A new initiative was launched to assist local businesses in developing sustainability skills so they can take advantage of possibilities in the green economy.
A total of up to $180 million will be put aside by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) for the initiative, which is anticipated to help at least 6,000 businesses over the next four years.
The Enterprise Sustainability Programme, originally introduced in the Budget this year, will assist businesses in becoming green by offering workshops for training, project support, and financial assistance.
According to Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, minimizing one’s carbon footprint and adopting more sustainable practices are more essential in light of climate change concerns.
Sustainability is becoming more important to businesses, and companies play a key role in incorporating it into their strategies and operations. Quite a few, in fact, are eager to get going,” he concluded.
Ms Low Yen Ling, Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, held a virtual press conference with Mr Gan at the time.
According to him, “Singapore’s sustainability ecosystem has to be built out and strengthened even more. We must assist companies at various phases of the journey and facing a variety of problems develop sustainable knowledge and skills in particular.”
ESG’s initiative seeks to improve the sustainability capabilities of businesses by offering free training sessions.
In addition to PwC Singapore, the Global Compact Network will also feature the Singapore Environment Council as partners.
ESG will also assist projects that optimise resources and implement green standards, as well as companies who create new sustainable goods and solutions.
Partnerships with industry groups like the Singapore Furniture Industries Council and the Singapore Contractors Association will also assist sector-specific initiatives.
ESG will establish the Enterprise Financing Scheme – Green to help create a supportive environment by making financing available to companies working on waste reduction, resource efficiency, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The response from local businesses… is that sustainability has given them a competitive advantage,” said Ms Low.
As she pointed out, research have proven sustainable businesses have better reputations and sales as well as a higher level of profitability and staff involvement.
As a result of the drive for sustainability, she said, “new employment positions would be formed, giving Singaporeans with additional job and upskilling possibilities.”
Ms Low paid a visit to the Commune showroom on Friday, the retail arm of Koda Furniture.
When it comes to materials, Koda only uses those sourced from environmentally friendly sources. Solar power systems are being installed in the company’s production buildings, and rainwater is being collected.
Ernie Koh, the chairman and CEO of Koda, said, “My company’s attitude to sustainability is that it must be commercially feasible.” To put it another way, adopting sustainability as part of your company plan will pay dividends.
Koda, he said, is a consumer-driven company that understands how important it is to be environmentally friendly in light of the increased awareness and education of customers about sustainability. Customers with environmental, social, and governance concerns have additional needs that Koda must fulfill in order to satisfy them.
There will be a need for sustainable goods as long as the economic climate supports sustainability, he said.
Digital technologies have been used by logistics company iHub to optimize the routes that trucks travel, preventing idle. The goal is to have all diesel vehicles converted to electric in the next year.
A new digital procedure may be difficult for employees to learn and expensive to implement, but managing director Koh San Joo predicted that the final result will be an efficient, low-cost method of working. In his opinion, here is where the new initiative can really make a difference.
In order to incorporate sustainability into business operations, the sector need assistance with resources.
Evercomm, a provider of digital services that assist clients reduce their carbon footprint, said that it has worked with more than 200 local small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) so far this year.
Ted Chen, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said: “Traditionally, only bigger organizations can afford to engage in being sustainable.”
“The new initiative makes sustainability more accessible and inexpensive for SMEs by defraying expenses and assisting with resources and requirements.”