Singapore joins the “Sustainability Reporting” campaign

Posted on May 10, 2011 by


Singapore is yet another country to join the global campaign at promoting green accounting. This comes with the issuance of the consultation paper on the Proposed Policy and Guide to Sustainability Reporting for Listed Companies, on 28August 2010, by the Singapore Exchange. The draft policy statement reflects the incremental pressure on the corporate players by investors, regulators and the general public, to disclose the sustainability in their operations and investment decisions. On the other hand, companies investing in sustainability practices are foreseeing long term benefits such as an increasing value placed on them by the investment community and the affirmation of a positive social image and public goodwill. Moreover, reporting practices allow a company to analyze its own performance and to take corrective measures thus allowing its operations to become more efficient.

The SGX’s Proposed Policy Statement and Guide to Sustainability Reporting for Listed Companies, though voluntary, had been drawn through the analysis of successful implementations such as that of the Denmark, Netherlands and the European Union as a whole. These countries have made green reporting mandatory and have lain down standard reporting procedures and guides to help assist companies in their reporting. It remains to be seen whether Singapore will take a similar route.

Sustainability reporting requires the overhauling and addition of company policies and management practices across all levels to the effect that a thorough management system could be establish that will enable more systematic and accurate data collection, analysis and reporting methods. This is important considering the fact that major investors and stakeholders are scrutinizing companies on their sustainability before making investment decisions.

Incentives for the shipping industry

On 12 April 2011, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore launched a Maritime Singapore Green initiative which is divided into three different programmes; the Green Shipping Programme, the Green Port Programme and the Green Technology Programme.

Green Ship Programme

This programme aims to give incentives to energy efficient ship designs that reduce fuel consumption and emission. Participants are however required to exceed the current International Maritime Organization’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) in order to qualify for this incentive programme.

The incentives comprise:

  • 50% reduction of initial registration fees
  • 20% rebate on the annual tonnage tax
  • Recognition through certificates
  • “SRS Green Ship of the year” award

Green Port Programme

This programme is to encourage ships calling at the Singapore Port to reduce the emission of pollutants. This includes the reduction of surface pollutants, the use of clean fuels and reduction of emission.

The incentive is a 15% reduction on the port dues payable.

Green Technology Programme

This programme is directed towards local maritime companies to encourage them to adopt green technologies. It will be done with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, co-funding funding up to half of the qualifying costs. To meet this, the MPA has set aside $25 million for the Maritime Innovation and technology Fund which would be increased by an additional $25 million if the response is good.

Rebate of green vehicle

Apart from the maritime programmes, the Ministry for Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) also announced the extension of the Green Vehicle Rebate programme (GVR) which gives incentives to electric vehicles and petrol-electric hybrid vehicles upto the end of 2012. This scheme will cease to apply to compressed natural gas vehicles and Bi-fuel vehicles at the end of 2011.

The rebates and tax incentives under this scheme include;

  • A rebate equivalent to 40% of a vehicle’s Open Market Value (OMV) for hybrid passenger cars.
  • A rebate equivalent to 5% of OMV for Hybrid busses and commercial vehicles.
  • A rebate equivalent to 10% of OMV for electric motorcycles

 

 

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