Environmental Services Industry as a Force Multiplier for Mission Success

Singapore’s commitment to environmental sustainability and economic growth is reflected in the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map developed by NEA to drive change in the industry. We work closely with our stakeholders to form strategic partnerships, and recognise their sustainability efforts through awards and accolades.

Transforming the Industry with Robotics

NEA encourages the greater use of technology and automation to transform the Environmental Services industry and create higher-value jobs. Together with our partners, we are developing robotic solutions for the cleaning of public spaces, waste management, as well as inspection, monitoring and sampling functions.

Following the successful completion of public road trials in 2021, the Autonomous Environmental Service Vehicle (AESV) for road cleaning is into its second phase, where fleet management and cleanliness monitoring functions are being developed. In particular, the tele-operation of the AESV – which empowers users to control the vehicle remotely – has captured significant attention, especially in other industries where the nature of the work is dangerous and repetitive, such as heavy lifting activities or crane operations.

NEA has since expanded our Environmental Robotics R&D Programme beyond road cleaning. These include other applications such as pavement sweeping, closed drain and false ceiling inspection, and anomalies detection in niches.

Encouraging Food Resource Valorisation

NEA launched the inaugural Food Resource Valorisation Awards (FVA) to recognise the efforts of companies engaging in food resource valorisation, and raise awareness of the food resource valorisation concept. While conventional food waste treatment processes food waste into products such as compost or non-potable water, food resource valorisation converts food waste, such as homogenous by-products, rejects and mixed food waste, into higher value products that contribute to a sustainable economy.

At the FVA 2021 event held on 29 September 2021, 11 winners across two award categories were recognised for their outstanding efforts in driving sustainability and closing the food resource loop through valorisation solutions. The Merit Award category is for projects operating on a commercial scale for a minimum of two years, while the Participation Award category recognises projects in the pilot or R&D phase.

Leading Global Sustainable Development Discussions

NEA regularly engages leading international experts and various industry stakeholders on climate change resilience, sustainable urban development, and environmental issues.

In partnership with Temasek’s Ecosperity Week 2021, we organised the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) Catalyst 2021 event on 29 September 2021. Themed ‘Enhancing Sustainable Development in a Pandemic World’, the hybrid event convened more than 200 policymakers and leaders from the business, government and international institutions to discuss and share insights on a strategic blueprint for climate-resilient cities, and how cities can build resilience against public health threats.

These conversations continued at CESG 2022 in April 2022, to explore sustainable solutions for environmental issues for a better tomorrow.

Deepening Sustainability Collaborations

On 20 October 2021, NEA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US-ASEAN Business Council to strengthen cooperation on sustainability. The areas of collaboration include waste resource management and recycling, addressing marine litter through the management of land-based sources of pollution, exchanges on carbon credits, and building a circular economy with sustainable supply chains. As part of the ongoing collaborations, we supported the US-ASEAN Business Council Webinar as one of the panellists on Challenges and Opportunities for the Circular Economy in ASEAN on 16 December 2021. In turn, the US-ASEAN Business Council supported CESG 2022 as a Strategic Partner, from 17 to 21 April 2022.

Standardising Renewable Energy Certificates

With growing climate awareness, Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) have become a common means for energy users, including businesses, to fulfil their decarbonisation commitments. Through the purchase of RECs, users can indirectly source electricity from renewable sources.

To facilitate consistency for the transaction and management of RECs, the Singapore Standards Council and ESG, together with NEA, the Energy Market Authority, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore and industry players, developed the Singapore Standard (SS) 673: Code of Practice for Renewable Energy Certificates.

The SS 673 provides a clear framework to improve the integrity of measurement, reporting and verification requirements for the issuance and management of RECs. It covers guidelines across the life cycle of RECs – from production, tracking and management, to the usage of the certificates for renewable energy claims in Singapore. The SS 673 is applicable to renewable energy installation owners, REC registries, REC intermediaries, traders, brokers, third-party verifiers, issuers, and end-users.

Stakeholder Engagement Highlights

Engaging the Industry on New Radiological Security Guidelines
In 2021, NEA developed new guidelines to strengthen the security of radioactive materials in three areas – the improvement of security measures at radioactive material storage sites, the enhancement of security of mobile devices containing radioactive material, and in inventory control and stock keeping.

To understand industry readiness in implementing these measures, NEA conducted industry consultations in April and May 2022, and will work with the industry to implement the security enhancements based on the new guidelines.

Engaging the Funeral Industry
To maintain high public health standards when funeral services providers handle the COVID-19 deceased in the community, NEA nudged the funeral industry to be vaccinated, tested regularly, and trained in the Basic Infectious Control Course. Safe management measures were also introduced at government-managed after-death facilities, funeral parlours and funeral wakes.

In 2021, NEA organised a series of briefing and training sessions to prepare funeral services providers for the implementation of the digital death certificate. To increase the funeral industry's operational readiness, accord dignity to the deceased, and ease the transition for bereaved family members, we developed online materials and made more information readily available on the NEA website. NEA will continue to work closely with our stakeholders and engage religious organisations, to improve the quality of after-death facilities and services in Singapore.