Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health Distinguished guests Fellow contractors Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning and a very warm welcome to the 7th SCAL Environment Sustainability Conference 2016. I would like to thank all of you for taking time off to attend this event.
Impacts of construction development and activities.
2. Construction contributes to the economic and social development of our nation, at the same time enhancing both our standard of living and the quality of life. However, construction activities have many environmental implications.
3. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, buildings account for about 40% of total final energy consumption and up to one third greenhouse gas emissions globally. A hot and tropical climate in Singapore has also resulted in increased energy consumption associated with the need for air conditioning. As such, there is a greater emphasis on green buildings to reduce energy consumption.
4. Green building is not only a national but a global movement. To alleviate the impact of construction activities on the environment and to ensure a better quality of life for the future generation, construction firms have to manage their environmental performance and to apply sustainable development and utilise their resources prudently. Contractors and stakeholders in the industry are now more aware of the benefits of green buildings. Besides reducing the environmental and social impacts of construction, green buildings are more economical as the reduced energy and water consumption would also bring long-term savings on operation and maintenance costs.
Industry efforts to advocate green buildings
5. In 2005, BCA launched its Green Mark scheme to set the benchmark to evaluate environment sustainability in a building. Over the years, we witnessed our contractors working consistently to achieve the Green Mark certification. The progress is evident with the number of green buildings in Singapore having increased from 17 companies in 2005 to over 2,700 companies now through the BCA Green Mark certification programme and other initiatives.
6. The Green Mark certification programme has also undergone several revisions to refine and address the requirements of different building facilities. We are glad that contractors now are also placing more priority to adopt green construction principles and restructuring their processes to achieve environmental sustainability.
7. In 2014, BCA mandated contractors registered under CW01 and CW02 with grades A1, A2, B1 and B2 to obtain BCA's Green and Gracious Builder Scheme, also known as the GGBS certification. I believe that through this scheme, our contractors will continue to adopt the best practices as stated in the Green and Gracious Builder Guide to address environmental concerns in a responsible manner.
Greening 80% of our buildings by 2030
8. One of the key targets under the sustainable Singapore blueprint for the built environment is to have 80 percent of the buildings in Singapore to achieve the BCA Green Mark Certified rating by 2030. We are on track to attain the target with around one-third of our buildings having achieved the Green Mark certification. However, to achieve this target, a holistic approach should be taken where individual stakeholder in the construction value chain play their roles to ensure sustainable practices in the construction process.
9. Buildings and the way they operate have a fundamental impact on the environment and decisions made at all stages of the building process are vital for maximising sustainability. An organisation’s economic development and environmental sustainability should progress in tandem, and one should not be achieved at the expense of the other. With this in mind, the industry will be able to take green building to higher elevations of outreach and implementation.
SCAL’s Environmental Sustainability Efforts
10. To raise awareness and educate our members on the benefits of building green, SCAL launched two courses namely the Environmental Awareness Course for Construction in July 2014 and the Green Practices for Construction Course in June 2015. To date, we have conducted 61 classes with over 1,300 participants for the Environmental Awareness course, and 43 classes with about 1,860 participants for the Green Practices course.
11. This year, SCAL enhanced our Safety Management Assessment Audit by incorporating environment sustainability as an evaluation criterion. The new scheme was renamed to Safety and Green Management Assessment, or SgMa Audit. Since January this year, contractors have to go through the SgMA Audit before their yearly membership renewal.
12. SCAL has been organising this annual Environment Sustainability Conference since 2010 to provide a platform for sharing of environmentally sustainable practices. Besides raising greater awareness among contractors on green building practices, our conferences provide up-to-date information on the government schemes and helps steer the industry towards minimising environment impact and increase the economic sustainability of businesses.
SCAL Productivity and Innovation Awards Competition 2016
13. This morning we have a special occasion to celebrate. We organised our inaugural SCAL Productivity and Innovation Awards, also known as the PIA to encourage a productivity mindset in the construction sector. The key objective of PIA is to generate fresh ideas from the ground up so as to raise productivity through innovation. I am delighted to note that despite the tight deadline, we received 26 applications, out of which 10 have been shortlisted to take part in the finals this week.
14. I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the judging panel from BCA, HDB, SIA and SPA, and members of SCAL’s Subcommittee on Productivity and Technology chaired by Mr Dominic Choy, for their time and effort evaluating the applications and taking part in the judging session. They were impressed by the quality of the submissions. What is more amazing is that some of the ideas may seem simple but yet are the most practical solutions coming from the ground, that may even have potential for industry-wide adoption.
15. Today, we will be presenting the awards for the top 3 projects at this conference. I would like to congratulate all winners.
16. Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our event partner, Sphere Exhibits for sponsoring the conference and the PIA competition. Special thanks to the Workforce Singapore Agency on the funding support for the conference. To our Guest of Honour, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources and Health, thank you for taking the time to grace our event.
17. I would also like to express my heartiest gratitude to all our invited speakers who have availed their time to support our conference. May I also take this opportunity to thank our moderators, Dr Ho Nyok Yong, SCAL Honorary/Immediate Past President, Advisor of Environment Sustainability Sub-committee and Mr Havesh Nagarajan, a member of our Environment Sustainability Sub-committee. Last but not least, I would like to thank Mr Eugene Yong, Chairman of Environment Sustainability Sub-committee, the organising committee, as well as the secretariat staff who have spent time and effort to see this seminar through.
18. I wish you all a productive session ahead. Thank you.