Eco-Friendly Singapore Releases Green Plan 2012
The Government of Singapore (GOS) released its planned environmental initiatives last month with the Singapore Green Plan 2012 (SGP 2012). The tiny island nation is proud of the country’s contributions to global sustainability efforts despite Singapore’s capability and limited resources.
Environment Minister Lim Swee Say looked back at the challenges facing Singapore from decades past and remarked on the hurdles this country has overcome to reach sustainable development for such a small island state.
The Singapore Green Plan 2012 sets out our response to the challenges of sustaining a quality environment while pursuing economic progress. Our geographical circumstances and limited resources make it a daunting task. But rather than resigning ourselves to fate, we are making it a rallying point. While continuing to learn from others, we will tap on our stakeholders’ resourcefulness and innovativeness to customise sustainability solutions for our circumstances.
Lim went on to lay out Singapore’s current track for a cleaner greener country, with the help of cooperating government agencies and the local population.
The real test of our Green Plan’s success will be the state of our environment in generations to come. As we reaffirm our commitment to sustainable development, we realise the paramount importance of a people who are personally committed to and involved in sustaining a quality living environment for the long term.
The new initiative will have ripple effects throughout Singapore’s already robust ecology and economy. Business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan delivered a report on the country’s promising prospects, and Industry Manager Melvin Leong highlighted Singapore’s recycling practices as a linchpin in the country’s growth.
The GOS aims to increase the recycling rate to 60 percent by 2012, thus resulting the lifespan extension of its landfill to 50 years from the initial 30 years, and one new incineration plant every 10 to 15 years from the initial period of 7 to 10 years. Currently, Singapore’s waste reduction and recycling attainment are close to the targets and the GOS is likely to continue to sustain and even improve its waste recycling rate. Singapore aims to achieve 70 percent recycling rate by 2030. Inadvertently, 2012 and beyond is expected to see an active market development in Singapore’s waste management sector.”
The Frost & Sullivan report sees the the island’s waste management and recycling industries as something akin to the electronics manufacturing industry. The huge water purifying and recycling business will see continued growth despite a slow economic outlook for the year.
It must be noted that the year 2011 has witnessed Singapore’s green commitment with the launched its first eco-town, Punggol Eco Town, and will be constructed from 2011 to 2013 under the helm of Panasonic. Should this green scheme be replicated in 2012 or 2013, which is largely anticipated, technology suppliers in clean energy and green solutions such as photovoltaics, green lighting, building automation controls, and building materials are likely to gain business benefits.
Singapore’s construction industry has lagged in sales and profits since the economic crisis of 2008, and the next few years will not be any easier for companies in this sector. If you go around the island nowadays, you wouldn’t think there was a slowdown in construction, with sites here and there for hotels, private condominiums and government-owned housing estates.
The market fundamentals for environment and buildings remain compelling and investors and market participants should focus on key areas for long term opportunities in this market sphere.
SGP 2012 contains the 8-point plan for “living in harmony with nature, ensuring clean air, keeping the water flowing, improving public health, forging strategic partnerships, enhancing external collaboration and innovating for sustainability.”
Gloomy economic forecasts aside, Singapore is going to continue its steady march towards economic sustainability with a healthy dose of environmental responsibility.
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