SINGAPORE: Low awareness, cost concerns may be hindering green-building adoption, according to report.

As published on businesstimes.com.sg, Thursday 13 April, 2023.

While business leaders are supportive of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 targets, most only have a general understanding of what green buildings are.

According to a joint report by French multinational company (MNC) Schneider Electric and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) released on Thursday (Apr 13), 61 per cent of survey respondents cited cost and return on investment (ROI) as their biggest concerns when it comes to green-building adoption.

Only 38 per cent said they had a full and comprehensive understanding of green buildings, while the majority or 51 per cent said they had a general understanding of what they were.

At the same time, an overwhelming 95 per cent of respondents agreed that 80 per cent of Singapore’s buildings should be “green” by 2030. In the same vein, 98 per cent agreed that 80 per cent of the city-state’s buildings should achieve Super Low Energy standards within the same timeframe.

The report presents results from Schneider Electric’s survey of more than 500 business leaders across 340 MNCs and 160 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, along with findings from a qualitative study conducted by SGBC on the state and perceptions of green buildings in the city-state.

Schneider Electric and SGBC said their survey findings indicate that low awareness could be holding back the adoption of green buildings in Singapore. But both parties expect green-building adoption to gain momentum in the coming years.

This comes as 52 per cent of respondents said their organisations had plans to increase their investments in using such buildings within the next two years.

The report also said that businesses with more than 50 per cent of their operations already using green buildings are the “most likely group” to have plans to increase their use of such buildings over the same timeframe.

“Broadly, SGBC members found these findings encouraging and are optimistic that the ambitious ‘80-80-80 in 2030’ target has and will continue to set an important vision and direction for stakeholders to invest in utilising green buildings,” the report read.

Recommendations to drive greater green-building adoption among business leaders include enabling greater access to green finance, as well as forging more public-private partnerships and supply chain collaborations to accelerate the pace of green-building development and adopting green solutions.

Schneider Electric and SGBC also highlighted a need to promote greater awareness of benefits from various government support schemes, such as the S$63 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings 2.0, which helps to lower the upfront costs of retrofits.

Other schemes to support energy-efficiency efforts include the National Environmental Agency’s Energy Efficiency Fund, which offers grants to finance the implementation of pre-approved energy-efficient technologies.

“Information campaigns to highlight success stories and case studies that clearly illustrate the benefits of the various technological solutions (for energy efficiency) could also help generate greater buy-in,” said Schneider Electric and SGBC.

“Solution providers could provide more experiential learning opportunities in partnership with SGBC to allow building owners, developers and consultants to develop a deeper understanding of solutions and to observe first-hand how they work.”

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