Leading Enterprises Consolidate Efforts to Champion Sustainable Manufacturing in Singapore

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Design and Tech

This is a joint media release by: SPRING Singapore, Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa), Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Singapore Environment Council (SEC).

Launch of Sustainable Manufacturing Programme converges the efforts of SMa, SPRING, SEC and SIMTech to help Singapore manufacturers adopt sustainable manufacturing technologies and processes.

With industrial development rapidly expanding to support our burgeoning global population, SMa envisioned that the development of a conducive environment for the adoption of environmentally-friendly processes is crucial in ensuring sustainability of manufacturing in Singapore.

In pursuant of a clear goal towards sustainable manufacturing, SMa signed separate Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with two prominent partners – SEC and Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); leveraging on their fields of expertise and professional skills and technology to identify, develop and promote the adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices among local manufacturers. This MOU ceremony was witnessed by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education, Mr S. Iswaran, as well as SPRING Singapore’s Deputy Chief Executive Mr Ted Tan at the Intercontinental Hotel.

It also marked the first-ever collaboration among three organisations to consolidate their efforts in conceptualising and developing customised sustainable practices suitable for manufacturers in Singapore. A slew of initiatives and methodologies are expected to be developed with a particular focus on sustainable manufacturing. Some of the notable benefits will include:

  • Improved process flow efficiency
  • Energy conservation
  • Improved productivity and profit margins achieved by converting by-product waste into higher value-end products
  • Achievement of sustainable growth
  • Positioning as a good corporate citizen

“This unique collaboration between our specialised partners is the right step forward especially in this downturn where we can help our manufacturers cut on non-wage cost for business sustainability,” said Mr Renny Yeo, SMa President, “I believe through this Programme, they can enhance their competitiveness in preparation for the upswing of the economy.”

Commented Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director of SIMTech, “This partnership aligns with our vision to transform and upgrade our manufacturers’ capabilities through the development of technologies. SIMTech, to-date, has assisted local enterprises to break new grounds and secure global markets using sustainable manufacturing technologies. Through this Programme, we aim to collaborate with SMa to reach out to more companies to develop and adopt sustainable manufacturing technologies for their growth.”

With a shared vision to transform and upgrade local manufacturers’ capabilities to meet future challenges, the first joint initiative launched is the Sustainable Manufacturing Programme. This new programme aims to help increase manufacturers’ efficiency by reducing energy and water consumption, by-product waste and carbon footprint through eco-efficient improvements to their manufacturing systems and processes.

The Sustainable Manufacturing Programme will draw on SIMTech’s capabilities and methodologies to review and assess current operations and processes of a manufacturer to trim its carbon footprint. Through its sustainable manufacturing technologies, SIMTech will assist industry to re-use and value-add the by-product waste from each manufacturer.

Meanwhile, SEC will serve as a qualifying body to provide audit and certification services, promote and reward companies for their environmentally-sustainable practices through an industry award scheme, and organise executive level training and learning programmes.

Mr Howard Shaw, SEC’s Executive Director, stated: “To date, the transformation of local manufacturing enterprises towards an environmentally sustainable model has undoubtedly left behind stragglers, due to lack of relevant expertise, resources, and awareness. This partnership between SMa, SEC, and SIMTech, will enhance the effectiveness of SEC’s existing programmes and facilitate the creation of new initiatives aimed at catalyzing overall change and filling these gaps.”

Besides being environmentally responsible, this programme will also enable manufacturers to attain additional revenue from converting waste from their products into higher value-end products. Through the reduction of energy usage and the improvised flow of energy efficiency, manufacturers are expected to achieve a return of investment (ROI) of up to 20 per cent.

The pilot project of the Sustainable Manufacturing Programme involves a consortium of food manufacturers in Singapore. This project aims to improve their internal manufacturing processes, packaging usage and recycling of waste by-products such as used cooking oil or other food waste that will be collected for conversion into animal feed or bio-fuel.

Participating companies noted three main advantages of the Programme:

  1. Reduction of operating costs such as utility cost through increased efficiency and recycling. As a comparison, the savings in utility costs may far exceed that of retrenchments.
  2. Development of sustainable manufacturing technologies can also be a showcase and reference site for other sectors such as electronics and lifestyle, and a reference site for exports to overseas markets.
  3. Reduction in carbon footprint for made-in Singapore products and services.
  4. Position the company as a responsible corporate citizen.

Companies taking part in the programme will be able to tap on SPRING Singapore’s EnviroTech Capability Development Programme for suitable sustainable manufacturing projects. The support level is up to 70% of the qualifying costs for SMEs and industry projects.

Commenting on the potential benefits of the programme, Mr Ted Tan, SPRING’s Deputy Chief Executive said, “The Sustainable Manufacturing Programme will allow our SMEs in the environmental engineering sector to showcase sustainable environmental technologies that will open new global market opportunities for them. For the manufacturers, they can tap on these solutions to enjoy measurable energy savings, reduce their carbon footprints and improve their green branding for increased competitiveness in exports. This is a win-win business model that can be adopted across industries.”

Following the successful implementation of the Sustainable Manufacturing Programme with the food manufacturing sector, the various partners are also exploring similar executions with other sectors including electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and logistics.

Interested companies are encouraged to contact the official centre, EDC@SMa, at Tel: (65) 6826 3020 for more information.

Source: SPRING Singapore.

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One Response to “Leading Enterprises Consolidate Efforts to Champion Sustainable Manufacturing in Singapore”
  1. Charles Stewart Lee says:

    As one would say on FaceBook………… Charles LIKES this.
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