Businesses power up for long-lasting environmental impact
WWF’s Earth Hour and corporates challenge Singapore to four key actions
This Earth Hour, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore partners corporates, encouraging Singapore to make four lifestyle changes – reduce use of plastic bags, turn up their air-conditioning by one degree, switch to energy-efficient LED lights, and take short showers – in support of the environment.
Corporate partners IKEA, Philips Lighting and Marina Bay Sands have issued challenges to the Singapore public through the Earth Hour “I Will If You Will” platform for three key actions.
Reducing usage of plastic bags
Home furnishing retailer IKEA has pledged to have a free reusable Blue Bag Day if 20,000 people in Singapore pledge to use reusable bags instead of plastic bags. This is in line with the company’s recent move to remove the usage of plastic bags in both its Tampines and Alexandra stores this year.
“IKEA Singapore will do away with disposable plastic bags in both our stores from March 23. This initiative is the next natural step for us to further reduce the use and consumption of disposable plastic bags in Singapore and at the same time support change in people’s everyday behavior for a positive sustainable impact on the environment. We hope that our customers will join us in this commitment and take on the IWIYW challenge to use reusable shopping bags,” said Marcus Tay, Sustainability Manager, Singapore, Ikano Pte Ltd.
Switching to LED lights
Philips Lighting will provide LED and other sustainable lighting solutions to 1,000 lower-income families if 100,000 Singaporean families convert to LED lighting solutions.
“Philips Lighting is once again proud to be an official partner for Earth Hour 2013. Sustainability is an important focus area for Philips and we remain strong advocates to encourage consumers, business and property owners and governments to make the simple switch to LED lighting solutions that are environmentally safe,” said Mieke De Schepper, General Manager of Philips Lighting in Singapore and Brunei. “In 2012, we committed to light over three children’s homes as part of our I Will If You Will corporate challenge. For 2013, Philips will provide LED and other sustainable lighting solutions to 1,000 lower-income families if 100,000 Singaporean families convert to LED lighting solutions. This is an ambitious goal that can only be made possible with the public’s support and we are determined to bring the gift of light to these families.”
Turning up air-conditioning by one degree
Integrated resort Marina Bay Sands will be engaging its staff and partners in several challenges. Amongst them is a challenge posed to its top 20 vendors to raise their air-conditioning temperatures by one degree. If this is met, Marina Bay Sands will fulfill the promise to raise its air-conditioning by one degree in its back-of-house and various public areas for one day every month of the year, beginning from Earth Hour 2013.
Kevin Teng, Director of Sustainability at Marina Bay Sands, said: “Sustainability plays a very important role in Marina Bay Sands’ overall design and daily operations and our Earth Hour challenges this year signal our commitment to go beyond the hour. In line with our Sands ECO360° initiatives, we’re committed to go further in our challenges by involving our team members, immediate community and our suppliers to join us in our green movement. Through our collective action, we hope to spread the messages of conservation and sustainability, beyond the hour.”
The public can take up these challenges from today via the Earth Hour microsite at http://earthhour.wwf.sg/. In addition, corporates are encouraged to issue their own challenges using these four key actions.
“Singapore has one of the highest carbon emissions per capita in the Asia Pacific region, according to our 2012 Living Planet report. With the city-state’s population projected to grow up to 6.9 million, there is an urgent need to reduce Singapore’s footprint on our planet. The country’s excellent urban infrastructure and open attitude towards clean technology positions Singapore well to become a shining example of a sustainable city in Asia. The four ‘I Will If You Will’ actions are a start, as we work towards cutting our carbon emissions,” said Elaine Tan, CEO, WWF-Singapore.
WWF also invites the Singapore public to re-imagine sustainability on Saturday, 23 March 2013, by busting their moves on energy absorbing pads to convert the kinetic energy produced to electricity. The public can now register on the Earth Hour microsite at http://earthhour.wwf.sg/.
In 2012, the Earth Hour campaign in Singapore received the highest level of support since its inception in 2009. WWF-Singapore saw more than 6,000 participants gathered at Ngee Ann City for the official Lights Out ceremony with over 400 organisations pledging their support, from switching off their lights to proactively engaging staff, customers and other stakeholders in various initiatives to protect the environment. Over 1,500 Earth Hour ambassadors also formed a spectacular and unprecedented Earth Hour “60+ Singapore” human formation on Orchard Road, Singapore’s iconic shopping street.
Earth Hour 2013 is made possible with the support of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as the Official Venue Partner for the Lights Out event to be held at Marina Bay Singapore, National Environment Agency (NEA), National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), official radio stations Hot FM91.3, Kiss 92FM and UFM 100.3, major sponsor IKEA, sponsors Marina Bay Sands, NTUC Fairprice and Singapore Post, as well as partners – Philips Lighting, Kevin Ou Photography, Leo Burnett, Mindshare, Olive Ventures, The Singapore Scout Association and Weber Shandwick.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 23, 2013 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2013, Earth Hour’s I Will If You Will concept invites individuals and organisations to challenge others to an ongoing environmental commitment beyond the hour. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2012 took place in more than 7000 cities and towns in 152 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the world’s largest campaign for the planet’.
WWF – the World Wide Fund for Nature, is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
Environmental impact of key actions
• The air-conditioner is a major contributor to the amount of electricity consumed in the typical household. Using the air-conditioner in energy efficient ways can reduce its impact on the environment and your electricity bill.
- The air-conditioner takes up 30 percent of the typical household electricity bill.
- Air-conditioning should be set at 25 degrees Celsius, and not below 24 degrees Celsius.
- When set to this optimal temperature, the air-conditioner will not need to use up so much energy to cool the environment around you. This in turn results in less fossil fuels burnt to power the airconditioner and less heat released into the atmosphere, hence reducing the impact on the environment.
- Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature helps you save a minimum of S$25 annually. We can save a minimum of $150 million annually in the total electricity bill for Singapore if all Singaporeans take this up.
• Please refer to the NEA website at www.nea.gov.sg
• LED lights offer greater energy savings than traditional incandescent lights. Most of the energy LED lights use goes into making light instead of heat. Most incandescent lights, for example, produce anywhere from 5-20 lumens (a measure of brightness) per watt, whereas compact fluorescent bulbs put out about 40-70 lumens. By comparison, LEDS range from 20 lumens up to 100 lumens.
• Please refer to www.ledlightingexplained.com/led-lighting-myths
• 3 billion plastic bags were used in Singapore in 2011, needing 37 million kilogrammes of crude oil and 12 million kilogrammes of natural gas to make.
• Each kg of plastic bags requires 1.2 kilogrammes of crude oil, according to a study done by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
• Globally, each year, more than one trillion plastic bags are used around the world, less than two percent of which are recycled. The rest end up in landfills – where they can take up to 1,000 years to break down – or as litter.
• Please refer to www.zerowastesg.com/2012/04/27/plastic-bag-production-an-environmental-worry-news
Nearly 50 percent of the water used in the homes in Singapore goes to showers and kitchen sink washing. Showers generally take up 29 percent of an average family’s monthly water consumption.
People can save nine litres of water per minute in the shower by taking shorter showers.
Please refer to www.pub.gov.sg/conserve/households/wacprogramme/pages/default.aspx
Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm, 23 March 2013, Saturday