After eleven weeks of blogging about green buildings and green energy in Singapore, it is finally the last blogpost where it will be a summary of the post. In less than a decade since Singapore started its green building journey, its name has been put on the global map. This mainly due to the government being the driver for green buildings in Singapore. The government has taken serious effort when it is dealing with the issue of sustainability as being a resource-poor nation, it is crucial that Singapore can balance the issue of sustainability while continue to prosper economically.
Knowing that it is not able to fight alone in the journey towards green buildings, Singapore’s government has adopted a partnership approach. It has acknowledged that the private and the people sector are crucial players in ensuring that Singapore can green its buildings and built environment. However, being the government, there is a limit to how much it can do. At the end of the day, the main role of the government is to come up with legislation for the country while serving the needs of the public. As such, there is a ceiling to what the government can do. Thus through the partnership model, the government can carry out its role while trying to strive for a sustainable Singapore.
Singapore model of partnership is not exactly organic as it does not happen naturally on its own. Rather it is facilitated by the government. The government is the driver in the entire partnership model as they are the one that approach the private sectors to collaborate with them. Additionally, having the most power, they have a significant influence on the people sector through formal education as well as various exhibitions. As such, the partnership model is a success in Singapore despite it being an inorganic one. Moreover, being a small state, it is easier to facilitate and coordinate the efforts of the different players. Furthermore, albeit having a partnership model, decision making is still centralised and is usually in the hands of the government. As a result of this, it ensures that the decisions have to go through the higher authority before being rolled out. This is beneficial in the sense that higher power is involved and are aware of what is happening. Nonetheless, there is a downside to it as centralised decision-making slows down the decision-making process which slows down the journey towards green buildings.
However, the uniqueness of the public-private-people partnership is what enabled Singapore to achieve what it has desired to do so. Private sectors are willing to jump on the bandwagon as the incentives provided by the government allow them to carry out their operations with minimal disruption. Moreover, the grants are very attractive, and they are also aware of the benefits they can reap from the partnership. For instance, through the greening of buildings, private corporations can reduce operation cost enabling them to increase their profit. Furthermore, greening the buildings also improve the productivity of the workers which allow them to perform effectively in their work. As such the benefits that private sector player gets from joining the partnership is what entice them to join. Singapore’s government incentivising scheme is one of the best in the world and highly praised for the package that the different schemes offer.
Lastly, the people sector is often viewed as an appendage to the partnership between the public and private sector. Realising that Singapore’s primary assets are its human capital, the inclusion of the people sector into the public-private partnership is what enables the government to push for greater green building activity in the little red dot. Moreover, with the establishment of the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), a non-governmental organisation prompted by BCA is also a strategic move as SGBC has been focusing on creating a movement. They are doing so by changing the mindset of the people sector through education. This is certainly the right way to go as influencing end users are important in ensuring that green buildings continue to remain green. Moreover, having a movement will also actually push the government and also the private sector to meet the needs of the members of the public. If the people sector are educated about green buildings and realised the green benefits that the green building can bring they are surely able to demand more, voicing out their opinions to the government and private sector.
All in all, Singapore has a tremendous progress since it first begins its green journey building. The partnership model has worked in Singapore and is thankful to the government for initiating the formation of the partnership. Nonetheless, Singapore partnership model may not work in another country due to the size of the country as well as the size of the various sectors. If Singapore manages to sustain and enhance the partnership it has already developed, Singapore will be able to be a leader in green buildings. There is still much to be done when dealing with green buildings in Singapore. Nevertheless, being a forward-looking country and a country that anticipates changes, Singapore is on the right track in its fight for green buildings.
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