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Environmental Sustainability in the

Singapore Business Events Industry

Commissioned by Prepared by

November 2015
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Contents

Contents .....................................................................................................................................1

Executive Summary....................................................................................................................3

Acronyms and Abbreviations .....................................................................................................4

1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................5

2. Background ........................................................................................................................7
2.1 Singapore and regional initiatives ...............................................................................8
2.2 Exemplary green events ............................................................................................10
2.3 Singapores advantage as a green destination .........................................................13
2.4 Singapores national sustainability commitments ....................................................18

3. Study Methodology..........................................................................................................21

4. Challenges in Realizing Sustainable Business Events .......................................................23


4.1 Venues .......................................................................................................................23
4.2 Hotels ........................................................................................................................24
4.3 Event organisers ........................................................................................................24
4.4 Suppliers ....................................................................................................................26

5. Opportunities in Promoting Sustainability in the Business Events Industry ...................27


5.1 Venues .......................................................................................................................27
5.2 Hotels ........................................................................................................................28
5.3 Event organisers ........................................................................................................29
5.4 Suppliers ....................................................................................................................30

6. Best Practices in the Business Events Industry ................................................................33


6.1 Offering green event options (venues) .....................................................................33
6.2 Nature preservation during construction (venues and hotels) ................................33
6.3 Water conservation in building premises (venues and hotels) ................................34
6.4 Clean energy generation at the building (venues and hotels) ..................................35
6.5 Reuse of waste heat (venues and hotels) .................................................................36
6.6 Good waste minimisation practices (venues and hotels) .........................................36
6.7 Upcycling event materials (event organisers) ...........................................................37

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

6.8 Green event management initiatives (event organisers) .........................................38


6.9 Sustainable food sourcing (food caterers) ................................................................38
6.10 Responsible procurement (any stakeholder) ............................................................39

7. Recommendations for Greening Business Events ...........................................................40


7.1 Track and monitor the environment impact of business event activities ................40
7.2 Pursue green certification and comply with environmental standards ...................42
7.3 Get support from senior management to promote sustainable practices ...............42
7.4 Promote greater recognition and awareness for sustainability achievements ........43
7.5 Train the workforce to internalise sustainability ......................................................43
7.6 Increase government support for sustainability .......................................................44

8. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................45

References ...............................................................................................................................47

Appendix 1. List of Green Mark-certified hotels and venues ..................................................52

Appendix 2. List of establishments interviewed for this study ...............................................55

Appendix 3. Venues considered for estimating carbon emissions from transport .................57

Index.........................................................................................................................................59

Acknowledgements..................................................................................................................61

Credits ......................................................................................................................................62

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Executive Summary

Singapore is a well-established destination for business events, such as Meetings, Incentive Travel,
Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). This MICE industry contributes about 1.1% of the countrys GDP.
In this report, we explore the environmental sustainability of this industry in Singapore and identify
areas of excellence, challenges and opportunities for industry stakeholders.

Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking actions that are in the interests of
protecting the natural world and preserving the capability of the environment to support human life.

Singapore currently has two major environmental advantages over other destinations in the region: a
clean electrical grid and low transport emissions. Furthermore, interest in environmental sustainability
is gaining ground in Singapore, with support from the government as well as industry stakeholders.

Current challenges to pursuing environmental sustainability in this industry include perceived


additional costs, low market demand for sustainable products and services, and lack of technology and
expertise. Nonetheless, there is growing market interest in sustainability.

Stakeholders involved in business events can secure an early competitive edge and serve the needs of
their clients by building a green reputation around their companies. We recommend tracking energy
consumption and waste production and pursuing eco-certifications like ISO 20121 for sustainable
events management or BCA Green Mark for green buildings.

With commitment and conviction, it is possible for any stakeholder to take steps towards reducing
resource use, mitigating the environmental impact of business events and achieving greater
environmental sustainability.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Acronyms and Abbreviations

APEX Accepted Practices Exchange


ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
BCA Building and Construction Authority
BEX Asia Build Eco Xpo Asia
COP Conference of Parties
EMA Energy Market Authority
EOSS Event Organisers Sector Supplement
F&B Food and Beverage
FSC Forest Stewardship Council
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GRI Global Reporting Initiative
ICCA International Congress and Convention Association
ISO International Organization for Standardization
JNTO Japan National Tourist Organization
MEWR Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
MICE Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions
MND Ministry of National Development
MSC Marine Stewardship Council
NCCS National Climate Change Secretariat
NEA National Environment Agency
SACEOS Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers
SHA Singapore Hotel Association
SIM University Singapore Institute of Management University
STB Singapore Tourism Board
TCEB Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNWTO World Tourism Organization

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1. Introduction

Singapore has become a premier destination for business events or Meetings, Incentive Travel,
Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). Ranked as Asias Top Convention City for the 13th consecutive year
in 2014 by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA, 2015); (STB, 2014a)),
Singapore is also recognised as the worlds top business events destination among the International
Meeting Countries, having won accolades over the years from the Union of International Associations
(STB, 2014a).

Worldwide, this industry is one of the fastest growing sectors within global tourism due to its potential
to increase economic engagement (UNWTO, 2012). It is also a high growth-potential sector in
Singapore. In 2012, the business events or MICE industry garnered a total revenue of over S$3.7 billion
in value added, which was 1.1% of Singapores gross domestic product that year (STB, 2014b).

However, the environmental impact from the tourism sector, including business tourism, is not trivial
and needs to be addressed. At the Davos International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism in
2007, a commissioned report estimated that global tourism contributed to 5% of global carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions (UNWTO and UNEP, 2008).

To mitigate the environmental impacts of tourism, the concept of sustainable tourism has been
introduced (Gssling, 2002). Sustainable tourism is "tourism that takes full account of its current and
future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of delegates, the industry,
the environment and host communities". A related concept is green meetings or events which
incorporate environmental considerations to minimise its negative impact on the environment
(Convention Industry Council, 2010). Sustainable tourism development requires the involvement of all
relevant stakeholders, including tourists, and a strong political infrastructure (UNEP and UNWTO,
2005).

In Singapore, stakeholders in the business events industry have varying degrees of commitment and
readiness to support green events. Nonetheless, there is growing interest in environmental
sustainability from event organisers and delegates. As such, government and industry stakeholders
need to have an unwavering commitment to drive sustainability and retain Singapores attractiveness

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

as a destination for business events. The local industry needs to continually assess industry-wide
sustainability capabilities and plan future roadmaps for more sustainable business events in Singapore.

The objective of this report is to review local business events sustainability practices, examine key
challenges that the industry faces in adopting sustainable operations and uncover opportunities that
lie ahead.

The organisation of this report is as follows: in the next section, we define the business events industry
and describe its economic significance in the Singapore context. We highlight some of the initiatives
that Singapore and regional destinations have implemented to improve sustainability as well as
Singapores infrastructural advantages. We then show how greening business events is in line with
Singapores broader national sustainability agenda. Section 3 details the study methodology. Section 4
reports challenges perceived by local industry stakeholders, while section 5 discusses opportunity areas.
In section 6, we examine best practices in the local business events industry. Finally, in section 7, we
formulate recommendations for the Singapore industry to reduce its environmental impact, thereby
maintaining Singapores leadership position in hosting business events.

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2. Background

In 2014, Singapore attracted 15.1 million visitors and registered S$23.6 billion of tourism receipts (STB,
2015). As informed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), business events delegates made up about
20% of total international visitor arrivals in 2014 and generated an estimated revenue of S$5.2 billion
in business tourism receipts1 (STB, 2014b). This underlines the importance of the business events to
Singapores economy.

In its Sustainability Guidelines for the Singapore MICE Industry (STB, 2013), the Singapore Tourism Board
defines the MICE or business events industry as comprising of the following sectors:
Destination management companies
Association management companies
Venue or hotel management
Professional conference or exhibition organisers
Suppliers
o Booth contractors: Suppliers for booth design and construction
o Sub-contractors: Suppliers for event material requirements (e.g. pamphlets)
o Audio-visual (AV) contractors: Contractors that provide audio visual technical support
for business events
o Waste contractors: Suppliers for cleaning, waste disposal and/or recycling services for
business events
o Freight: Logistics service providers for trade fairs and exhibitions
o Food & Beverage (F&B): Independent caterers as well as in-house caterers at venues
o Passenger transport service providers: Shuttle bus and taxi operators, and car rental
companies

1
Excludes sightseeing, entertainment and gaming.
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Figure 1 below depicts key stakeholders in the business events ecosystem as well as its process flow.

Figure 1: The business events industry ecosystem

2.1 Singapore and regional initiatives


Singapore and its neighbouring countries have taken several measures to promote sustainable tourism
and green events.

Singapores government takes a wide-sweep approach, with several government agencies working
together to improve environmental sustainability. The MICE 2020 Roadmap (STB, 2014c) published by
STB emphasises the importance of environmental sustainability in the business events industry and
schedules funds for research and development in this area. STB also offers grants to companies that
play key supporting roles in local business events through its Tourism Capability Development Scheme
(STB, 2014d) and sharing know-how such as publishing the Sustainability Guidelines for the Singapore
MICE Industry2 (STB, 2013). The Singapore Building & Construction Authority (BCA) encourages green

2
Download the guidelines at http://www.yoursingapore.com/content/mice/en/why-singapore/be-
sustainable.html
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building practices for convention and exposition halls, event venues and hotels, and commits to make
80% of all buildings in Singapore Green Mark certified by 2030 (MEWR and MND, 2014). A 3R (Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle) Programme for Hotels, launched by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and
Singapore Hotel Association, promotes waste minimisation and recycling practices in the hotel industry
(NEA and SHA, 2011).

Some industry stakeholders have also been motivated to pursue sustainability initiatives. For example,
a number of hotels and venues around the world are committed to EarthCheck, Green Globe and
GreenBizCheck sustainability certification programmes. Singapore's Marina Bay Sands integrated resort
became the first venue in Southeast Asia to be ISO 20121 certified in 2014. The integrated resort also
hosted the Responsible Business Forum in 2013, the first event to adopt STBs Sustainability Guidelines
for the Singapore MICE Industry which was launched that year (Careem, 2014).

Event organisers and suppliers are also providing more services to cater to green events in Singapore,
as witnessed in green meetings such as the aforementioned Responsible Business Forum in 2013, and
the Singapore Green Building Week in 2015 (see next section for event details).

The issue of environmental sustainability in the business events industry is gaining momentum in other
countries in Asia as well, such as Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Table 1 shows
a selection of initiatives that have been taken by these countries.

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Country / Territory Green Initiatives

Encourages energy conservation, waste and CO2 emission reduction and use of
eco-friendly products during events (JNTO, 2013).
Japan
Subsidises conferences that meet at least two-thirds of green business events
criteria (JNTO, 2013).

Targeted 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the business events


sector between 2010-2012 (Royal Thai Embassy, 2010).
Thailand Subsidises 70% of consultancy fees for venues that adopt green certification
(TTGMICE, 2011).
Passenger carbon offset and green transportation projects (TCEB, 2014).

Organises conferences to promote and implement sustainable business events


Malaysia
activities (Hamid, Ismail, Fuza, & Ahmad, 2013).

Provides guidelines for green meetings including criteria for site selection, printed
and promotional materials, and food and beverages (Lau, 2009).
Hong Kong
Certifies hotels that have green initiatives, e.g., Novotel-Hong Kong (EarthCheck,
Ecolabel and Ecocert) (TTGMICE, 2012).

Promotes use of hybrid vehicles and renewable energy to make Jeju Island a
Korea
green business events destination (Hudoyo, 2010).

Table 1: Examples of regional initiatives in promoting sustainable business events.

2.2 Exemplary green events


There are many environmental sustainability practices in the running of business events. In this section,
we provide some examples, briefly summarising these practices and their demonstrated benefits.

Singapore Green Building Week, Singapore, 2015


The Singapore Green Building Week played host to various talks, dialogues as well as workshops on
green living and infrastructure through the International Green Building Conference and Build Expo Asia
Exhibition. The events, organised jointly by Building & Construction Authority (BCA) and Reed
Exhibitions, was held at Marina Bay Sands, a Green Mark Platinum-certified venue. The hall lights were
limited to 50% power during the event setup and 75% power during the event itself. To reduce the
energy demand for the amount of cooling required, air conditioning temperature for the exhibition

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halls were set at 25 degrees Celsius and delegates and trade visitors were advised to follow a no coat,
no tie dress code. Event lanyards were collected at exit points to be reused in future events. Finally,
unfinished breads were donated to charity wherever applicable (International Green Building
Conference, 2015).

Responsible Business Forum, Singapore, 2013


Acting as the events designated environmental auditor, the MCI Group tracked delegates carbon
emissions generated by transportation (including air travel) and energy consumption through Marina
Bay Sands energy usage monitoring system, as well as the events overall environmental sustainability
using a MeetGreen3 calculator. Subsequently, the cumulative carbon emissions of the entire event
were offset with an investment of S$16,000 in a geothermal power project in Indonesia. To reduce
waste, conference bags and booklets were not provided, while signs, lanyards and badge holders were
made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved materials, recycled PET bottles or banana fibre.
The organisers used Marina Bay Sands sustainable event planning tool, the Sands ECO360 Meetings
Planning Tool4, to select environmentally friendly meeting options, such as providing water dispensers
and reusable glasses instead of bottled water and serving condiments in bulk rather than in individual
sachets. In addition, the event diverted 90% of its total waste generated by recycling 50% of it. MCI
Groups event planning approach was also guided by the ISO 20121 sustainable events management
standard, which involved steps such as sustainability strategy planning, supplier engagement,
sustainable procurement, on-site audit and review of sustainability initiatives performance (MCI, 2013).

3
The MeetGreen system is aligned with APEX-ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting standards, and
evaluates compliance with over 150 best practices to measure environmental sustainability and determine an
overall meeting sustainability score (MCI, 2013).

4
The Sands ECO360 Meetings Planning Tool offers meeting planners and clients with sustainable meeting
options to achieve their green meeting goals (Marina Bay Sands, 2015a).
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UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 2011


During this event, all working and information documents were accessible via the web, reducing the
use of paper by 85% and its accompanying carbon footprint of 15 tonnes worth of carbon emissions.
The event organisers implemented a zero plastic waste approach: drinking water was provided to
delegates in large dispensers and recyclable paper cups as well as reusable UN gift cups instead of
plastic bottles, avoiding the disposal of 8,000 to 10,000 plastic bottles. In addition, the venue selected
had undergone major greening processes such as improved water management (dual flush toilets and
recycling of greywater5 for irrigation), reduced energy consumption (efficient light bulbs in conference
rooms), and separation of waste for recycling and on-site composting. (UNEP, 2012).

Since no green accommodation or green transport were available, delegates were given a list of hotels
that were within walking distance to the event venue. To promote further awareness of the issue, the
event website as well as information stands and conference computers in the venue provided
information on environmentally sustainable practices. Following the meeting, a sustainability report
that included lessons learned and recommendations for the next meeting was published.

In addition to these three examples, the UNEP Sustainable Events Guide shares several success stories
of other sustainable business events around the world and their growing market acceptance. For
example, Oracle Corporations OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco (2009), Climate Change COP15
Sustainability in Copenhagen (2009) and International AIDS Conference in Vienna (2010) eliminated
printed collateral and opted for water refill stations instead of handing out single-use water bottles.
The International AIDS Conference and European Wind Energy Associations annual event in Brussels
(2011) also distributed discounted public transport tickets to encourage guests to reduce their travel
carbon footprint. Climate Change COP17 in Durban (2011) constructed a Climate Smart Pavilion from
recycled plastic milk crates and bottles; these pavilion construction materials were reused after the
event, and solar and wind energy were used to power the structure (UNEP, 2012).

These cases exemplify how sustainable event management achieves cost savings and reduces material
and energy consumption. In essence, sustainable events are feasible if the business events industry
stakeholders involved commit to a long-term strategy for environmental accountability.

5
Greywater refers to untreated used water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. It includes used
water from showers, bathtubs, wash basins and water from clothes-washing and laundry tubs.
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2.3 Singapores advantage as a green destination


In Asia, several destination cities offer amenities like world-class infrastructure, preferential air fares,
special rates for accommodation and transportation, and attractive convention venues. However, with
increasing awareness of sustainability among event organisers and delegates, the potential
environmental impact is emerging as a differentiating factor. As such, there is a significant push from
governments around the world to drive sustainable event management.

In this section, we examine the green potential of eight regional business events destinations by
comparing their carbon footprint for activities within the city, using a hypothetical test case of a three-
day business event with 100 delegates. We assume that the size of the venue is similar in every city and
each delegate uses taxis as the sole means of transportation for return travel between the airport and
the hotel, and return travel between the hotel and the event venue. Emissions due to air travel are not
included since the distribution of delegates origin countries can vary for different events. We then
calculate and compare the amount of CO2 (in kilograms) emitted from the venues and local
transportation in each city during the event.

Carbon emissions from energy consumption


Energy consumption from the delegates accommodation and venue usage leads to significant carbon
emissions (IMEX and MeetGreen, 2014). This can differ based on the type of fuels used to generate
electricity as well as the efficiency of the electrical grid (Brander, Sood, Wylie, Haughton, & Lovell,
2011). As such, we will also use the grid emission factor as a basis of comparison.

The grid emission factor is the measure of CO2 emission intensity per unit of electricity generated in the
grid system (in kg CO2/kWh). In essence, it indicates the amount of CO2 that is produced from
generating each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. A lower grid emission factor would indicate a cleaner
electrical grid.

In Figure 2 below, we compare the grid emission factors of different cities in Asia. We assume that the
grid emission factor of a city is similar to the grid emission factor of the country it resides in. The data
on the grid emission factors of different business events destinations are obtained from reports
published by Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (Kuriyama, 2015) and Ecometrica (Brander,
Sood, Wylie, Haughton, & Lovell, 2011) in 2015 and 2011 respectively.

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0.9

0.8
Grid Emission Factor (KgCO2/kWh )

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0
Singapore Bangkok Taipei Kuala Hong Kong Tokyo Beijing Shanghai
Lumpur

Figure 2: Comparison of grid emission factors across different business events destinations in Asia.

Of all the business events destinations investigated, Singapore has the lowest grid emission factor and
the cleanest grid. One of the reasons for this is the use of natural gas instead of petroleum products to
power the grid. In Singapore, the share of natural gas in the fuel mix for electricity production has
increased from 74% in 2005 to 96% in 2015 (Energy Market Authority, 2015).

Figure 3 below shows the varying levels of carbon emissions from energy consumption across different
cities for our hypothetical three-day business events with 100 delegates. We assume a venue area of
3000 ft2 (279 m2) to host this event and a total energy consumption of 670 kWh (0.8 kWh per m 2 per
day6) (BCA, 2014a).

6
Assuming an Energy Utilization Index of 272 kWh/m 2/yr.
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700

600

500
CO2 Emission (kg)

400

300

200

100

0
Singapore Bangkok Taipei Kuala Lumpur Hong Kong Tokyo Beijing Shanghai

Figure 3: Comparison of total CO2 emissions from venues between different business events destinations in Asia.

While the energy consumption is the same, the amount of carbon emissions differs due to differences
in the grid emission factor. It follows naturally that Singapore, with the lowest grid emission factors,
has the smallest carbon footprint among the eight Asian business events destinations investigated.

Carbon emissions from local transport


The amount of carbon emissions from local or domestic transport depends on the distance travelled
by the delegates (between airport, place of accommodation, and event venue), mode of transport, and
congestion level of the city. In this report, we assume that the accommodation is located in the city
centre and that the event is held at a major convention centre in the city. Refer to Appendix 3 for the
list of convention centres considered for each city. We also assume that all delegates take only four
return taxi trips: one between the airport and the hotel, and three between the hotel and the
convention venue (one per day).

To calculate the generated CO2 per person, Google Maps was used to estimate the distance and time
taken to travel from the airport to the city centre on a Wednesday. As travel time varies with
congestion, we recorded samples of estimated travel time every four hours between 6am and 2am and
took the average travel time as our basis of comparison.

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Figure 4 below compares the distance from each citys airport to the city centre and Figure 5 on the
following page shows the average travel time (averaged over all the samples during a day) for a one-
way trip from the airport to the city centre.

70

60

50
Distance (km)

40

30

20

10

0
Singapore Taipei Bangkok Beijing Hong Kong Shanghai Tokyo Kuala Lumpur

Figure 4: Average distance between the airport and the city centre for different destinations in Asia.

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70

60

50
Travel Time (mins)

40

30

20

10

0
Singapore Taipei Bangkok Hong Kong Beijing Shanghai Tokyo Kuala Lumpur

Figure 5: Average travel time from the airport to the city centre in different cities.

To calculate the amount of carbon emissions, we first determine the average speed of a taxi trip from
the airport to the city centre, using data from Figure 4 and Figure 5. Then, we calculate the amount of
CO2 generated in kilograms per kilometre based on the determined average speed, as discussed in a
paper, Traffic Congestion and Greenhouse Gases (Barth & Boriboonsomsin, 2009). Finally, from the total
distance and the calculated CO2 per kilometre, we obtain the total CO2 generated for a two-way trip
between the city centre and the airport.

We assume that each traveller also makes a return journey from the accommodation to the event
venue on each of the three days during his stay. For each city, we calculate the CO2 emissions from the
trips between the city centre and all major business events venues, and take the average CO2 emission
amount among these trips for comparison. This calculation follows the same process as explained in
the paragraph above.

Figure 6 below shows the CO2 emission per person from local transport during our hypothetical
business event. According to this figure, Singapore is the best performing city, followed by Tokyo.

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50.0

45.0

40.0

35.0
CO2 Emission Per Person (kg)

30.0

25.0

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
Singapore Tokyo Taipei Bangkok Beijing Hong Kong Shanghai Kuala
Lumpur

Figure 6: Average CO2 produced per person from local transportation during a business event.

Some performance indicator comparisons presented in this report may be affected by different local
contexts. For instance, in cities like Singapore, public transport is the most popular mode of
transportation. Public transportation emits lower amounts of CO2 per person-mile compared to taxi
travel. However, to keep the comparison fair and comparable across different cities, we use the same
mode of transport (i.e., taxi) in all the cities examined.

Based on this analysis, Singapore enjoys environmental sustainability advantages in terms of lower
electrical grid and transport emissions. This attests to Singapores performance leadership as a green
destination for business events.

2.4 Singapores national sustainability commitments


In Singapore, the push towards environmental sustainability is not exclusive to the business events
industry; this is in line with a broader nationwide vision.

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Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015


In 2015, the Singapore government launched a roadmap with new initiatives and goals to guide the
nation in its pursuit of sustainability, with targets to be achieved by 2030 (MEWR and MND, 2014).
Singapores 2030 vision include targets such as:

35% increase in energy efficiency from 2005 levels


Recycle 70% of all waste
Reduce average water consumption to 140 litres per person per day
Increase public transport utility to 70% of all trips

Climate change and Singapore


Singapore has started to implement climate change mitigation and energy efficiency measures to
reduce our carbon emissions by 7% to 11% from the 2020 business-as-usual levels (NCCS, 2012).
Recently, Singapore also submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC), its intended targets of reducing its carbon intensity7 by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030 (NCCS,
2015).

To fulfil its commitment to attain the 2020 and 2030 carbon targets, the government has introduced
many initiatives (NCCS, 2015):

Environmental sustainability regulations under the Building Control Act


Energy Conservation Act that requires large-scale commercial premises to have energy
management measures
Grants for promoting the adoption of energy efficient technologies
Building & Construction Authoritys (BCA) Green Mark certification for buildings
Mandatory energy performance standards and labelling for household appliances
Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme that incentivises the purchase of vehicles with lower
carbon emissions

Business events industry stakeholders can participate in the above initiatives and influence their
suppliers, peers and clients to achieve Singapores carbon emission targets by 2020 and 2030.

7
Emissions Intensity refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emitted per dollar GDP.
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Green Mark-certified buildings


The buildings (hotels and venues) where business events take place have a substantial impact on
environmental sustainability. Making sure that these buildings operate in an environmentally friendly
manner is one of the best ways to reduce waste and carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.
In 2005, BCA introduced the Green Mark benchmarking system to rate buildings according to five key
criteria (BCA, 2015a):

Energy efficiency
Water efficiency
Environmental protection
Indoor environmental quality
Other green features that improve eco-friendliness

Today, other countries notably, China and Malaysia use the BCA ratings system as well. New
buildings in Singapore are designed with environmental sustainability from the start and Singapore aims
for 80% of its buildings to be at least BCA Green Mark certified by 2030 (MEWR and MND, 2014). More
business events venues and hotels have recognised and are working towards achieving the Green Mark
certification, as can be seen in Appendix 1.

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3. Study Methodology

To understand the challenges, opportunities, and best practices among local industry stakeholders for
greening business events, interviews were conducted. Stakeholders interviewed include venues, hotels,
event organisers, and suppliers who specifically target the business events audience and directly
influence the environmental impact of activities surrounding business events.

We reviewed the list of members in the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers
and Suppliers (SACEOS) and the STBs network of business events players and selected the following
stakeholders to interview:
i. Venues Five of the major business events venues, as listed in YourSingapore8 website
ii. Hotels Hotels which had and had not earned the Green Mark certification
iii. Event organisers Professional exhibition/conference/trade fair organisers
iv. Suppliers From the interviews with selected venues, hotels, and organisers, we learnt of
and contacted their suppliers, e.g. food caterers (in-house and independent), booth
contractors, and waste contractors

Face-to-face interviews and e-mail correspondences were conducted with the following stakeholders
to identify environmental areas of concern and accountability:
Two (2) Venues, three (3) Venue-hotels and three (3) Hotels
Seven (7) Event organisers
Eight (8) Suppliers, and separately,
Four (4) Food caterers

Appendix 2 reveals a complete list of industry stakeholders interviewed.

8
YourSingapore is the destination brand for Singapore launched by the Singapore Tourism Board in 2010. The
website is at www.yoursingapore.com.
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For each interview, the discussion focused on the following topics:

i. Key operations, processes or activities in their supply chain that have a significant
environmental impact;
ii. Possible actions on their part that can influence their operations and partners in their supply
chain;
iii. Challenges preventing the adoption of sustainable practices;
iv. Successful implementation of sustainable practices by the company and the motivations
behind them;
v. Their perception of market demand for green business events;
vi. Awareness of their industrys (peer) efforts on sustainability;
vii. Types of assistance or support that can help them promote greener business events.

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4. Challenges in Realizing Sustainable Business Events

In this section, we report challenges faced by industry stakeholders in a bid to be more sustainable. This
information is based on available literature as well as the collective input of stakeholders from the
interviews that were conducted.

4.1 Venues
Challenges for venues
Lack of event impact monitoring capability
Low market take-up of green event packages
No control over the waste practices of organisers and delegates

Lack of event impact monitoring capability


Not many venues are equipped to track their resource use (electricity consumption and waste
production). Venue managers shared that organisers do not normally ask for event impact reports and
are unsure if they will review such reports sent to them. Some venues are equipped to measure their
entire facility or entire floors but not individual halls, and measurement methods employed may not
be reliable. As such, it is not easy to estimate energy consumption accurately for individual events.
(Arup , 2012)

Low market take-up of green event packages


Some venues experience low take-up rates for green events. They believe that clients assume that they
cost more, or that they consist of lower quality products and services if they are cost-neutral. From
their point of view, sustainability is not yet a top concern for their clients.

No control over the waste practices of organisers and delegates


Venue managers have observed that most business event delegates do not make a conscious effort to
utilise recycling bins correctly, leading to a move away from the bins entirely or simply leaving them as
marketing tools and resorting to back-end waste sorting to recycle effectively. The venues believe that
delegates are not familiar with proper waste segregation practices and need to be better educated in
this regard. Organisers also often mistake cleaning costs for waste management costs, and execute

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their events with little consideration for waste management. Venue managers feel that they have very
little influence on delegates and organisers regarding waste management.

4.2 Hotels
Challenges for hotels
Green Mark certification difficulties

Green Mark certification difficulties


The BCA Green Mark certification is highly recognised in Singapore as the gold standard for green
buildings. However, many older hotels have difficulties meeting the certification criteria as it requires
them to make structural overhauls that are cost-prohibitive, logistically difficult for hotels situated in
dense central city locations, and may render parts of the building out of commission during
reconstruction. Respondents also mentioned that the cost of attaining the Green Mark certification is
too high. It is challenging for hotels to pursue this eco-certification, especially for smaller companies
with limited resources or lack senior management buy-in for Green Mark certification.

4.3 Event organisers


Challenges for event organisers
Dependent on venue for sustainable operations and practices
Clients delegates and exhibitors are unwilling to pay for green events
Little to no control over clients demands
Do not see business value add from investing in sustainability in Asia
Difficulties finding and working with suppliers for sustainable practices

Dependent on venue for sustainable operations and practices


Event organisers feel that there is not much they can do on their part in terms of sustainability, and
that this depends mostly on the capabilities and facilities of the venue. For instance, energy efficiency
depends on the efficiency of the lighting and air-conditioning. Moreover, organisers are not able to
track resource use during an event as this capability relies on the infrastructure of the venue and
building itself. Waste streaming will also only be possible if the necessary bins are provided by the venue
in the first place.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

In addition, according to event organisers, there are no benefits for them to implement sustainability
measures like event energy audits or waste management for individual events. In their view, venues
stand more to gain as they can offer the facilities and capabilities for future events. Organisers have
also stated that they do not have the required expertise or necessary equipment, and that they are
unable to dedicate anyone exclusively to look into sustainability efforts due to manpower constraints.
Only one organiser (out of 6) interviewed has dedicated sustainability personnel and, to their
knowledge, they are the only organiser showing their commitment to sustainability in this manner.

Clients are unwilling to pay for green events


Respondents reflected that many exhibitors and delegates have expressed interest in taking up
sustainable options but are unwilling to foot additional costs, as their main priorities lie in creating
business opportunities and establishing networks. For instance, when it comes to exhibition booth
design, storage and aesthetics take precedence over sustainability. Exhibitors are less likely to invest in
sustainability for one-off events. It is also not a common industry practice for clients to request event
impact statements. Organisers agree that in general, the awareness of sustainability is not high in
Singapore.

Little or no control over clients demands


Delegates attending business events have high expectations of luxury when travelling to developed
countries such as Singapore. Some of these expectations like 24-hour air-conditioning and disposable
water bottles are at odds with sustainability. Organisers say that they can advise their clients but cannot
compel them to go green. Organisers also think that expecting all delegates to comply with
sustainability practices is asking too much of their clients.

Do not see business value-add from investing in sustainability in Asia


Organisers say that the concept of sustainability is not yet mature in the Asian market. Green
certifications are expensive and offer little value add to their business as market demand is too low to
warrant the investment. They are willing to take small steps towards sustainability as long as the
measures are not cost-prohibitive, but are unwilling to engage consultants for impact measurement
and advice on the issue, as there are no external incentives or assistance to help them become greener.
Organisers feel that Singapore could benefit from learning from other countries when it comes to
enforcing sustainability legislation, citing Germany as an example where the government enforces

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sustainability laws that affect every industry. Finally, organisers also expressed concerns over the
quality and reliability of green labels and eco-certifications.

Difficulties finding and working with suppliers for sustainable practices


Organisers are able to find greener suppliers if needed. However, aside from the additional cost, they
feel that forging new working relationships will introduce unnecessary hassle. Organisers also say that
operational limitations hinder sustainable practices. For instance, they are only given a small time
window to move out after their events, as venue owners will charge them if they continue to occupy
the venue space after this period. This makes it difficult for them and their suppliers to carry out
attempts at proper waste management.

4.4 Suppliers
Challenges for suppliers
Inadequate time to carry out sustainable practices during/after events
Lack of preparedness in offering sustainable products and services
Lack of incentive to reuse exhibition booth materials

Inadequate time to carry out sustainable practices during/after events


As mentioned in the previous subsection, event organisers and their suppliers such as booth
contractors and freight forwarders only have a short time window to move out of the venue, making it
difficult to carry out proper waste sorting.

Lack of preparedness in offering sustainable products and services


Sustainable products and services may not be as cost-competitive as regular options. On top of that,
the low demand for green events in Singapore makes it difficult for suppliers to promote them to clients.

Lack of incentive to reuse exhibition booth materials


Booth contractors and exhibitors rarely reuse exhibition booth materials as high land rental costs in
Singapore make it cost ineffective to store and reuse exhibition booths and collateral. Moreover, the
materials required to produce new booths can be acquired cheaply from neighbouring countries. In
addition, it is uncertain whether stored booths will be reused in future, as exhibitors needs may change.

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5. Opportunities in Promoting Sustainability in the Business Events


Industry

During the interviews, stakeholders also collectively identified many opportunities in promoting
sustainability. Aside from lowering resource use and costs, other motivations to pursue sustainable
practices include risk mitigation and branding for greater competitive advantage.

5.1 Venues
Opportunities for venues
Track and report facilities energy consumption for event
Select waste contractors based on recycling capability
Practice back-of-house waste sorting
Capture demand for greener venues

Track and report facilities energy consumption for events


Monitoring energy consumption of individual areas can help venues identify potential areas of
improvement for themselves as well as their clients, the event organisers. Organisers are typically
charged a flat fee for electricity use at the venue, and have no incentive to reduce their energy
consumption. Many clients are also unaware of their energy usage and its associated costs and
environmental impact. Tracking and reporting energy consumption for lighting and air conditioning
usage can encourage organisers to save electricity, more so if venues charge clients based on electricity
usage. Venues that do not have sub-meters to monitor electricity use in individual event halls can
estimate energy consumption using simpler electricity usage calculations by floor area.

Select waste contractors based on recycling capability


Selecting a waste contractor with recycling capabilities is an effective way to reduce waste. Venues and
hotels that have greater sustainability performance hired waste contractors based on the contractors
recycling capabilities, such as material recovery facilities, which sort through the waste to recover
recyclables and avoid landfilling.

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Practice back-of-house waste sorting


Venues can sort recyclables, oil waste and food waste in back-of-house operations and implement a
circular economy where waste is productively reused or repurposed. Food waste can be diverted to
food waste digesters and waste cooking oil can be converted to biofuel.

Capture demand for greener venues


Green venues stand to gain from growing market interest and the nationwide push towards green
events. For instance, under the 3rd Green Building Masterplan initiatives, government-run events and
functions have to be held in Green Mark-certified venues (BCA, 2014b).

To incorporate sustainability in their operations, venues can consider working with consultancy. For
instance, Marina Bay Sands worked with MCI to integrate the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability
Management System for the Sands ECO360 meeting programme and their daily operations (MCI,
2014a). MCI also provides training sessions for businesses to facilitate the adoption of sustainability
practices in the business events industry.

5.2 Hotels
Opportunities for hotels
Capture demand for greener hotels

Capture demand for greener hotels


Organisers can recommend hotels that have received the Singapore Green Hotel Award or the BCA
Green Mark Certification to exhibitors and delegates. As such, pursuing green certification or green
awards can help hotels stand out to attract eco-conscious delegates.

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5.3 Event organisers


Opportunities for organisers
Can influence the sustainability aspects of an event
Capture demand for greener events
Recommend green accommodation options
Discourage bottled water use to reduce plastic waste

Can influence the sustainability aspects of an event


As event organisers bring many industry stakeholders together and directly influence event operations,
they have the opportunity to share and promote best practices like energy conservation, waste
reduction and separation. Organisers can raise awareness about environmental sustainability among
clients and suppliers by offering green event options and by making sustainability requirements known
to suppliers through the Request for Proposals or tendering process, as suggested in the APEX/ASTM
Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards (ASTM International, 2011). In addition, organisers can
request event impact statements (estimates of electricity usage, waste generated and other such
environmental impacts) from venues. This would allow organisers and venues to uncover opportunities
for further improvements, and motivate more venues to implement environmental tracking and
sustainable processes.

Capture demand for greener events


The worldwide sustainability movement, coupled with Singapores attractiveness as a global business
events destination, will see growing demand for green events by international exhibitors who may be
more eco-conscious. In line with the nations commitment to sustainability, eco-friendly practices such
as energy efficiency and waste reduction are being encouraged. This is also made feasible with the
multitude of resources available, such as The Complete Guide to Greener Meetings and Events
(Goldblatt & Goldblatt, 2011), UNEP Sustainable Events Guide (UNEP, 2012) and the Sustainability
Guidelines for the Singapore MICE Industry (STB, 2013).

Recommend green accommodation options


Some organisers stated in the interviews that recommending green hotels in their event packages to
delegates and exhibitors is a simple and important gesture in showing their support for sustainability.
As mentioned in Section 5.2, organisers can promote local hotels that have received the Singapore
Green Hotel Award or the BCA Green Mark Certification.

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Discourage bottled water use to reduce plastic waste


To reduce plastic waste and conserve resources, event organisers can provide guests with viable
alternatives such as water jugs or water dispensers as well as biodegradable cups or reusable glasses.
Several interviewees mentioned that overseas guests are not confident of tap water quality in
Singapore, hence the preference for bottled water. Organisers can allay these fears and raise awareness
of environmental sustainability by publicising the need to minimise waste as well as the safety of
Singapore tap water, which is well within the guidelines for drinking water quality set by the World
Health Organisation (PUB, 2014).

5.4 Suppliers
Opportunities for suppliers
For booth contractors: promote green exhibition booth designs and practices
For caterers: food waste management
For general suppliers: reduce packaging waste

For booth contractors: promote green exhibition booth designs and practices
Some exhibitors are starting to request for eco-booths in Singapore. For example, at BEX Asia 2015,
the Singapore Green Building Council requested eco-friendly booths built with responsibly sourced
materials such as compressed wood and reusable plastic boxes, and then stored and reused these
booths at other local exhibitions. In Europe, it is common to construct modular booths, which can be
taken apart, instead of single fixed units. This allows organisers to configure their booths to suit the
floor and height requirements of different venues, making them reusable. An STB-commissioned booth
design project at the Singapore University of Technology and Design led to the creation of ModuGrid,
a custom booth concept which balances customers needs, practicality and sustainability. ModuGrid
features panels and connectors made from cardboard that can be assembled in various ways, as seen
in Figure 7.

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Figure 7: Prototype of ModuGrid eco-booth design

Apart from creating and promoting innovative booth construction ideas to their clients, booth suppliers
can also consider using eco-friendly materials such as recycled wood instead of virgin wood, and
actively encourage exhibitors to store and reuse their booths.

Booth contractors can have their waste sub-contractors send waste wood to recycling plants in
Singapore or in Malaysia. In fact, NEA has, since 1 October 2013, been prohibiting the disposal of
recyclable wood waste at the incineration plants in Singapore (NEA, 2013). The onus lies on booth
contractors to enquire about the fate of booth materials after disposal, to ensure that the waste wood
from their operations and products is handled responsibly and recycled.

For caterers: food waste management


Food waste can be fed to food waste digesters and waste cooking oil can be recycled. The 3R Fund by
NEA has financially supported on-site food waste digesters at several hotels, which demonstrates the
growing culture of food waste management (MEWR and NEA, 2015). Caterers can also work with
companies like Alpha Biofuels to reduce oil waste: 18.5% of used cooking oil can be recovered and
potentially recycled into biofuels (Alpha Biodiesel Fact Sheet).

For general suppliers: reduce packaging waste


Suppliers are encouraged to join the Singapore Packaging Agreement and make effort to reduce
packaging to minimise waste. The Singapore Packaging Agreement is a joint initiative by the
government, industry and non-governmental organisations to reduce packaging waste in Singapore.
Under this initiative, signatories which make notable achievements and contributions towards the

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reduction, reuse or recycling of packaging waste would stand to receive the 3R Packaging Awards.
Suppliers may consider the following practices to reduce packaging waste and cut costs (NEA, 2013):

Eliminating unnecessary packaging and additional packaging layers where feasible


Recycling used packaging materials such as shrink wrap and brown packaging paper
Installing an on-site waste crusher that can compact accumulated waste (once sorted), thereby
facilitating recycling and reducing the space required for waste storage
Supplying goods using reusable and durable crates and pallets

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6. Best Practices in the Business Events Industry

In this section, we highlight the best practices and projects of local industry stakeholders who have had
notable success in promoting environmental sustainability.

6.1 Offering green event options (venues)


At Sands Expo and Convention Centre, as part of the cost neutral Sands ECO360 meeting programme,
a Green Meeting Concierge service advises clients on sustainable meeting options, such as providing
water dispensers instead of bottled water to reduce plastic waste. Local, organic and sustainable food
options, Harvest Menu, are offered to allow event owners to consider healthier options and reduce the
environmental impact of importing food from far-flung locations, reducing food miles9 and lowering
the emission of greenhouse gases during transportation (Marina Bay Sands, 2015a).

The package also includes a post-event sustainability report that details the events energy and water
consumption, carbon footprint and waste recycling rate. Each floor of the venue is sub-metered,
allowing energy usage to be tracked more accurately (Marina Bay Sands, 2015a). Event impact
statements allow the venue management and event organisers to collaborate and identify process
improvements to reduce impact in the future. Highlighting this impact to other stakeholders, such as
delegates, would also create awareness and encourage them to go green.

6.2 Nature preservation during construction (venues and hotels)


Buildings can be constructed around natural features to avoid deforestation. For instance, Resorts
World Sentosa carried out tree conservation exercise, transplanting 200 mature trees at various parts
of the resort grounds instead of cutting them down during construction. The trees that do get cut down
were reused within the resort (Resorts World Sentosa, 2015).

Siloso Beach Resort too built its hotel structures around over 200 adult trees on the premises (Siloso
Beach Resort, 2014). Construction workers were trained and frequently reminded with signs placed on
the trees, and micro bore piling was used to reduce vibrations that would affect the trees roots. Inside
the high-end villas, trees are allowed to grow in the rooms through holes in the floors and ceilings, and

9
Food miles is a factor of measurement of fuel used and resulting carbon emissions for transport of a food item
from the producer to the consumer.
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adjustments are made every six months to accommodate new growth. This creates a unique aesthetic
display for guests while preserving nature (NCCS, 2013a).

Figure 4: Trees encased in glass within villas at Siloso Beach Resort (NCCS, 2013a)

6.3 Water conservation in building premises (venues and hotels)


Water is conserved in several ways. Resorts World Sentosa collects rainwater and condensate water
from air-conditioning systems to irrigate landscapes. It stores the harvested water in an eco-lagoon the
size of 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools (Resorts World Sentosa, 2015). In Marina Bay Sands, the Art
Science Museum rooftop and the Rain Oculus water feature are used for rainwater collection. The
rainwater is used to flush the buildings toilets and for part of the water features inside the building
(Marina Bay Sands, 2015c).

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Figure 5: Rainwater harvesting features at Marina Bay Sands- Rain Oculus and Art Science Museum
(Marina Bay Sands, 2015c)

Similarly, at PARKROYAL on Pickering Hotel, roof surfaces collect rainwater for landscape irrigation by
gravity feed, with a drip irrigation system used to optimise water consumption. Collection tanks are
used to hold reserves, which are supplemented with non-potable NEWater10 during periods of dry
weather. All landscaped areas are also fitted with water sensors which cease irrigation when a minimum
water level has been detected, to prevent wastage (NCCS, 2013b). Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke
Quay also utilises the reclaimed NEWater for its cooling towers to diversify its water source, thereby
reducing demand of potable water for their building operations.

6.4 Clean energy generation at the building (venues and hotels)


Resorts World Sentosa houses one of Singapores largest photovoltaic (PV) installations. This S$3.6
million rooftop system can generate 550 megawatt hours of electricity per year, which is enough to
power 108 four-room flats in Singapore (Resorts World Sentosa, 2015). Likewise, PARKROYAL at
Pickering has a 60-kilowatt PV solar power generator to supplement grid electricity usage and power
the sky gardens night lighting and plant growth lamps (NCCS, 2013b).

10
NEWater is high-grade reclaimed water produced from treated used water that is purified using advanced
membrane technologies (PUB, 2015).
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Figure 6: Solar installations can be found in Universal Studio Singapores Ancient Egypt Zone. TM &
Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. (Resorts World Sentosa, 2015)

6.5 Reuse of waste heat (venues and hotels)


When Grand Hyatt Singapore's old diesel boilers were due for replacement, its decision to improve its
overall energy efficiency gave rise to the world's first retrofitted trigeneration plant. By operating on
gas, the system avoids energy loss associated with the transport of electricity, and traps and uses waste
heat from energy generation that is normally lost. Waste heat produces hot water and steam via the
hybrid boiler, dehumidifying the air. This trigeneration plant produces up to 30 per cent of the hotel's
own electricity needs, and reduces overall energy consumption by about 10 to 12 per cent. This
translates to a reduction of carbon emissions by approximately 720 metric tonnes per year (NUS, 2012).

6.6 Good waste minimisation practices (venues and hotels)


Many venues and hotels manage their waste by repurposing or recycling. At Siloso Beach Resort,
leftover food from the kitchen (excluding meat, cooked food and acidic food items) is composted using
earthworms. The resulting fertilizer is then used in its organic rooftop garden. Hotels such as Marina
Bay Sands, Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford have installed on-site food digesters and
have trained staff on waste sorting practices to recycle the food waste generated in their premises.

Venues like Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sands Expo and Convention Centre and Raffles City
Convention Centre work with Alpha Biofuels, a company that recycles waste vegetable cooking oil into
biofuel. This practice reduces oil waste and cost. The Westin Singapore, a hotel, also partners with
Alpha Biofuels to recycle waste cooking oil into biodiesel to power its limousines. This blend of biodiesel

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emits less CO2 than ultra-low sulphur diesel, and saves the hotel the cost of hiring a waste management
firm to dispose of its waste oil. Its estimated 7,800 kg of waste cooking oil produced annually can
generate enough biodiesel to fuel over 150,000 kilometres of mileage on its limousines (Eco-business,
2014).

Figure 7: Photo from Alpha Biofuels of limousines using recycled oil as fuel at The Westin Singapore
(Eco-business, 2014)

Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Raffles City Convention
Centre and Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre engage waste contractors that have
substantial recycling capabilities, in line with Singapores aim to recycle 70% of all waste by 2030.
Another initiative by Marina Bay Sands is the collection and donation of leftover liquid soap and
shampoo from its hotel rooms to charity instead of being disposed as was done during the Responsible
Business Forum 2013 (MCI, 2013).

6.7 Upcycling event materials (event organisers)


At the World Cities Summit and Singapore International Water Week 2014, event organiser Experia
Events repurposed carpet tubes11 to create benches and mobile charging stations at the event venue.
Post-event, Experia also recycled event banners into bags that were donated to charity. These initiatives
are exemplary instances of creative material upcycling12 and helped the event organiser to stand out in
a saturated market by generating media publicity.

11
Carpet tubes are the cylindrical cores that carpets are packaged with to ease storage and transport.
12
Upcycling is the recycling of discarded objects to create a product of better environmental value.
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Figure 8: Benches and mobile charging stations created from repurposed carpet tubes [Photo: Experia Events]

6.8 Green event management initiatives (event organisers)


MCI, Experia and Reed Exhibitions have displayed their capability in hosting events with sustainable
event measures such as Responsible Business Forum 2013, Singapore International Water Week 2014
and Singapore Green Building Week 2015. Examples of some of the sustainable events have been
highlighted in section 2.2 of this report. Organisers are endeavouring to act as communication channel
to exhibitors also to encourage them to demand for environmental friendly alternatives. Singapore
Exhibition Services and MCI have made attempts to influence the exhibitors by sharing sustainable
exhibition guidelines with them that encourage adoption of measures such as opting for LED lighting,
environmental friendly paint and floor coverings, alternative materials for booth construction, use of
reusable materials instead of disposables, etc. Additionally, to reduce waste generated at events, Reed
exhibitions, UBM Asia and MCI encourage having e-directory instead of booklets, no plastic casing for
identity cards, recycling lanyards where possible, use of recycled covers or signage, online Exhibitor
Manuals, etc.

6.9 Sustainable food sourcing (food caterers)


The market for sustainably sourced food is growing (Boh, 2015). To address this demand, caterers like
Indoguna, Global Oceanlink, and Lee Fish have received the Chain of Custody certification from the
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), indicating that their entire logistic chain adheres to MSCs strict
standards. Overfishing is prevented at the source and every single product is traceable to an MSC-
certified fishery (World Wide Fund, 2014). These companies supply sustainably sourced seafood to
establishments such as Marina Bay Sands, Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford. Other

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hotels like the Hilton and Grand Hyatt have also received certification from MSC for serving sustainable
seafood at several of their restaurants.

Figure 9: Logo for MSC certified sustainable seafood


(Marine Stewardship Council, 2015)

6.10 Responsible procurement (any stakeholder)


Several hotels such as Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford work closely with their suppliers
to source food sustainably and reduce packaging waste. With this strong signal from their clients,
suppliers to these hotel-venues have greater motivation to adopt more sustainable practices. Similarly,
Marina Bay Sands sustainable purchasing policy provides guidelines to its vendors, encourages them
to provide solutions, materials and goods that are eco-friendly and sustainably sourced. MCI, an event-
organiser, has been focusing on engaging their supply chain to come on board their sustainability
strategy through Supplier Code of Conduct compliance requirement (for suppliers to become preferred
suppliers) and sustainability workshops for suppliers. The local procurement and Sustainability teams
of MCI are involved in rolling out this initiative in respective markets (MCI, 2014b). By following their
lead, stakeholders mitigate their environmental impact along the entire supply chain.

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7. Recommendations for Greening Business Events

Environmental sustainability is key to Singapores continued attractiveness as a business events


destination. The local industry needs to be ready to respond to global demand for more sustainable
tourist destinations and greener events, which is driven by a growing market of environmentally
conscious customers. In this section, we recommend six measures that business events industry
stakeholders and government agencies can take to integrate sustainability into the industry.

Recommendations for greening business events


Track and monitor the environment impact of business event activities
Pursue green certification and comply with environmental standards
Get support from senior management to promote sustainability practices
Promote greater recognition and awareness for sustainability achievements
Train the workforce to internalise sustainability
Increase government support for sustainability

7.1 Track and monitor the environment impact of business event activities
The fundamental notion of environmental management is that one cannot manage what is not
measured; without tracking, there is inadequate understanding of the extent of impact and inability to
measure the effectiveness of solutions. During the course of this study, we found a lack of data and
information about the environmental impact of business events activities in Singapore. Only a few
venues have the ability to compile event impact statements. This limits understanding of environmental
impacts within the business events industry.

Tracking generates tangible data to help stakeholders realise the degree of the impact and take
corrective action. Tracking also justifies the organisations sustainable actions to its stakeholders. Some
examples of parameters in need of tracking are shown in Table 3.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Area of Concern Parameters Tracked by Requested by

Food and oil waste Number of bins Caterer Organiser

Waste diversion rate Waste contractors diversion rate Waste Venue or Organiser
Estimated diversion rate for venue contractor

Venue hall electricity use Data from Building Management Venue Organiser
(for lighting and air system, or estimation of lights and
conditioning) HVAC electricity use for the venue
hall.

Electricity for operations Electricity and waste bills that are All Upstream business
or offices received should be documented and events stakeholders in
tracked for analysis. supply chain

Table 3: Examples of proposed environmental parameters to be tracked

Tracking is the first step to mitigate environmental impacts, optimize operations and accrue cost
savings. As evident from Table 3, different organisations benefit from tracking and analysing different
data. For example, tracking food waste can lead to a change in orders placed to conserve food and
financial resources. Food and Beverage caterers can estimate if investing in a waste food digester
instead of hiring a waste management company would benefit their business. Tracking the waste
diversion rate helps in resource recovery and creates opportunities for the organisation to gain
commendation and publicity for their efforts. Tracking electricity data highlights areas in need of
maintenance or retrofitting to conserve energy and cut costs while also reducing carbon footprint.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has published sustainability reporting guidelines for organizations
to improve economic, environmental, and social performance. Event organisers can refer to the GRI
Event Organisers Sector Supplement (EOSS) for qualitative and quantitative information on their
sustainability performance (Global Reporting Initiative, 2012). Some examples of environmental
performance indicators are the percentage of materials used that are recycled, energy consumption by
primary energy source, and waste by type and disposal method.

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7.2 Pursue green certification and comply with environmental standards


Standardised certifications allow buyers to compare goods and services and corporations to understand
where they stand in terms of sustainability performance. Clients in the U.S, Europe and Australia
especially recognise standards such as ISO 20121 for sustainable events management, APEX/ASTM
Environmentally Sustainable Meeting standards and EarthCheck 13 (Alderton, 2014). BCA offers
incentives for Green Mark certification for buildings. Suppliers can consider green certifications such as
Green Freight Asia certification (energy efficient transport), Green Labelling (sustainable procurement),
and Marine Stewardship Council certification (sustainable seafood sources). It is acknowledged that the
pursuit of eco-certifications may require higher financial resources than what some companies can
allocate, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. In such cases, it is recommended that the
company take initiatives to carry out feasibility study for the eco-certificate and not rely on perception
of cost. The company can delay attainment of the certificate while initiating action plans for eco-
transformation of its products and services. When all of the eco-certification requirements have been
fulfilled, the certification can be applied for and attained in a shorter amount of time in the future.

7.3 Get support from senior management to promote sustainable practices


Green venue owners emphasised that the vision and policies of top management provided the impetus
for their sustainability practices. Support from the top management was essential in motivating
operational changes and influencing employees to strive for better environmental performance. For
instance, department managers had their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) linked to sustainability
measures. With employees actively doing their part in making operations sustainable, the business
events industry will be able to sustain green businesses in the long run. This requires continual training
and tangible support for all staff. Management buy-in is also needed to exert influence over their
suppliers. This would enhance their brand image as a holistic and environmentally responsible company
that takes steps to reduce impact across the supply chain and not solely within its operations.
Therefore, senior management needs to establish a company culture that embraces sustainability
throughout the value chain and not only as an afterthought.

13
The EarthCheck Responsible Meetings and Events Tool sets out the criteria to meet reporting requirements
under the ISO 20121 Events Sustainability Management Systems (Earthcheck, 2015).
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

7.4 Promote greater recognition and awareness for sustainability achievements


During our stakeholder interviews, a few business events industry stakeholders have said that they
were not aware of many of the steps their peers in the industry have taken with regards to sustainability
and suggested that greater media coverage on sustainability performance would be welcome. This
serves as a marketing tool for business events stakeholders who have adopted green operations and
increases market understanding and appreciation for the green movement in the business events
industry. Business events stakeholders who have not pursued sustainable operations would then see
the value of going green and follow in their footsteps. More intensive and credible media coverage for
green business events initiatives will further educate the public and influence stakeholders to push for
greener initiatives in the business events industry as well. To encourage the business events industrys
participation in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 to reduce carbon emissions, the government,
industry associations and non-governmental organisations can consider periodically promoting
environmental commitments or achievements by the business events industry to the media and the
public.

7.5 Train the workforce to internalise sustainability


A paradigm change is needed to create a more sustainable society. Integrating sustainability awareness
in education and training event organisers and building facilities managers to quantify and address
environmental impacts will inculcate a strong appreciation of sustainability in the workforce. This will
not be an uphill battle; our interviews have indicated that business events stakeholders perceive the
younger generations to be increasingly more aware and interested in sustainability.

For example, BCA, SIM University and Singapore Polytechnic jointly offer a Bachelor of Science in Events
and Sustainable Facilities Management programme that trains future business events professionals to
manage green events and buildings and implement green practices proactively (BCA, SIM University
and Singapore Polytechnic, 2010). Government agencies and/or industry consortiums can also consider
holding an annual challenge for tertiary students to explore innovations in green event management.
Business events stakeholders involved can also benefit from gaining public exposure and potential
employees from such initiatives.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

7.6 Increase government support for sustainability


Business events industry stakeholders such as organisers and suppliers shared that they are at a market
disadvantage if they implement sustainable practices, as they have to invest additional resources in
greener alternatives. The cost of their services or products will have to increase as a result, which makes
it difficult for them to compete with competitors. This discourages them from adopting sustainable
practices. Government support or subsidies would therefore be welcome. For instance, subsidies and
expertise can be offered to carry out energy audits or for industry stakeholders to green their
operations. Small-scale business events stakeholders would otherwise be financially constrained and
unable to invest in equipment, training or other resources required to improve their sustainability
performance.

In addition, introducing regulations on environmental sustainability can drive industry-wide


improvements. The government can mandate green practices such as impact tracking, responsible
procurement, waste management and resource conservation. With a strong environmental compliance
law complementing support for sustainable operations, the government will be able to attain baseline
environmental performance from business events stakeholders and bring about the reduction in
environmental impact envisioned in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

8. Conclusion

This report explores Singapores efforts to develop into a sustainable business tourism destination in
Asia. In this study, we reviewed Singapores initiatives to reduce the environmental impact from
business events activities, interviewed stakeholders to understand challenges and opportunities in the
industry, highlighted local best practices and recommended next steps for the industry towards a more
sustainable pathway.

The advantages of pursuing environmental sustainability in the business events industry are numerous
- pollution prevention, resource conservation, cost savings in the long term, risk mitigation and
increased brand value are just a few. Growing market demand for green events leads to burgeoning
opportunities for business events stakeholders to gain competitive advantage and stand out in an
increasingly saturated market.

Singapore already enjoys the advantages of a clean and green environment due to its infrastructure
we have a clean electrical grid, safe tap water and a good urban transportation system. Yet, it is also
important to safeguard the future and ensure further improvements. To this end, the Singapore
government has developed a framework to guide environmental sustainability for the entire nation. All
sectors, including those in the business events industry, are encouraged to conserve resources and
prevent environmental degradation through government initiatives such as funding support for 3R
projects, encouraging waste and energy management in large commercial premises, and certification
schemes for green buildings.

In general, these strategies have been well received. The Green Mark benchmarking system introduced
by BCA to rate the sustainability of buildings has been adopted by many business events venues and
hotels. Major local business events venues such as Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Suntec
Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre and Resorts
World Sentosa have invested in the latest energy efficient systems, sought Green Mark certification to
demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, and committed to responsible sourcing and waste
management practices. Along with the green hotels that have conference venue capabilities, these
green venues enable event organisers to host sustainable business events and uphold Singapores
reputation as a green destination.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

The various challenges reported in this study are intended to create awareness across the entire
business events industry and to gain greater understanding of the situation. Some challenges faced
include capital constraints for investment in more efficient technologies, supplies and operations, low
demand for green events and services, and low awareness on green practices within the sector.
Nevertheless, there are also many opportunities identified, including government initiatives on waste
management, growing market demand for green services and products, and cost savings through
innovative waste management practices.

Many business events industry stakeholders have demonstrated heightened awareness of


environmental responsibility, and implemented green practices in their operations. These are reported
in Section 6: Best Practices in the Industry. The measures taken are driven by a need to conserve
resources and internalise the environmental cost of operations, cut business costs in the long run, and
improve accountability to stakeholders. Sustainable events in Singapore like the Responsible Business
Forum and Singapore Green Building Week 2015, to cite a few examples, demonstrate the warm public
reception towards and feasibility of organising green events. We hope this can encourage greater
adoption of green practices in the business events industry.

Finally, we have outlined recommendations for a more sustainable business events industry. Venues,
hotels and organisers can play a bigger role in influencing clients, peers and vendors and raise
awareness of green practices. Apart from active government support, senior management buy-in is
essential in introducing sustainability and embedding environmental awareness in the business events
industry. Support at the organisational level is seen as the driving factor for establishments to improve
their sustainability capabilities through tracking and monitoring, training staff, and implementing
innovative solutions. Integrating sustainability in education and greater publicity of green events and
business events stakeholders would also influence the entire market and industry players to continue
pursuing the path of sustainability.

Neighbouring destinations are actively promoting green events and government initiatives to gain
market share in a saturated international arena and do their part for the world. To maintain our
competitive edge and protect our clean and green environment, Singapore has to continue to develop
its green capabilities. With creativity and conviction, Singapore has boundless potential to be a leading
destination for environmentally sustainable business events.

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

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Appendix 1. List of Green Mark-certified hotels and venues

The Green Mark certification programme, introduced by the Singapore Building & Construction
Authority (BCA), is designed to benchmark buildings on criteria such as energy and water efficiency,
water efficiency, environmental protection measures, indoor environmental quality and other green
and innovative features. Many business events hotels and venues that have successfully achieved the
Green Mark certification, displaying their commitment to environmental sustainability. They are listed
below (BCA Green Mark Hotel Directory, 2015b):

Green Mark Certified Hotels (existing)


1. Albert Court Village Platinum
2. Carlton City Hotel Singapore Platinum
3. Copthorne King's Hotel Platinum
4. Furama City Centre Platinum
5. Furama RiverFront, Singapore Platinum
6. Genting Hotel Jurong Platinum
7. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Platinum
8. Great World Serviced Apartments Platinum
9. Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road Platinum
10. Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay Platinum
11. Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Platinum
12. ibis Singapore Novena Platinum
13. Marina Bay Sands Platinum
14. One Farrer Hotel & Spa Platinum
15. PARKROYAL on Kitchener Platinum
16. PARKROYAL on Pickering Platinum
17. Sofitel So Singapore Platinum
18. Swisstel Merchant Court, Singapore Platinum
19. The South Beach Platinum
20. Treetops Executive Residences Platinum
21. W Singapore Sentosa Cove Platinum
22. Capri by Fraser Changi City GoldPlus

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

23. Hotel 81 Star GoldPlus


24. Hotel Fort Canning GoldPlus
25. InterContinental Singapore GoldPlus
26. M Hotel Singapore GoldPlus
27. Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay GoldPlus
28. Resorts World Sentosa - Beach Villas GoldPlus
29. Resorts World Sentosa - Crockfords Towers GoldPlus
30. Resorts World Sentosa - Equarius Hotel GoldPlus
31. Resorts World Sentosa - Festive Hotel GoldPlus
32. Resorts World Sentosa - Hard Rock Hotel GoldPlus
33. Resorts World Sentosa - Hotel Michael GoldPlus
34. St Regis Hotel & Residences GoldPlus
35. The Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel GoldPlus
36. V Hotel @ Lavender GoldPlus
37. Conrad Centennial Singapore Gold
38. Downtown East Resort Main Block Gold
39. Marina Mandarin Singapore Gold
40. Naumi Hotel Gold
41. Orchard Hotel Singapore Gold
42. Orchard Parade Hotel Gold
43. Park Avenue Changi Hotel Gold
44. Park Avenue Rochester Hotel Gold
45. Royal Plaza on Scotts Gold
46. Singapore Marriott Hotel Gold
47. Studio M Gold
48. The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Gold
49. Amara Hotel Certified
50. Aqueen Jalan Besar Hotel Certified
51. Bay Hotel Certified
52. BIG Hotel Singapore Certified
53. Concorde Hotel Singapore Certified
54. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Certified
55. Days Hotel Singapore at Zhongshan Park Certified

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

56. East Village Hotel Certified


57. Fragrance Hotel Riverside Certified
58. Goodwood Park Hotel Certified
59. Hotel Chancellor@Orchard Certified
60. Hotel Ibis Certified
61. Innotel Hotel Certified
62. Moevenpick Heritage Hotel Certified
63. Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road Certified
64. Parc Sovereign Hotel Certified
65. Park Hotel Alexandra Certified
66. Parkroyal on Beach Road Certified
67. Santa Grand Hotel East Coast Certified
68. Seacare Hotel Certified
69. Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel Certified
70. York Hotel Certified

Green Mark Certified Hotels (under construction)


1. Katong Square Platinum
2. Royal Square @ Novena Platinum
3. Tanjong Pagar Centre Platinum
4. UP @ Robertson Quay (M Social Hotel) Platinum
5. Capitol Development GoldPlus
6. DUO @ Ophir-Rochor GoldPlus
7. Somerset Grand Cairnhill Singapore (15 Cairnhill Road) GoldPlus

Green Mark Convention Centres Project Name Award


1. Max Atria Singapore EXPO Platinum
2. Marina Bay Sands Platinum
3. Resorts World GoldPlus
4. Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre Certified

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Appendix 2. List of establishments interviewed for this study

Venues:
Raffles City Convention Centre
Resorts World Convention Centre
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
SingEx Venues Pte Ltd (Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre)
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hotels:
Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Resorts World Sentosa
Siloso Beach Resort

Organisers:
Experia Events Pte Ltd
Koelnmesse Pte Ltd
MCI Group Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Reed Exhibitions Singapore
Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd
SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd
UBM Asia Limited

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Suppliers:
Booth contractors:
Cityneon Holdings Limited
Kingsmen Creatives Ltd
Pico Art International Pte Ltd

Freight/logistics:
Agility Fairs & Events Logistics Pte Ltd
APT ShowFreight & Logistics Group

Waste contractors:
Clean Solutions Pte Ltd
LHT Holdings Limited
SembCorp Tay Paper Recycling Pte Ltd

Food & Beverage in-house catering:


Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford (applicable to Raffles City Convention Centre)
Marina Bay Sands Singapore (applicable to Sands Expo and Convention Centre)

Food & Beverage external catering:


Lavish Dine Catering Pte Ltd
Tims Fine Catering Services

Others:
National Environment Agency
Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Appendix 3. Venues considered for estimating carbon emissions from


transport

Singapore
Raffles City Convention Centre
Resorts World Convention Centre
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
Singapore EXPO
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

Bangkok
Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC)
Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Centralworld
IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center
Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre
Thailand Cultural Centre

Tokyo
Keidanren Hall
Sunshine City
Tokyo Big Sight
Tokyo International Forum

Hong Kong
Asia World Expo Center
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Kuala Lumpur
Connexion@Nexus
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre
Putrajaya International Convention Centre

Beijing
Beijing Exhibition Centre
China International Exhibition Center
China International Exhibition Center Shunyi New Hall
China National Convention Centre

Taipei
Taipei International Convention Center
Taipei World Trade Center
Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall

Shanghai
Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center
International Convention Center
Intex Shanghai
National Exhibition and Convention Centre Shanghai
Shanghai New international Expo Centre
World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Index

Experia Events Pte Ltd


40, 41, 59, 64

Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford


39, 41, 42, 59, 60, 64

Grand Hyatt Singapore


39, 41, 59, 64

Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay


38, 56

Marina Bay Sands Singapore


10, 11, 12, 31, 37, 39, 41, 42, 48, 56, 58, 59, 60, 64

MCI Group Asia Pacific Pte Ltd


12, 31, 41, 42, 59, 64

Raffles City Convention Centre


39, 40, 59, 60, 64

Reed Exhibitions Singapore


11, 41, 59, 64

Resorts World Sentosa


37, 38, 48, 57, 59, 64

Sands Expo and Convention Centre


36, 39, 40, 59

Siloso Beach Resort


36, 39, 64

Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd


41, 59, 64

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre


40, 48

Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre


48, 58

UBM Asia Limited


41, 59, 64

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the following companies and organisations from the Singapore business events
industry and government agencies for taking the time to share their insights with us and whose inputs
have been instrumental in the production of this report:

Agility Fairs & Events Logistics Pte Ltd


APT Showfreight & Logistics Group
Building & Construction Authority (BCA)
Cityneon Holdings Limited
Clean Solutions Pte Ltd
Energy Market Authority (EMA)
Experia Events Pte Ltd
Fairmont Singapore and Swisstel The Stamford
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay
Kingsmen Creatives Ltd
Koelnmesse Pte Ltd
Lavish Dine Catering Pte Ltd
LHT Holdings Limited
Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd
MCI Group Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
National Environment Agency (NEA)
Pico Art International Pte Ltd
Raffles City Convention Centre
Reed Exhibitions Singapore
Resorts World at Sentosa Pte. Ltd.
SembCorp Tay Paper Recycling Pte Ltd
Siloso Beach Resort
Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS)
Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd
SingEx Venues Pte Ltd
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tims Fine Catering Services
UBM Asia Limited

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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SINGAPORE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY

Credits

This study was commissioned by the Singapore Exhibition and Convention BureauTM and carried out by
researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The study team comprises Lynette
Cheah, Huang Shisheng, Shawn Kong, Mikayla Murphy, Kevin Otto, Selina Patra, and Wayes Tushar.

About the Singapore Exhibition and Convention BureauTM


The Singapore Exhibition and Convention BureauTM (SECB), a group of the Singapore Tourism Board,
has a mission to champion business travel and business events as key drivers of the tourism sector and
enablers for industry growth in Singapore. It aims to establish Singapore as a dynamic business events
destination where people, technology and ideas converge to create great value for customers. As the
leading government agency for the business events sector in Singapore, the Bureau works with
stakeholders to create, attract, and grow business events, as well as ensuring exceptional experiences
in the delivery of these events. The Bureau also develops partnerships with international organisations
and alliances.
www.stb.gov.sg

About the Singapore University of Technology and Design


The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is Singapores fourth public university, and
one of the first universities in the world to incorporate the art and science of design and technology
into a multi-disciplinary curriculum. Established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), SUTD seeks to nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators in engineering
product development, engineering systems and design, information systems technology and design,
and architecture and sustainable design, to serve societal needs.
www.sutd.edu.sg

62
Singapore Exhibition and Convention BureauTM is a group of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

2015 Singapore Tourism Board. All rights reserved.

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