The Carbon Trust and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) today announced that they will be working together to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to improve their energy efficiency. The announcement of the collaboration is being made at Kew Gardens in London as part of the official state visit to the UK of Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore.
The SEAS is leading a S$17 million SME Energy Efficiency initiative, with support from SPRING Singapore, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The goal is to help some 300 SMEs achieve at least 10 percent savings in energy costs over the next three years.
The Carbon Trust will collaborate with SEAS as part of this initiative, making use of its experience of providing advice and support to tens of thousands of businesses and public sector organizations around the world, including 15,000 SMEs in the UK.
“We know from experience that having funding available for energy efficiency is not enough by itself to get SMEs to implement projects. Despite the fact that the business case for energy efficiency can often appear overwhelmingly strong, a lack of awareness of specific opportunities, or confidence in the companies that will recommend or deliver projects, can be major barriers to implementation,” said Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust. “We are delighted to be working with SEAS to help meet our shared objectives of taking action on climate change and building a sustainable, low-carbon economy through global green growth.”
As a small-island city-state, Singapore relies on energy imports and has limited access to clean alternative energies. Energy efficiency is therefore central to Singapore’s strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the added benefit of strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of its economy. Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, Singapore aims to achieve a 35% improvement in energy efficiency from 2005 levels by 2030.
Kavita Gandhi, Executive Director of SEAS, said:
"The Carbon Trust has many years of experience working with SMEs to improve their energy efficiency and productivity. SEAS as an industry association managing the SME Energy Efficiency Initiative can benefit immensely from this, as well as implement some of the strategies that worked well and imbibe the lessons learnt. We look forward to our collaboration with the Carbon Trust."
Last month, the Carbon Trust and infoDev/World Bank Group released a report that concluded that, over the next decade, cleantech investments in emerging markets are estimated to exceed $6 trillion, of which $1.6 trillion represent business opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The report identifies China, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa as the top three markets in the developing world for clean technology SMEs, with an expected market size of $415 billion, $349 billion, and $235 billion, respectively, with the most promising opportunities being in wastewater treatment, onshore wind, solar panels, electric vehicles and small hydro.
Singapore isn’t the first country to partner with the Carbon Trust – the organization is also developing an environmental labeling scheme for products and services in Mexico, designed to promote sustainable purchasing and procurement for consumers, companies and the public sector. The objective of the project is to drive the international competitiveness and economic efficiency of Mexican industry through more sustainable production, and to provide a standardized set of criteria to ensure that environmental claims about products and services are properly substantiated.