New Schemes for a Greener Community and New Deals to Boost Singapore as the Green Hub of Asia [Press Releases]
Singapore, 10 October 2012 – Singapore is making new strides in the green building movement with new schemes for an eco-friendly community and new deals to boost Singapore as the green hub of Asia.
Why going green is good for business and the community will be shared by more than 79 industry experts and practitioners to 1,000 participants, and policy-makers from the Asia-Pacific and North America, who are gathered here over the next few days to hear insights from real estate giants, major brands and household names.
They are attending the three-day International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2012, which was officially opened today at the Marina Bay Sands by Ms Grace Fu, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources & Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.
This international network of green advocates will take active part in a series of green building activities and knowledge sharing platforms on sustainable development at this conference.
Organised by Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), and supported by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), IGBC 2012 has put together a record nine different business tracks and six workshops to offer crucial insights on the green economy and new solutions/innovations for the sustainable built environment. SGBC is the only non-profit organisation with a concerted private-public sector partnership to achieve a world-class and sustainable built-environment in Singapore while BCA is the government agency responsible for the built environment and green building policies in Singapore.
IGBC 2012 is held in conjunction with Bex Asia 2012, an annual platform organized by Reed Exhibitions, for the green building and construction industry during the Singapore Green Building Week (8 to 12 Oct 2012).
The nine business tracks will encompass:
- Government Leadership and Green Building Development
- The Cost, Value and Valuation of Green Buildings
- Going Beyond Platinum: Pushing the Frontiers of Energy-efficient Green Buildings
- GreenTechs – Innovation in ACMV solutions
- GreenTechs – Innovation in Lighting Solutions
- Green IT (Data Centres)
- Innovation in Energy Efficiency Solution
- Innovations in the use of Sustainable Materials and Biomimicry
- Engaging Stakeholders: Community Action against Climate Change
BEX Asia 2012, a three-day regional event has returned this year. Some 282 companies from over 28 countries are participating in BEX Asia 2012, more than double since its inception five years ago. Its rapid growth shows the regional building and construction sector is becoming more eco-friendly, and is keen on adopting sustainable technologies, products and work practices.
The green building rush is also creating business opportunities. Last year, a total of 7,693 people from 37 countries, including 3,086 key executives and decision-makers, visited BEX Asia. A staggering US$81 million was generated in sales, up 11% from US$73 million in 2010. This year, BEX Asia is expecting more than 8,000 visitors and US$90 million in sales.
This year, to up the ante, BEX Asia sees four regional pavilions including the new pavilion from Portugal. Ms Michelle Lim, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions Singapore, which organises BEX Asia 2012, said: “As the premier business platform for the industry, we want to provide the opportunity for our participants to reach out to the region and beyond. It is imperative for us to be acutely aware of the industry’s developments, understanding the current market trends and ensuring that these demands are met through strong programme line-up and an updated list of exhibitors.”
BEX Asia 2012 also sees three new product categories in response to the increased demand. They are Green Interiors; Skyrise Landscaping; and Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) – reflecting growing interest in green equipment and practices indoors. Previously, the green movement in regional building and construction focused mostly on the macro and brick-and-mortar industry, but that is now changing, with more emphasis being placed on greening from within.
New Schemes and New Activities for A Greener Community
As the theme of IGBC 2012 – “Green Community, Green Action” suggests, a number of initiatives to bring about a greener community will be launched.
The BCA will be unveiling new Green Mark Schemes to target the community or consumers/end users as they form important stakeholders in the green building movement.
The aim of the schemes is to influence the behavior and tap greater support from the community, which wields significant impact on energy consumption.
The BCA-IDA Green Mark for Data Centre was launched by Ms Grace Fu today. Details of two other new Green Mark schemes to target supermarket and retail business owners will be revealed tomorrow.
In addition to these new Green Mark schemes, IGBC 2012 will also feature green community icons such as Mr Andy Ridley, Executive Director and Co-founder, Earth Hour as well as reputed green building advocates from City Development, Lend Lease, United World College (UWC), and NTUC Fairprice, who will be present at IGBC 2012 to engage both businesses as well as the consumers.
SGBC’s President Mr Tai Lee Siang said, ”The green building movement has certainly evolved over the past years. Today, we believe we have to go beyond buildings to spotlight on the key role of buildings and their influence on the lifestyles of people.
“IGBC 2012 will focus on the community – to galvanise tenants, consumers and even the young to drum home the message that they too can contribute significantly to conserving resources, saving money and creating jobs. Towards this end, building owners can also work closely with building regulatory bodies to provide more ecofriendly and healthier places for all of us to live, work and play.”
As part of its efforts to reach out, IGBC will also be launching its inaugural Youth for eco-Sustainability (YES) programme on Oct 12, 2012. This programme will include a Green Quiz and an eco-Pop contest for youths.
New Collaborations for Win-Win Partnerships
Another milestone was sealed at IGBC 2012 when SGBC signed its third Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this year with another regional counterpart – the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC). SGBC signed two earlier MOUs this year – one with China Green Building Council (CGBC) in March and another with Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) in April.
Under this latest MOU, both SGBC and VGBC will work towards recognition of the Singapore Green Building Product & Services Certification scheme under the Green Building assessment scheme of Vietnam. The two parties will also cooperate in training. This covers relevant green building-related professional training and study trips during which participants will gain knowledge of Singapore’s successful practices via proven case studies and visits to relevant projects.
Both SGBC and VGBC will also explore various other activities and avenues to collaborate in green building development and services in Vietnam and Singapore.
The MOU was signed by Mr Tai Lee Siang, President of SGBC and Mr Yannick Millet, Executive Director of VGBC at the SGBC Pavilion at Bex Asia 2012. Guest of Honor, Minister Grace Fu witnessed the signing.
Said Mr Tai :“This MOU demonstrates another plus for the growing green economy. Singapore can export its “green” expertise, especially through our SGBC members, for the development of green buildings and eco-developments in the region. SGBC will also work towards gaining even wider overseas recognition of its green certification, which sets rigorous assessment of green building benchmarks. This will help Singapore companies with truly green certifications to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly building materials in Asia.”
New Certification Scheme to Boost Recognition and Grow New Business Trajectories
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that the global environmental market could be worth more at USD$607 billion (2005) and could potentially rise to US$836 billion by 2015. With the rising demand for green products and services in Singapore and overseas, SGBC has extended its certification scheme from Green Products, to include Green Services.
Since its inception in 2010, SGBC’s Product Certification Scheme has grown to cover 170 green products.
Mr Tai added: “SGBC’s Green Services certification is the first of its kind in Singapore and aims to bring about greater recognition and new business opportunities for our green building practitioners/professionals.”
“As SGBC is a trusted brand, our services certification will help recognise building consultants and practitioners committed to supporting the green movement, by developing their in-house capabilities and competencies; adopting green corporate practices; and being a strong advocate for sustainability in the delivery of their design and services. Certification with SGBC will also help lend credibility and distinguish truly green services from other “greenwashing” tactics”. The first phase of the Services Certification is focused on the main building consultants directly involved with green building planning and design, such as Architectural firms, Mechanical & Electrical Consultants and Energy Consultants. The next phase will extend to other kinds of services including facility management, quantity surveying and other services associated with buildings. SGBC targets to certify a total of 30 firms by 2013.