The CleanEnviro Summit Singapore 2018 hosted the first Facebook LIVE panel discussion on environmental issues as its curtain raiser, with the theme “Optimising Smart Technologies for Novel Environmental Solutions”
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, hosted the Organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the panel discussion brought together governmental, business, civil societal and academic perspectives from across the environmental solutions ecosystem to weigh in on how new technologies and solutions can be leveraged to create sustainable environmental solutions for tomorrow.
The Facebook LIVE session gave attendees a prelude to the discussions and focus areas that will be explored at the upcoming CESS 2018. The 2018 event, themed ‘Transforming Tomorrow’s Cities with Clean Environment Solutions’, serves as a global platform which will see industry and government leaders identifying, developing and sharing practical, replicable and scalable solutions to address environmental challenges in the context of the waste-water-energy nexus in tomorrow’s cities.
In Minister Masagos’ welcome address, he highlighted that the needs of tomorrow’s cities are changing rapidly due to climate change and accelerated urbanisation – which are in turn, fueling the demand for cleaner and more sustainable solutions. As Singapore works towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation, a circular economy will allow us to recover as much as possible from our waste stream. Technology is central to enabling and driving value in the circular economy and will play a key role in helping to mitigate complex challenges in an increasingly urbanised landscape.
“Just as we have successfully closed the water loop in Singapore, we will apply the circular economy to the waste and cleaning sector to help enable environmental services players make greater headway in the industry,” said Mr Masagos. “While regulatory frameworks help in driving the adoption of impactful innovation in the industry, collective action from stakeholders across the value chain is needed to effect sustainable change for cleaner urban environments.”
Challenging the environment management norm
The Facebook LIVE panel discussion saw a diverse range of industry stakeholders explore emerging trends in technology and how players, local and overseas, are challenging the conventional approach to environment management. They included Mr Dalson Chung (Managing Director, CESS 2018), Prof Seeram Ramakrishna (Chair of the Circular Economy Taskforce, National University of Singapore), Ms Isabella Loh (Chairman, Singapore Environment Council) and Mr Jun Ogawa (Managing Director, JFE Engineering (Singapore)).
From left, Professor Seeram Ramakrishna (Chair of the Circular Economy Taskforce, National University of Singapore), Mr Dalson Chung (Managing Director, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore), Ms Jessica Cheam (Editor, Eco-Business), Mr Masagos Zulkifli (Minister for the Environment and Water Resources), Ms Isabella Loh (Chairman of Singapore Environment Council) and Mr Jun Ogawa (Managing Director, JFE Engineering (Singapore))
The session kicked off with thoughts around emerging technologies in the industry – both from a local and international perspective. Topics discussed included waste management and recycling technologies for example, smart grids and sensors, automated multi-fraction machines to recover valuables from municipal solid waste into usable materials, sophisticated solutions in cleaning to improve productivity, upskill manpower and even the use of satellites for pollution control in cities. Additionally, as countries globally invest in developing smart cities, the Internet of Things, blockchain technology, data analytics and cloud computing is expected to be utilised more widely to elevate solutions within the circular economy domain.
There are opportunities for greater mass adoption of such technologies and the sentiment echoed was that now is the best time for Singapore to lead the charge in the industry as there is great potential in driving the circular economy agenda. The combination of this market potential – both for corporations and start-ups – and the rise in green consumerism to create action from the ground up will move the needle in achieving a sustainable society for future generations.
“In Asia, Singapore is a hub for smart CleanTech test beds and solutions and it is through platforms like CESS that the drive to create optimised environmental solutions can be accelerated,” said Mr Dalson Chung, Managing Director, CESS 2018. “In the face of challenges brought about by rapid urbanisation, it is critical to throw the spotlight on global best practices, to seek out meaningful collaboration across local and international stakeholders.”
Highlights of CESS 2018
The fourth edition of CESS will be held from 8 to 12 July 2018, and is co-located with the World Cities Summit and the Singapore International Water Week. To tackle the complex range of environmental challenges tomorrow’s cities face, this year’s edition will see the introduction of three new focus areas – sustainable energy, pest management and pollution control – to the existing waste management and cleaning streams. It will also feature new high-level plenaries such as the Clean Environment Leaders’ Summit (CELS) and the Leaders-Experts Forum (LEF), bringing together prominent speakers and subject-matter experts who will offer insights into the latest trends in environmental innovation and discuss best practices, strategies and technological solutions.
Photo is credited to CESS 2018