Sustainability

Singapore is a City in Nature where large experiences come with small footprints. Through a collective movement, we are reducing our impact on the environment and developing offerings that are both innovative and sustainable.

Overview

For People and Planet To Profit

Credit: Marina Bay Sands

As the global conversation around sustainability grows, event organisers across the globe have rallied to do their part. The 2018 Schneider Electric Global Innovation Summit held in Singapore, was the largest green event held locally – one free from single-use materials like paper or plastic, and with a fully sustainable, Earth-friendly menu1. Finally, travel trade show ITB Asia 2014 also managed to achieve a 34 percent reduction in its overall carbon footprint by implementing waste and energy-saving measures.2    

These examples show how it is possible for both people and planet to profit as events increasingly go paperless, reduce food wastage, or set up in eco-friendly central locations. Yet for success in this arena, it is important to find the right choice of destination partner.

 

Singapore’s Commitment to Sustainability

Singapore has always prioritised sustainability and placed it at the forefront of its long-term plan. In 2009, we launched the first Sustainable Singapore Blueprint to continuously outline strategies that will improve our green footprint by year 2030. Green measures are now woven into the infrastructure of the economy, with emphasis placed on reducing waste and increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar power. Businesses are also rewarded for sustainable business practices as the government ramps up efforts to create a green economy with green jobs3.

This has led to global recognition for our sustainability efforts: 

Key stats: 

Sustainable design reduced environmental footprint reduced by

8.9%4
3 Singapore firms

on the 2021 Global 100 Rankings for Most Sustainable Companies5

Recognitions:

Green Port for 3 consecutive years
Awarded to Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Port Services Network (APSN)6

2019 Apex Corporate Sustainability Award Awarded to Changi Airport7

Level 3 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Scheme Awarded to Changi Airport8

Commitment has remained high over the years as we step up efforts in tandem with the global conversation. Sustainability is a key area in the Research Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan budget, a five-year blueprint outlining Singapore’s science and technology strategies. 

In 2021, the government also launched the Green Plan, outlining a focus on six pillars — a green government, a city in nature, sustainable living, energy reset, a green economy and a resilient future9 —, and green targets to be achieved by year 2030.   

New initiatives include goals to double electric vehicle charging points, reduce carbon waste by 30 percent by 2026, and to review carbon tax so that only the best-in-class carbon-intensive investments enter the country. Plans are also in place to transform Jurong Island into a sustainable energy hub, as well as for greater emphasis on sustainable tourism, sustainable packaging, decarbonisation, waste up cycling urban farming and water treatment.10

An Infrastructure for Green Events

Credit: Oasia Hotel Downtown

The effects have trickled down to the events sphere, giving event organisers plenty of support when embarking on their sustainability journey. 


In 2013, for example, the Singapore Tourism Board launched sustainability guidelines that build on the ISO 20121 International Standard for Event Sustainability Management and the APEX-ASTM Environmental Sustainability Standards for Events11.

These guidelines cover the entire business events ecosystem, from hotels and venues to event organisers and meeting planners. It even includes transportation, food and beverage, and audio-visual set-up providers. Basic and intermediate options are available so businesses at different stages of the sustainability journey will not be left out.

For businesses that lack the resources needed, there is also the MSC MICE Certification designed to help SMEs achieve recognition for sustainability efforts12.

Event venues, too, are doing their part. Resorts World Singapore has removed single-use plastics across its establishments13 while MBS has become the country's first carbon-neutral venue14. Specialised business event spaces like MICE facility, MAX Atria, have received the Building & Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum standard for its eco-friendly building design.

Finally, to ensure event organisers reach their sustainability goals, hotels like MBS offer special Green Meeting Packages that include a specialised Green Meeting Concierge to help with planning15. Local SMEs like event organisers, Xhebit, have also come on board offering green event organising teams16

 

A Desirable Destination To Meet for Business

For the eco-conscious business delegate, Singapore's commitment and the number of green venues provide assurance that attending an event in our country offers a myriad of ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Besides traversing across the island in electric vehicles, and meeting in the growing number of Green Mark certified buildings across the country, they can also reside more sustainably, thanks to the sheer number of green hotels catering to different budgets.

For example, larger hotel chains like Pan Pacific Singapore have renovated its existing establishments to include eco-friendly design features that reduce electricity usage17. Local brands like Oasia Hotel Downtown now features a massive vertical garden that both reintroduces biodiversity and reduces temperature in the building18, while Carlton Hotel Singapore managed to lower both water and energy consumption with its sustainability measures19.

Driving Interest in Green Events

Overall, interest in sustainability is high, and Singapore is already home to various sustainability events, including but not limited to:

Ecosperity Week

An annual confluence of events anchored by the Ecosperity Conference organised by Temasek, that brings together global business leaders, policy-makers, investors and other communities across the region to discuss pertinent trends in sustainability. In 2021, discussions are focused on decarbonisation and climate action, reimagining nature and resources, and sustainable investing and financing.

Sustainability Reporting Summit

Asia’s top regional conference organised by CSRWorks International. The summit is dedicated to discussing trends, techniques, challenges, solutions and success stories in sustainability reporting.

Credit: Temasek

The renewed focus on a green economy and the green growth opportunities that come with it, indicate potential for more events and conferences in this area, especially revolving around the topics of sustainable tourism, carbon services and green finance.

Besides support in holding green events and finding an eager audience, event organisers may also benefit from avenues to network and collaborate with experts as Singapore leads the way to a greener future for us all.

 

Footnotes

1https://www.marinabaysands.com/expo-events-and-convention-centre/game-changer/sustainable-food.html

2https://www.travelweekly-asia.com/Travel-News/Hotel-News/ITB-Asia-exceeds-its-sustainability-targets

3https://www.nccs.gov.sg/files/docs/default-source/default-document-library/ssb-2015-(2016-version).pdf

4https://www.arcadis.com/en/news/asia/2020/6/arcadis-singapore-is-now-carbon-neutral

5https://sbr.com.sg/economy/news/three-singapore-firms-named-worlds-most-sustainable-companies-list

6https://www.porttechnology.org/news/port-of-singapore-recognised-for-drive-to-cut-emissions/

7https://apexawards.unglobalcompact.sg/archive/

8https://www.changiairport.com/content/dam/cacorp/sustainability/sustainable-changi/sustainability-report/CAG-Sustainability%20Report%20FY1920.pdf

9https://www.greenplan.gov.sg/

10https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-green-plan-2030-targets-10-years-14161356

11https://www.visitsingapore.com/content/dam/MICE/Global/downloads/STB_sustainability_guidelines_manual_november_2013.pdf

12https://saceos.org.sg/sustainability/

13https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/resorts-world-sentosa-no-longer-provides-single-use-plastic-straws-at

14https://www.marinabaysands.com/content/dam/singapore/marinabaysands/master/main/home/company-information/media-centre/Sep2020/sands-expo-and-convention-centre-is-now-a-carbon-neutral-venue-8-sep.pdf

15https://ko.marinabaysands.com/content/dam/singapore/marinabaysands/master/main/home/meetings/amenities-services/green-meetings/Marina-Bay-Sands-Green-Meetings.pdf

16https://www.xhebit.com/

17https://www.meetings-conventions-asia.com/News/Hotels-and-Resorts/Pan-Pacific-puts-its-green-thumb-on-new-eco-friendly-brand

18http://greenhvacrmag.com/2018/oasia-hotel/

19https://www.carltoncity.sg/sites/carltoncity/files/2019-09/Press%20Release%20-%20Pushing%20the%20Green%20Envelope%20at%20CCHS%202019.pdf

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Success Stories

Asia Tech x Singapore 2022

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Singapore Airshow 2022

Asia’s biggest aerospace and defence exhibition, Singapore Airshow returned for its eighth edition from 15 to 18 February 2022. Close to 13,000 trade visitors from more than 39 countries/regions and almost 600 participating companies reconnected and explored business opportunities over the four days of the show. “We are thrilled that our exhibitors and visitors came together for conversations, and more importantly to collaborate,” said Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events, organiser of the event.

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Gamescom Asia 2021

2021 marked the debut of the highly anticipated Asian edition of gamescom – one of Europe’s leading trade fairs for video games. Based in Singapore, gamescom asia is a platform for both Southeast Asian game developers to explore global partnerships, as well as for international publishers looking to connect with Asia’s gaming industry.

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AIJA 60th International Young Lawyers’ Congress 2022

It was a first for both Singapore and Southeast Asia when the International Association of Young Lawyers, or Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA), organised its 60th International Young Lawyers’ Congress here from 22 to 27 August 2022. This is the largest global event dedicated to young lawyers around the world and it marks AIJA’s second in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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Deloitte Management Retreat 2021

The experience of working hard, followed by indulging in a post-work tipple while enjoying the sunset is exactly what Deloitte wanted to recreate when it took its management team out of the conference halls and onto the sunny seaside of Lazarus Island for its annual management meeting.

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