Singapore’s Sustainability Imperative

When you live with 5 million other people on a relatively small island, finding ways to live more sustainably isn’t so much a luxury as a necessity.

That’s why Singapore—which has the third greatest population density of any sovereign state in the world—has become something of a pioneer in finding ways to live in a more sustainable manner.

Start with water. For years, Singapore has relied on imported water from Malaysia to provide 40 percent of its water supply.

To become more self sufficient, Singapore has invested billions of dollars in membrane filtration technologies that allow wastewater to be reclaimed, filtered, and transformed into high purity potable water called NEWater. This is in addition to heavy investments in desalination plants and rainwater-catching reservoirs that further reduce its reliance on imported water.

Another area where Singapore excels is building efficiency—an area with huge potential impact, given that an astounding 90 percent of the population lives in some form of high-rise condominium. Singapore has set an ambitious target of greening at least 80 percent of its buildings by 2030, including existing stock.

Clean technology advancements are also allowing Singapore to make great strides in transportation, particularly around the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Since roughly 85 percent of Singapore’s power supply comes from natural gas, EVs provide a cleaner solution compared with conventional oil burning vehicles.

And while EVs typically travel a shorter distance compared with conventional vehicles, that’s not really a concern on a 26-mile wide island.

Singapore-based clean tech company Greenlots is developing the best way to charge these EVs. Since 2008, the company has been committed to designing and delivering hardware and software to enable utilities, municipalities, electric vehicle manufacturers and distributors and other private businesses to install, own and operate their own EV charging network. Already, Greenlots has established charging stations in major parking lots in the city, including those at Bedok Point Shopping Centre and Kovan Residences.

By investing in clean technology innovations, Singapore is able to tackle multiple areas that impact its future. Its forward-thinking design solutions to environmental problems are sure to yield benefits both today and tomorrow.

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