New programme will help SMEs go green, capture business opportunities in sustainability: Grace Fu

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu at the Singapore FinTech Association's Singapore FinTech Awards on Feb 10, 2021. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A new initiative will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt sustainable practices and capture opportunities in the green economy.

The scheme was announced on Wednesday (Feb 10) by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, who added that more details will be announced soon.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Government unveiled the Singapore Green Plan 2030 that charts a path towards a more sustainable future.

One of the plan's pillars is to transform Singapore's industries and develop sustainability as a competitive advantage.

New jobs and business opportunities will also be created in areas such as green finance, sustainability consultancy and credits trading.

Ms Fu told business leaders at the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) FinTech Awards that the industry can play an important role in the Green Plan.

She noted that an industry-led group has proposed an idea to develop a marketplace to trade carbon credits.

The proposal was made by the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Sustainability, which was set up last June to work with the Government and act on key growth opportunities.

"Businesses play an important role in Singapore sustainability journey," said Ms Fu.

"Hence, we will introduce an enterprise sustainability programme to help enterprises, especially SMEs, to grow their capabilities to adopt sustainable practices, solutions and standards, enhance their resource efficiency and capture new business opportunities and sustainability."

Association of Small and Medium Enterprises president Kurt Wee said the programme is timely and relevant: "It's been a big movement as far as sustainability and environmental issues, going forward, are concerned.

"In Singapore, there has been rise in SMEs doing clean energy, and a lot of developments in sustainable farming.

"For businesses that are looking to rethink and replan their business over the longer term period, definitely sustainability and climate are major topics on their minds."

Ms Fu also urged the fintech industry to make use of initiatives by the Monetary Authority of Singapore that support green projects, adding that Singapore hopes to become the leading centre for green finance in Asia and globally.

"Singapore is well poised to not just excel in fintech, but to do so sustainably and enable more sustainable global development," she added.

Ms Fu also announced the setting up of a new sub-committee under the SFA that will give fintech companies more opportunities to work together on green initiatives and contribute to the Green Plan.

The awards ceremony on Wednesday recognised 26 individuals and organisations for their contributions to the fintech industry.

The winners included Ms Caecilia Chu, co-founder and chief executive of payment services company YouTrip, who won the FinTech Leaders Award and Women In FinTech Award.

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