Singapore’s Town Councils take on Eco-Office Plus Challenge
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Singapore – Tampines Town Council (TTC) is currently spearheading initiatives to engage residents as part of its push toward being an Eco-Town. As one of the initiatives, TTC has already taken the lead to get its office certified under Eco-Office Plus, an eco-certification administered by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) that assesses green practices at the workplace.

Led by Dr Teo Ho Pin, former Coordinating Chairman of PAP Town Councils, TTC is the first town council to lead this Eco-Town initiative. As part of this initiative, TTC has already attained the Elite Tier, the highest of four categories under the Eco-Office Plus certification. It will also be leading a drive to get other town councils certified under Eco-Office Plus.

The Eco-Office Plus certification benefits town councils by providing clear guidance in increasing eco-consciousness amongst staff, the key foundation of any long-term green initiative. The certification features a tier system introduced in December 2018 that helps organisations improve over time, and to recognise their efforts and achievements. Ms. Cheng Li Hui, Chairman of Tampines Town Council said, “The Eco-Office Plus certification has helped empower us to take the lead in promoting environmental habits through the smallest of behavioural changes in our daily habits.”

Ms. Jen Teo, Executive Director, Singapore Environment Council said, “Employee mindset and everyday practices hold the key as people lie at the heart of this shift towards a more sustainable workplace and future. This reflects our overall GreenDNA philosophy at SEC that every small change we do can have a great impact on action against climate change.”

Getting the Eco-Office Plus certification and leading the push for the other town councils to getting certified is just one of the many initiatives that TTC has put into place. TTC has already been engaging its residents and grassroots with sustainability initiatives prior to their announcement as an Eco-Town during the Committee of Supply 2020.

Some of these initiatives include the composting of food waste to encourage residents to plant some food crops of their own, as well as reverse vending machines to facilitate recycling. These initiatives have seen high levels of residential engagement. TTC has also been actively going on trips to learn about sustainability initiatives at places such as Hort Park and Jurong Lake Park. TTC is also in talks with the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (formerly the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources) – in partnership with Singapore Power and Temasek – for the installation of smart electricity meters and “Eco-Boards” at HDB blocks. These new facilities enable residents to track usage of utilities such as electricity and water in the block, as well as organise block-wide competitions to conserve resources.

Dr Teo, former Coordinating Chairman of PAP Town Councils, said, “These efforts are small building blocks in transforming Singapore into a green society. We are excited to roll out these initiatives around Tampines as well as the rest of Singapore to encourage residents to work together and build a society for future generations of Singaporeans to live, work, and play in.”