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Public sector to lead sustainability efforts: Balakrishnan

The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) will step up efforts to work with companies to improve the way they manage their resources and adopt practices of the highest standard as it seeks to build a “greener economy”.

Starting next year, large users of water in the main industrial areas, such as Jurong Island, will be required to submit water efficiency management plans, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

They will also work with the MEWR to carry out water-efficient practices, such as using seawater for cooling purposes.

Large users of energy here already need to submit their energy-consumption data and develop energy efficiency improvement plans under the Energy Conservation Act.

Dr Balakrishnan added that the public sector would take the lead in ensuring environmental sustainability.

The MEWR is also reviewing the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint to map out its goals with the people and private sectors, which is slated to be completed by the end of the year.

Dr Balakrishnan said the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability framework, which requires public agencies to implement environmental-sustainability measures covering energy efficiency, water efficiency and recycling, would also be enhanced.

The ministry will work further with industry partners to improve air quality, as well as tighten vehicle-emissions and fuel-quality standards.

As concerns over climate change and a growing economy mount, the MEWR plans to build infrastructure that supports Singapore’s needs ahead of demand, such as the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (in its second phase) and Integrated Waste Management Facility in Tuas. It will develop more drainage and water infrastructure to better cope with unexpected weather events, such as flash floods.

To provide Singaporeans with a clean and liveable environment, the ministry is looking at strengthening recycling infrastructure within housing developments.

More greenery will also be added to waterways and water bodies through the expansion of PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme.

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