Enabling the green economy

Singapore Business Federation set up the Alliance for Action on Sustainable Spaces to help the furniture industry seize opportunities in the green economy

Sustainability may be viewed as a burden to some, but thanks to the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the furniture industry in Singapore is turning this into a growth opportunity.

Together with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), SBF set up an alliance that focuses on the supply and adoption of low-emitting materials and furnishings in indoor spaces, where many people spend up to 90% of their time.

Called the Alliance for Action on Sustainable Spaces (AfA), the aim is to help the industry seize opportunities in the green economy.

A key area of focus for the AfA currently is the setting and implementation of a benchmark to reduce the use of formaldehyde in furniture-making and building products.

Says Mr Tang Kok Thye, SGBC’s president, “SGBC strives to promote Singapore as a sustainable hub by promoting green building products and practices via public outreach and industry promotion efforts. It is also a dedicated certification body for green building solutions and products.

“Through the AfA, SBF was able to bring together more like-minded industry stakeholders, such as SFIC, government agencies and companies from different sectors, to collectively promote and advance some of SGBC’s existing agenda/key work streams, particularly pertaining to reducing formaldehyde emissions indoors and ensuring building occupants’ health and well-being.

“This is a key opportunity area in Singapore’s journey towards a green economy, and more can be done to raise awareness on the significance of indoor air quality on occupant health and well-being.”

SBF, he notes, played a key role by leveraging SGBC’s expertise and experience in green building product certification through the Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) certification scheme to finetune the AfA’s messaging and core narrative, helping to guide industry stakeholders towards healthier built environment outcomes.

Both the SGBC and the SBF also worked closely to outline the key deliverables of the AfA, collaborating to establish the Low Formaldehyde Commitment Statement which eventually saw 75 pledge organisations committing to practices that will reduce the use of formaldehyde in their products.

“By paying attention to the materials and designs of our spaces, we will be able to build healthier, more equitable and environmentally friendly spaces for occupants,” adds Mr Tang.

Click here for more articles on SBF’s 20th Anniversary.

Source: [The Business Times] © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.