The National Environment Agency (NEA) will set minimum energy efficiency standards for chilled water systems in industrial facilities here from next year, a move which will cut about 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Monday (Nov 25) noted that currently, about 70% of such systems here are not optimised.
He said Singapore’s industrial energy efficiency standard needs to be improved so it is on a par with leading countries.
The initiative will introduce baseline standards to help companies reduce their energy consumption by about 245 gigawatt hours.
The amount of carbon emissions reduced will be the equivalent of taking more than 21,000 cars off the road, and will also save the companies about $37 million in energy costs a year by 2025, said Mr Masagos who was speaking at a lunch event to mark the conclusion of the Year Towards Zero Waste, which began in January this year.
In his speech at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Mr Masagos highlighted a number of initiatives that Singapore had taken to work towards its waste reduction targets.
For instance, the NEA and F&N Foods, supported by NTUC FairPrice, last month launched a programme to place 50 smart Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) across Singapore by March 2020.
Following the introduction of the first 10 RVMs, around 1,000 plastic drink bottles and aluminium drink cans were collected from each machine daily, said Mr Masagos, who described it as an “overwhelmingly positive” response.
He also noted that over 670,000 people have been engaged in Zero Waste initiatives this year by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and its partners.
Such initiatives included the creation of the first ever Citizens’ Workgroup on recycling right, which was convened in September.
Over 300 people applied to join the workgroup, and 50 were selected.
Noting that some of the workgroup’s members had not actively practised recycling prior to joining, Mr Masagos said: “This reflects the growing public commitment to take climate action… We will continue on this journey with you to co-create solutions to environmental challenges, and build a sustainable Singapore together.”
He added that the “Towards Zero Waste Grant”, which was set up this year, has supported 270 ground-up initiatives that drive waste reduction and recycling thus far.
They include youth interest group Project bECOme’s Bread without Bags initiative, which encourages customers to bring their reusable containers and bags to buy bread.
Mr Masagos said that MEWR has benefited from the perspectives, passion and energy of the young here, and will continue to partner and empower Singapore’s young people to build a more environmentally conscious Singapore.
And although the Year Towards Zero Waste has concluded, the fight against climate change has not. Mr Masagos said that next year’s focus would be on Singapore’s food, in line with the need to produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030.
He said: “In the face of (climate change), we can give in to despair, or use it to transform things fundamentally for the better.
“Singapore’s DNA has always been to resolutely face the challenges… I am confident we can turn any challenge, including the climate challenge, into new opportunities, and ensure the continued happiness and prosperity of our future generations.”