Green standards, global markets: How Singapore companies can thrive through adopting sustainability standards
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: Green standards, global markets: How Singapore companies can thrive through adopting sustainability standards

Today, investors, multinational corporations, and consumers are increasingly prioritising sustainability. From reducing carbon footprint to embracing green technologies, integrating sustainable measures into business models can help companies minimise environmental impact and meet customer needs.

Standards and conformance play a crucial role in this shift. Beyond being compliance tools, they enable businesses to assure clients of product quality and enhance operational excellence.

International standards, such as SS ISO 14001 for environmental management and SS ISO 50001 for energy management, offer structured frameworks for Singapore companies. By adopting such standards, companies can effectively manage their environmental impacts and energy efficiencies – fostering sustainable growth and market expansion.

How can your business benefit by adopting sustainability standards?

1) Enhance efficiency

Adopting sustainability standards like SS ISO 14064, a global standard for carbon accounting, helps service providers ensure that sustainability reports comply with key requirements.

Evercomm, a local climate technology company, has developed NXMap, a greenhouse gas emissions reporting tool based on ISO 14064-1 and ISO14064-2 that comes with Bureau Veritas’ assurance. NXMap empowers Evercomm’s clients to identify greenhouse gas emission hotspots, so they can mitigate climate risks to meet their sustainability targets.

“The standard has provided guidelines that simplify data input for our clients, which significantly enhances the turnaround time taken to generate comprehensive carbon footprint reports, identify hotspots to improve, provide the basis for Product Carbon Footprint as well as possible assessment for carbon neutrality and carbon credits.” said Evercomm.

2) Build a competitive edge

To add a layer of assurance to customers, companies can get certified by accredited testing, inspection and certification (TIC) companies for the standards they adopt. In fact, the uptake of certification for SS ISO 50001 and SS ISO 14001 has surged by 40-50% annually since 2021, reflecting the growing importance of sustainability certification.

Sun City Maintenance, a company that provides cleaning services, found that adopting the SS ISO 14001 environmental management system standard has helped to differentiate them from competitors. Furthermore, being certified by a Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC)-accredited TIC company, Guardian Independent Certification Group, has given their customers a higher level of quality assurance. Such TIC companies have been assessed to have met quality requirements in accordance with international standards, ensuring the integrity of certificates issued.

"Adopting SS ISO 14001 has opened doors to new market segments and geographies for Sun City beyond just Singapore-based companies,” Sun City said, noting that their clientele is made up of 70% Singapore-based companies and 30% overseas multinational corporations.

Apart from demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and improving operational efficiency, SS ISO 14001 also helped Sun City to meet clients’ requirements, especially those from multinational corporations and financial institutions.

3) Capture global opportunities

Adopting sustainability standards can also open doors to new markets, particularly those in which sustainability is now a requirement. SAC is signatory to Mutual Recognition Arrangements with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and International Accreditation Forum. This means that accredited reports produced by SAC- accredited TIC companies are recognised internationally.

For example, Exim & Mfr Enterprise has established itself as an electro-mechanical components provider to international manufacturers and equipment makers across industries. Their product range includes fasteners, sleeving, tubing, wires, and wiring management accessories. Receiving certification for both SS ISO 50001 and SS ISO 14001 standards has been a key part of their business strategy to build trust with stakeholders.

This dual certification demonstrates Exim’s dedication to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, driving business expansion. They can now meet stringent sustainability criteria demanded by their local and international clients, effectively broadening market reach. Furthermore, implementation of these sustainable practices has led to a substantial reduction in operational costs, achieving up to 40% in savings.

Navigating the transition

The shift towards sustainability, while necessary, can be challenging.

Adopting sustainability standards can support businesses in this journey, by mitigating risks and unlocking more opportunities for growth and resilience.

Companies keen to embark on their sustainability journey can explore the Enterprise Sustainability Programme which offers companies resources and capability building support. This includes training courses, and funding support to embark on sustainability standards adoption projects.