: More national standards in pipeline for areas like hydrogen refuelling to help companies go green
SINGAPORE - Singapore companies will have help switching to more sustainable practices as more national and international standards are launched in the next two to three years.
More than 25 sustainability-related national standards and accreditation programmes will be introduced or revised over the next two years by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) together with the Singapore Standards Council and Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC).
Some of these aim to boost decarbonisation efforts in the energy and maritime sectors, while some aim to help all enterprises better manage their carbon emissions, energy use, water efficiency and material flows, said EnterpriseSG’s managing director and chief operating officer, Mr Jeffrey Siow, on Friday.
“Standards help stakeholders and organisations set clear goals and expectations, measure progress and drive innovation,” he said at the biennial Quality and Standards Conference, which was held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Standards set out guidelines and specifications for materials, products and testing methods, among other things, and are developed in partnership with industry players, academia and the Government. They are usually voluntary, which means companies can choose to follow them to ensure their products and services are able to be widely used both locally and abroad, although some standards may become compulsory as part of government regulations.
Accreditation programmes ensure companies that provide testing, inspection and certification services meet globally recognised standards and requirements.
There are 93 standards and 15 accreditation programmes here that support sustainability.
In one upcoming example, companies working on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be able to tap a national standard on hydrogen refuelling that will set out guidelines for transporting hydrogen, as well as the operational and safety requirements of refuelling stations. The standard is planned for 2025.
A new International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard on electrical energy storage systems will also provide requirements on the monitoring and maintenance of such systems and on integrating them with the power grid, among other things. It is expected to be adopted locally by mid-2024, said EnterpriseSG, the national standards and accreditation body, in a statement on Friday.
Other national standards and accreditation programmes in the pipeline include:
- IEC standards on smart grids, to be adopted locally by 2024;
- Standards to ensure the charging infrastructure can support different types of electric harbourcraft, expected to be developed by 2025;
- A methanol and ammonia bunkering standard planned for 2025 to help the local maritime industry transition to sustainable alternative fuels;
- A Clean and Green Urban Farms accreditation programme for aquaculture farms, set to be ready by 2023, to help the farms adopt a sustainable and quality-assured system in food production.
More than 1,000 companies are expected to benefit through the use of the upcoming initiatives, which support the Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, said EnterpriseSG’s director-general for quality and excellence, Ms Choy Sauw Kook.
Firms can tap the Enterprise Sustainability Programme to defray some of the costs of adopting sustainability-related standards. About 70 companies have done so since the scheme was launched in 2021, said Ms Choy.
She told reporters at the conference that small firms keen to implement national standards in their operations can seek out training, or work with larger clients or partners along the value chain to see how they can improve together.
EnterpriseSG is also working with trade associations and industry bodies to further promote the use of industry standards and conducts surveys after two or three years to check that the companies which can benefit are using them, she said.
Singapore is also involved in the development of standards at international forums.
For example, it is leading the development of an IEC standard on design guidelines and recommendations for floating photovoltaic power plants, which harness solar energy. This is expected to be ready by the end of 2024.
The SAC also plans to expand Singapore’s international mutual recognition arrangements. One on greenhouse gas validation and verification for the international civil aviation industry is expected to be ready by the end of 2023.
Such arrangements provide local companies with easier market access when they export their products and services to more than 100 economies, including China, India, Indonesia and the United States, said EnterpriseSG.
The efforts come as businesses face pressures from parties such as clients, customers and governments to incorporate sustainable practices, Ms Choy said in a speech at the conference.
“While it was a good-to-have, what we see now is that it is a must-have, that businesses need to put in place to be competitive going forward,” she said.
Some of the existing national standards include Technical Reference 25 on electric vehicle charging stations, Singapore Standard (SS) ISO 14064-1 on the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals, and Workshop Agreement 3 and 4 on reducing carbon emissions and waste at meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions events.
Local climate technology firm Evercomm based its NX Map platform on SS ISO 14064-1 to help users track their greenhouse gas emissions and disclose them in a correct and verifiable manner. Users can upload evidence on the platform, which makes third-party assurance audits more cost-effective and faster than traditional carbon audits.
The platform’s calculation methodology is based on the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Evercomm product manager Shivam Pandya said NX Map, which was launched earlier in 2023, is being used by about 25 companies in Singapore and the firm is in talks with potential clients overseas.
“We see traction from the industry in terms of demand for good-quality greenhouse gas emissions disclosures, not just as a regulatory requirement but from customers too,” he said.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.