Singapore Environment Council’s GreenDNA: Environmental Sustainability
November 4, 2020
BE EMPOWERED TO KICKSTART YOUR GREEN JOURNEY
In an effort to encourage locals especially Singaporeans to take ownership of environmental stewardship, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has launched the GreenDNA approach to encourage local residents through their organisations including CDCs, in embarking on their very own personal Green journeys.
SEC endorses each individual’s sustainability journey through the adoption of three simple attributes:
- One Less
- Low Carbon Lifestyle
- Responsible Consumption and Production
GreenDNA is the new accreditation for SEC to recognise individual actions taken.
One Less calls for people to use no more than they need, for example, going digital and not printing unnecessarily at home and at the workplace.
Low Carbon Lifestyle encourages people to contribute to reducing carbon emissions and footprints, such as by taking public transport to work as a habit.
Responsible Consumption and Production advocates for the purchase and procurement of eco-friendly and sustainable products. Examples of sustainable products include those that carry the Singapore Green Label, Singapore’s leading eco-label administered by the Singapore Environment Council. This is the only Singapore-based eco-labelling body that is a member of the Global Eco-Labelling Network (GEN).
Isabella Huang-Loh, Chairman, Singapore Environment Council, said, “GreenDNA is SEC’s new enablement approach in helping individuals through their organisations jointly mitigate climate change. As SEC’s activities are UNEP as well as globally recognised, GreenDNA is the globally recognised accreditation for the organisations and individuals. We hope that each of you can take every small step, come together and create a big impact for future generations to come. More importantly, the GreenDNA accreditation will provide recognition for individuals for their efforts and thus prepare and professionalise them for future green jobs as businesses transform during this crisis.”
UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (UNSDG)
GreenDNA is also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), which aims to advance a sustainable, inclusive and just society by 2030. GreenDNA achieves this by driving awareness of sustainability issues through Training & Education programmes that educate communities as well as organisations on sustainability issues.
It also empowers them to lead green lifestyles by reducing consumption of resources such as water and energy. Through the Singapore Green Label and Eco-Certifications, GreenDNA also sets sustainability standards for green consumerism, thus empowering employees to take actions by internalising mindsets to shift businesses and consumer actions towards a greener future.
As part of GreenDNA’s launch, local residents will be able to discover their environmental sustainability profile from an online quiz hosted on the SEC GreenDNA microsite. GreenDNA provides a starting point for individuals to adopt a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle. This is in line with SEC’s vision. Individuals and organisations will be able to tap on SEC’s diverse range of programmes to find the appropriate point of entry that fits their profile.
Sustainability challenges are multi-faceted, requiring concerted, coordinated collaborations between a multitude of stakeholders. Guided by GreenDNA, SEC will build partnerships with the 3Ps (people, private, public) to achieve greater awareness on waste issues and arrive at decisive actions through campaigns and outreach activities. These efforts will help engage industry players as well as individuals on circular practices, to support SDGs as well as the greater sustainability concerns of our future.
Singapore has set out long term goals under the Singapore Climate Action Plan to mitigate as well as adapt to the challenges of climate change. GreenDNA hopes to bring Singapore closer to realising her climate change targets and obligations, as well as the 14 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
ABOUT THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF GREENDNA
SEC recognises that organisational commitment and engagement are key to the implementation of any sustainable workplace initiatives. It is with this in mind that GreenDNA builds itself upon eight building blocks.
1) Readiness Assessments: SEC first conducts a readiness assessment to assess where the organisation stands in terms of organisational sustainability.
2) Eco Committee: Embracing GreenDNA requires full participation of all within the organisation, over a sustained period. By setting up a cross-functional committee, diverse stakeholders’ perspectives can be represented and each member will have ample opportunities to take ownership of initiatives and contribute towards positive organisational impact.
3) Eco Policy: A policy is a statement that expresses an organisation’s formal commitment to embark on a GreenDNA journey of sustainability.
4) Eco Action Plan: To translate commitment into impactful outcomes, SEC will guide organisations in developing an action plan to outline their goals and targets, required resources and activities that employees can embark on to bring them closer to achieving their objectives.
5) Training & Education (T&E): An enabler of sustainability, SEC aims to support organisations with their efforts to engage employees on a personal level through learning and knowledge-building activities. By advocating a ‘Learn It – Experience It – Do It’ sequence, SEC seeks to reinforce learning and spark employees’ desire to take action as eco ambassadors.
SEC’s T&E activities include talks on low-carbon lifestyles and the 5Rs of waste minimisation, which are delivered through interactive, engaging learning journeys to destinations such as materials recovery facilities, Incineration Plants, and Pulau Semakau.
6) Eco Office Plus Certification: Once GreenDNA is seeded within the organisation, companies are encouraged to jump on-board the Eco-Office Plus certification process, which provides a self-guided eco-sustainability checklist. Eco Office has been enhanced to introduce a tier system consisting of the Premium, Professional, Champion, and Elite tiers. This system allows companies to monitor, improve and progress in their sustainability efforts over time.
7) Health Check: For clients of SEC Eco-Office Plus Certification, SEC will conduct periodic Health Checks to jointly review the effectiveness of the organisation’s efforts over the past year, identifying environmental gaps, and discuss areas of improvement. Organisations will also be able to connect with SEC via the Eco Office Plus “E-Concierge Service” where they will be guided on queries regarding greening their office environments.
8) Impact Reporting: Through impact reporting, organisations will be able to track the impact of their operations, plug gaps in performance and communicate the progress of their efforts with stakeholders.
Below are the certificates of accreditation in recognition for individuals and organisations.