Budget debate: SAF to cut emissions growth by two-thirds by 2030, green its buildings and vehicles

Segregation and recycling processes are already implemented in 14 cookhouses. This will be extended to all cookhouses by 2024. PHOTO: MINDEF
The deployment of solar panels will be extended to suitable rooftops of SAF camps and bases. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - By 2024, all cookhouses in Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camps will be equipped with food waste segregation and recycling facilities.

Solar panels will also become a familiar sight, as bases more than double their solar capacity and strive to meet stricter Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy standards.

These changes were announced by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday (March 1) as he laid out the Ministry of Defence's (Mindef) sustainability plans in Parliament at the ministry's budget debate.

Dr Ng said Mindef will focus its go-green efforts with three major initiatives: to reduce carbon emissions, water and waste, with key targets for each.

These efforts will be spearheaded by a new SAF Sustainability Office.

Among them is a plan to replace its current administrative vehicle fleet with an all-electric one by 2030, commence trials of green aviation fuel for some F-16 planes, and deepen investments in water-recycling systems. Other targets include reducing the use of water by 10 per cent by 2030.

These green initiatives are part of efforts by Mindef to align itself with the Government's Singapore Green Plan 2030, said Dr Ng.

He emphasised that operational effectiveness will be maintained while pursuing the reduction of platform emissions, and to ensure that doing so will not result in a sharp rise in spending.

To instil ownership of these efforts across its various units, the SAF will progressively install smart utility metering systems to allow commanders to track their units' resource consumption and emissions, and make necessary changes to reduce emissions, waste and water consumption.

Mindef and the SAF will continue to invest in water-recycling systems, such as those for vehicular washing. PHOTO: MINDEF

When such systems are in place, commanders will be provided information on how their units' consumption patterns compare with others, and be given tips to meet their units' benchmarks.

"This initiative to go greener needs to be sustained for the long term... but it can be derailed by a few forces," said Dr Ng.

"Apathy and lack of awareness are two which will be alleviated by the use of smart meters."

As for the new sustainability office, Dr Ng it will be advised by an external advisory panel and report to SAF's Chief of Staff-Joint Staff, who will also assume the role of SAF Chief Sustainability Officer.

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