S'pore's public service aims to peak carbon emissions around 2025

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainability outlined four key shifts the public service will undergo to build a more sustainable Singapore.

Ashley Tan | March 04, 2021, 12:30 PM

The Singapore government recently announced its concerted move towards a sustainable future in the form of the new Green Plan, which is a "whole-of-government" effort.

The Green Plan will be spearheaded by five ministries — namely the Ministries of Education (MOE), National Development (MND), Sustainability and the Environment (MSE), Trade and Industry (MTI), and Transport (MOT)— and will consist of five key pillars with specific targets.

As part of the Green Plan, the government sector has committed to take the lead and set more ambitious goals to go environment-friendly.

Previously known as the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability (PSTLES) initiative, the government agencies will step up on improving their procurement standards via the new GreenGov.SG initiative.

The PSTLES initiative was originally introduced in 2006 to improve resource efficiency within the public sector. In 2014, it was enhanced to focus more on sustainability outcomes.

Four strategies

Now, with the GreenGov.SG initiative, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu outlined four key shifts the public service will undergo:

1. For the first time in Singapore, there will be a carbon emissions target imposed on the public service, with the aim of peaking the public service's emissions around 2025. This is ahead of the national target to achieve absolute peak emissions of 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

2. The scope of GreenGov.SG will be expanded beyond just government-owned offices to include public sector infrastructure and operations, such as transport infrastructure and healthcare facilities.

3. Environmental sustainability will be embedded in the public service's core business areas, such as green procurement and education. This will raise awareness on sustainability and kickstart green practices outside of the public service.

4. The government will aim to build a culture of sustainability among public servants. This can be done by encouraging them to adopt more green practices and initiate ground-up initiatives through their agencies.

As new opportunities, innovations, and technology will become available over time, sustainability targets will evolve as well.

As such, the GreenGov.SG will be a "living plan" and its targets will be continuously refreshed and modified, similar to the Green Plan.

More details on the GreenGov.SG will be released over the course of the year.

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Top photo from Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images