map out sustainability strategies

Companies can use the tool to better manage their carbon emissions, energy and water use, and waste. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Companies looking to green their operations can tap a new tool to help them assess their environmental sustainability level and map out the steps they can take to become greener.

The tool, called Green Compass, is a collaborative effort by seven parties from the public and private sectors, which signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday at the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (Itap) event held at the Singapore Expo. The three-day trade event ends on Thursday.

Green Compass is developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), JTC, and German testing, inspection and certification company TUV SUD.

The tool, available since April, comprises a four-step model that companies can use to better manage carbon emissions, energy and water use, and waste, as well as chart road maps to make their operations more environmentally sustainable.

Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (Speta) and Singapore Polytechnic help promote Green Compass to their networks of local enterprises. Enterprise Singapore will also support the companies’ development and adoption of sustainability-related standards.

“Many are keen to make their business sustainable, but they are unsure how to get started. The Green Compass is a useful tool for small and medium-sized enterprises to assess sustainability gaps in their plant and equipment, operations and even supply chain processes,” said Mr Tan Chee Kiat, group director for engineering at JTC.

“For example, energy may not be optimally utilised in their production process. With this knowledge, they can plug the gaps to become more resource-efficient and enjoy cost savings to boost their business,” he added.

Companies need to go through a four-day course to learn how to use the Green Compass. During the course, they will learn about sustainability trends and methodologies, and assess their company’s environmental sustainability level.

They can tap SkillsFuture Singapore funding for the course, which costs $1,600 before subsidies. The tool can be used by multinational companies too.

One company that used the tool in April is I-Pex Singapore, a manufacturer of electronic connectors and parts.

The company used the tool to assess its operations, product life cycle and supply network, among other things. It found that it had to improve its management of supply network, and identified key follow-up actions to become more sustainable.

I-Pex Singapore is now reviewing its environmental policy and suppliers’ code of conduct to include environmental sustainability requirements. The company is also trying to get its key suppliers on board its goal of going green.

The Green Compass comprises a four-step model that companies can use to make their operations more environmentally sustainable. PHOTO: LIANEH ZAOBAO

Green Compass aims to help companies reduce business costs by improving resource efficiency, highlighting key areas that need improvement and future-proofing operations against supply chain or resource shocks, said Dr David Low, chief executive of Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre and executive director of SIMTech at A*Star. He was speaking at the signing of the MOU on Wednesday.

“The push for sustainability will only accelerate and intensify, and it is important for local manufacturing companies to start building their in-house knowledge and capability to define, kick-start and sustain their sustainability efforts,” said Mr Simon Lim, executive director of Speta.

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