3rd Quarter 2019
Circular economy provides opportunities for businesses to be resource-efficient
October 2, 2019
The CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) Catalyst 2019 opened on 6 June 2019 to more than 160 participants including leaders, technology innovators and service providers of the environmental services industry. Masagos Zulkifli, minister for the Environment and Water Resources, graced the two-day by-invitation-only event, which was themed Circular Economy: Towards A Resource Efficient and Sustainable Business in recognition of Singapore’s campaign for 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste. Daniel Calleja, director general for Environment of the European Union Commission, and Hareld van den Brink, co-director for Asia of Metabolic, graced the event as guest speakers.
More solutions for environmental services have been supported by the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) since it was available in September last year. Thus far, 32 applications have been approved and $1 million of the grant has been committed, signalling a demand by companies in the environmental services industry to adopt ready-to-go solutions to increase operational efficiency and productivity. The list of supportable solutions has also been expanded. In adopting a circular economy model, businesses need to change the way they work, grow capabilities, drive innovation and adopt greater use of technology to raise productivity over the long term.
Two grant calls have also been concluded successfully to date under the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Closing the Waste Loop Research and Development (R&D) Initiative, announced along with the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) in December 2017. This $45 million R&D funding initiative aims to help universities, research institutes and companies develop solutions to extract resources from key waste streams (e.g., plastic and electronic waste) and residues (e.g., incineration bottom ash). Under the first grant call, two projects have been awarded to the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences as well as Temasek Polytechnic respectively, on treating and extracting resources from plastic waste. Under the second grant call, another two projects have been awarded to the Nanyang Technological University and Republic Polytechnic respectively, on reusing incineration bottom ash. These R&D projects contribute towards the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint’s vision of a zero-waste nation.