Minister for National Development, Mr. Desmond Lee, launched the Sustainability in Singapore (SiS) programme today at the Green Real Estate Trends Conference 2021. The SiS programme seeks to impart skills to Green Ambassadors to bring about behavioural change in building users to act more sustainably. It is curated by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), together with Global Action Plan (GAP), an environmental behaviour change charity organisation. Minister Lee also extended an invitation for individuals and organisations to join in the programme.
Sustainable outcomes through behavioural change
2 The complimentary SiS programme is typically delivered by a group of 3 to 5 individuals from an organisation within the same premises to achieve sustainability outcomes such as energy savings and general well-being. Individuals do not need any prior technical knowledge as they would be given training via virtual workshops, livestream sessions and meetings. Upon the completion of their training, these Green Ambassadors would then be equipped with the skills and capabilities to design their own sustainability campaign and act as influencers to engage their fellow colleagues, peers and other building occupants to participate and drive behavioural change to achieve their sustainability goals. They will also be trained to measure and report the impact of their respective campaigns (such as in energy savings, improvement in behaviour or well-being) through automated templates on the SiS platform. (Refer to Annex A for more information on SiS programme).
3 The SiS programme had its roots as a pilot started in 2017 to test if tangible sustainability outcomes could be achieved from changing the behaviour of building users (see Annex B for details on the pilot programme). This was in recognition that building users typically are responsible for nearly half a building’s total electricity consumption. The pilot programme generated significant interest, with 137 individuals trained from 12 organisations including Swissôtel Merchant Court and DBS Bank Ltd. These organisations have completed a total of 12 customised campaigns and achieved tangible outcomes which includes attaining average energy savings of 180,000kWh – enough to power approximately 450 four-room HDB homes for a month. This demonstrated the effectiveness of simple behavioural changes in achieving an organisation’s sustainability targets. Several organisations also repeated their campaign, having witnessed the benefits.
4 The pilot also yielded valuable feedback from the participants, which was helpful in shaping the SiS programme to become resource-light and fully online. This lowers the entry requirements for organisations to come on board and gives them the flexibility to determine the pace and scale of their own campaign. This includes providing participants a standardised, step-by-step training curriculum, supported by materials and checklists which can be replicated across different premises and business types. Participants are also able to reach out to experts for advice and coaching sessions at their own time.
5 BCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Wong, said: “We are proud to partner SGBC and GAP in refining the SiS programme to what it is today. As a building user myself, we tend to think that staying in green buildings alone is sufficient. But this is not true. Practising sustainable behaviour within building premises is equally important to make the most of green buildings. Hand in hand, both green buildings and sustainable user behaviour would translate to lower carbon emissions, with the added advantage of monetary savings. I hope organisations will seriously consider participating in the SiS programme as it has real benefits at little cost. SiS opens up opportunities for everyone to play a part in achieving our Singapore Green Plan sustainability targets. I look forward to welcoming our Green Ambassadors.”
6 Individuals or organisations who wish to find out more or participate in the SiS programme may do so via: http://sustainabilityinsingapore.org.