Zero is the new hero: How businesses can make a low-carbon play
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: Zero is the new hero: How businesses can make a low-carbon play

With so much focus on sustainability, it can be a challenge to weave through the maze. Our Sustainability Gameplan Series breaks it down simply so you can make the right moves.

Last year, SaladStop! set up its first net-zero outlet in Singapore, marking a milestone on its sustainability journey. The homegrown F&B company also committed to achieving net zero for all stores by 2030 by optimising efficiency and adopting sustainable design.

It’s one of many local businesses getting in on the decarbonisation game even as Singapore targets to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

What is decarbonisation, and why does it matter?

Simply put, decarbonisation refers to reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide, has led to global warming.

In turn, global warming has led to climate changes such as rising temperatures and extreme weather, which not only impacts people but also companies.

Join the conversation on decarbonisation:

Net zero – When an organisation balances the greenhouse gas emissions it produces and the emissions it eliminates across its operations and supply chain, without using offsets.

Carbon neutral – When an organisation reduces or compensates for carbon emissions using carbon offsets or credits.

In fact, companies could face a significant shift in the way they do business. Climate changes such as frequent flooding can affect operations and supply lines, posing operational risks.

At the same time, regulations and policies, from carbon tax to trade tariffs, are changing to support environmental sustainability. Investors and consumers are also taking greater note of companies’ sustainability efforts.

Make the move to a low-carbon future to help your business stay in the game.Zero is the new hero.

Here are three tips to know:

#1 Gain an edge by going low carbon

Reducing carbon emissions doesn’t just have to be a defensive move. It can benefit bottom lines – and even top lines.

When your business uses fewer resources such as energy, water and materials, it not only protects the environment by emitting less carbon, but also improves efficiency, productivity and results in cost savings from operations.

Take Vac-Tech Engineering, which lowered water usage by 7.9% by retrofitting restroom taps with smart sensors and adjusting the water pressure to reduce water flow.

More importantly, going low carbon can help you position your business to capture opportunities in the green economy.

For instance, larger companies are setting more ambitious emissions targets and requiring their supply chains to join them. Having lower emissions could therefore raise your chances of being their preferred supplier.

#2 See decarbonisation as a long-term play

That’s how your business can make real impact.

Change seldom takes place overnight; implementing solutions to lower emissions and moving towards low-carbon operations will take time. Decarbonisation can also involve multiple stakeholders, from internal ones such as employees, to external ones like regulators, customers and suppliers.

That’s why companies, like homegrown furniture maker Koda, are charting out sustainability roadmaps for the long term.

These roadmaps not only help you keep track of your company’s progress, but also plan when and how to engage stakeholders to get them on board.

#3 Get a boost with these resources

Making the move to decarbonise your business is an investment. That said, there are initiatives you can tap to defray costs as well as accelerate the journey.

To build awareness and knowledge, check out resources such as the Decarbonisation for Singapore Enterprises Playbook and courses under our Enterprise Sustainability Programme.

In addition, the courses, as well as capability and product development projects, are supported by the Enterprise Sustainability Programme via the Enterprise Development Grant.

There is also the Energy Efficiency Grant, which provides businesses in food services, food manufacturing and retail with up to 70% support to adopt energy-efficient equipment.

Make your move

Learn how your business can implement these tips and more with the Decarbonisation for Singapore Enterprises Playbook, which offers a step-by-step guide to getting started.