A new survey by Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has revealed that only half (52 per cent) of Singaporeans are confident that organisations in Singapore will achieve their publicly-disclosed emissions targets in the coming decades.
Less than two-thirds (63 per cent) of Singaporeans are also confident Singapore can achieve its net zero ambitions by mid-century.
This comes as 69 per cent of Singaporeans rank climate change and reducing greenhouse emissions among their top three most concerning environmental sustainability issues – followed by air quality and pollution at 58 per cent.
The findings are part of Schneider Electric’s “Singapore Green Pulse” survey, which tracks sentiments, attitudes, and perceptions around sustainability issues in Singapore that are part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Over 500 Singaporeans took part in this latest edition of the study conducted in June 2022, which focuses on sustainable living .
Younger generations are more optimistic and most Singaporeans see a need for more investments in new technologies
The survey finds that younger citizens are generally more optimistic than older generations that organisations can achieve their climate goals, with 58 per cent of Gen Zers saying that they are confident, compared to 46 per cent of Baby Boomers .
Singaporeans also see the need for more technological investments to drive greater progress in achieving sustainability goals. Less than half (49 per cent) think there is sufficient investment in new technologies in the public and private sectors to improve energy efficiency and management.
A rising number of Singaporeans prefer to live and work in green buildings
Over three-quarters (77 per cent) of Singaporeans now prefer to live in green buildings. This is a substantial increase from 2021 when only 47 per cent of Singaporeans preferred to do so . However, only 46 per cent of Singaporeans are prepared to pay more to live in a green building.
At work, 81 per cent prefer to work in a green building.
When looking at their employer’s overall sustainability, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Singaporeans believe the sustainability performance of the organisation they work for is average at best.
Singaporeans are increasingly environmentally conscious and are shifting their behaviours
An overwhelming 90 per cent of Singaporeans now consider themselves to be environmentally conscious. However, significant differences also exist between age groups with 45 per cent of Gen Zers saying they are extremely conscious, compared to just 18 per cent of Baby Boomers.
With growing environmental consciousness, most Singaporeans are making conscious efforts to reduce their household electricity use (89 per cent). This includes reducing the use of air conditioning and fans when not needed (81 per cent), and choosing more energy-efficient home appliances (52 per cent).
While only 42 per cent of Singaporeans can currently monitor their household’s energy consumption daily, 93 per cent would be keen to install a simple and affordable solution to monitor their household’s energy consumption daily if it was available.
Over three quarters (78 per cent) are also supportive of increasing renewable energy sources in Singapore’s energy mix, even if it means higher electricity bills, and for 80 per cent of Singaporeans, the use of renewable energy sources is now a consideration in how they choose their electricity provider and plan.
Outside of the home, most Singaporeans have also increased their use of public transport for sustainability reasons (85 per cent), with 72 per cent using public transport at least three times per week.
Cost is a barrier to living more sustainably
The survey indicates that despite the growing consciousness, the cost is still a key consideration in driving Singaporeans to change their actions as consumers. Less than a third (30 per cent) of Singaporeans are willing to pay more for products and services that are environmentally sustainable. While over half (59 per cent) of consumers want to be customers of environmentally responsible organisations, only a third (35 per cent) would currently stop being customers of a company should it be found harming the environment.
Cost is also one of the main barriers among those who do not plan to own an electric vehicle (EV). However, the survey showed a positive shift in attitude towards EVs, with 51 per cent expressing the desire to own one in the future – up from 45 per cent last year . Other barriers to owning an EVs are concerns over charging infrastructure and locations, and a lack of familiarity with EVs.
Yoon Young KIM, Cluster President, Schneider Electric Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, said “The findings show sustainability is high on the agenda for Singaporeans, with many making the effort to reduce their carbon footprint, and more preferring to live or work in green buildings. These are positive developments that we hope will also motivate organisations to reduce emissions more aggressively, through greater adoption of innovative technologies for sustainability and efficiency. Schneider Electric is committed to forging strong partnerships with organisations across the public and private sectors, as we work together to build a greener Singapore.”
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- ^  The first Singapore Green Pulse Survey involving business leaders with sustainability responsibilities was conducted in March 2022.
- ^  For the purposes of this survey, we have adopted the definitions set by Pew Research Centre: Gen Zers are individuals born between the years of 1997 and 2012; Baby Boomers are individuals born between the years of 1946 and 1964.
- ^  Schneider Electric, “Building a Greener Singapore”, 2021.
- ^  Ibid.