Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Singapore

04/19/2024 | Press release | Archived content

SG Sustainable Procurement Forum 2024 - Ms Grace Fu

Pre-recorded Opening Remarks by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the SG Sustainable Procurement Forum 2024 on 19 April 2024

Ladies and gentlemen,

1 Thank you for inviting me to the SG Sustainable Procurement Forum 2024.

2 I am happy to learn that the National Sustainable Procurement Roundtable (NSPR) members have brought along some of their suppliers to this forum for the first time. Climate action requires the participation of everyone on the value chain and whether large or small, you contribute to the sustainable development of our economy. I will share with you why being sustainable is good for businesses, how the Government is supporting businesses to be more sustainable, and how procurement plays a role in transforming the industry.

3 Around the world, the transition towards a low-carbon world is accelerating. At COP28, countries called for a just, orderly and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. Countries also committed to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency improvements by 2030. These commitments are significant, because they send a clear signal to the market on the demand for renewable energy, efficiency improvements, and new technologies such as low-carbon hydrogen. Businesses that pursue sustainability now are well-positioned to capitalise on these economic opportunities.

4 We are also seeing more organisations setting net-zero goals and committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all levels, including their supply chain. Suppliers that wish to do business with these organisations will need to provide greener products and services, or even disclose their carbon footprint. Suppliers that integrate sustainability into their business models and practices will enjoy a competitive edge.

5 Our public sector is incorporating sustainability criteria in our procurement. Under GreenGov.SG, we have rolled out green procurement requirements for nine categories of goods and services. We are progressively introducing more environmental sustainability considerations into the Government's tender evaluation process, starting with large construction and ICT tenders. We will expand this policy to MICE and events, starting in Financial Year 2025. We are doing this not only because the Government has a net-zero target to meet, but to also create the demand for sustainable products and services with the Government's procurement budget.

6 To help businesses make this transition, the Government is increasing its support for companies, at multiple stages of their sustainability journey. At the recent Budget, DPM Lawrence Wong announced the enhancement of schemes to support SMEs in adopting low-carbon solutions. For example, the Energy Efficiency Grant (EEG) will be extended to more sectors including maritime, construction, and data centres by year-end. The EEG complements the Enterprise Sustainability Programme (ESP) to provide holistic end-to-end support. Companies can tap into the ESP for consultancy support to pinpoint areas for efficiency gains before applying to buy energy-efficient equipment under the EEG.

7 The Government has extended the Enterprise Financing Scheme (Green), which helps local companies develop capabilities and capture green growth opportunities, till March 2026, and has expanded its scope to cover companies adopting green solutions. I encourage companies to utilise these support schemes.

8 Beyond government support, a whole-of-industry collaboration is necessary. We have to find optimal solutions for all the activities along the value chain. Reducing packaging waste, optimising assets by reducing downtime, recycling waste for circularity are some ways where industry can be more sustainable. Participants at today's forum will benefit from exchanging ideas to address common challenges in sustainable procurement, such as gaining access to sustainable finance.

9 The publication of A Supplier's Guide to Sustainability by the NSPR is particularly timely, given that more companies globally are setting higher standards in sustainability for their business partners. The guide provides a useful reference for our suppliers and helps raise the competitiveness of our companies.

10 The NSPR has made significant strides in advancing sustainable procurement in Singapore since 2019. The growth from four founding members to over 20 members today reflects the growing recognition by our companies on the importance of sustainable procurement. I look forward to your continued contributions, and a strong partnership between the public and private sector. By working together, we are building competitive and future-ready businesses that are ready to ride the wave of decarbonisation and not be swept by the tsunami of climate change.

11 Thank you.