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Singapore Green Plan 2030: Overview and Alignment with UN SDGs

Chloe Picture
Mar 24, 2022

Calling for collaborative action towards sustainable development, the Singapore government has set targets for individuals and organizations to achieve by 2030 through the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The ambition is to align Singapore’s efforts with the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement, as well as prepare the nation to achieve its long-term net zero emissions goal. The Green Plan is a multi-agency effort led by five ministries – the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Development, Ministry of Sustainability & Environment, Ministry of Trade & Industry, and the Ministry of Transport.

Categorized into 5 key pillars, the Green Plan lays down practices for organizations to integrate sustainability into their operations and individuals to adopt greener lifestyles. The former span across meeting green procurement requirements, developing green finance and innovative sustainability technology solutions, etc. The latter recommend more eco-friendly transport, supporting local produce, and energy efficient homes.

To start off, the first pillar – City in Nature, discusses targets to increase the land area covered in parks, trees, and green spaces to make Singapore literally greener. With NParks as the key driver for this pillar, the Government also aims to enhance the natural habitats in the existing parks and strengthen the connectivity between green spaces for households to have easier access. This pillar aligns with the UN SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, specifically the targets 11.4 which focuses on strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s natural heritage in cities, and 11.7 which focuses on providing access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green spaces in cities.

Another pillar that also aims to influence households is the second pillar – Sustainable Living which focuses on limiting waste directed to landfill and water consumption, promoting green commuting, and reducing carbon emissions in schools. The government aims to strengthen legislative frameworks to encourage individuals and businesses to practice the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) as a norm, and minimize total amount of waste to landfill per capita by 20% by 2026 and 30% by 2030. This includes waste across food waste, packaging waste, and e-waste. This pillar resonates with the UN SDG 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption, specifically the targets 12.3 which aims to reduce food waste and loss across the supply chain and 12.5 which aims to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

The government aims to expand rail networks by 130 km and triple cycling paths by 2030 in order to encourage green commuting, including greater usage of mass public transport (to a modal share of 75% during peak periods). These expansion plans align with the UN SDG target 11.2 which directs nations to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all. Green efforts in schools include expanding green infrastructure in campuses and integrating environmental sustainability and awareness of carbon footprint into lesson resources.

Complementing these indirect efforts in revamping energy consumption, the third pillar – energy reset, involves a multi-pronged approach to directly reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency through clean energy transition, green buildings, waste-to-energy facilities, and cleaner-energy vehicles. As a part of this pillar, the government also wants to significantly support fuel efficiency and emission reduction goals of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization. This pillar is in line with the UN SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy which focuses on increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

In addition to supporting sustainability in international trade, the government also aims to foster growth internally. Green economy, the next pillar, encompasses investment and job growth through development of Singapore as a hub for various sustainability services and technological solutions. While the investment focus lies in energy and carbon efficiency, the job growth goal spans across multiple sectors, ranging from carbon services, sustainable energy, chemicals, tourism, financial sector, to entrepreneurship.

Last but not the least, is the ambition of building a resilient future in terms of disaster resilience and food security. As an island nation, Singapore’s goal by 2030 is to conduct studies, develop models, and pool reliable funding to protect its coasts against rising sea levels and inlands from rainfall-induced floods. This phased plan aligns with the UN SDG target 11.b which aims to substantially increase the number of cities adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards holistic disaster risk management.

The government also aims to enhance infrastructure, expand space, and conduct R&D for urban food production, biotech-based protein production, and food safety innovations. The plan also includes increasing funding support to incentivise the agri-food industry to adopt resource-efficient agri-technologies and develop a local pool of skilled workforce for the sector.   This boost in investments would align with UN SDG Target 2.4 which aims to ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices by 2020.

Through the Green Plan, the government aims to get every Singaporean individual and business started and actively engaged in the nation’s green journey. With this comprehensive plan laying out concrete targets, Singapore is ready and geared to move towards sustainable development step-by-step.

At Found & Seek, we aim to introduce organizations to the circular economy and help them manage electronics and equipment more sustainably, as well as connecting them to refurbishers, recyclers, and and sustainable disposal service providers. If you are an organization looking for sustainability partners to guide you with your e-waste, reach out to us today here.