A survey by Schneider Electric has revealed that only half (52%) of Singaporeans are confident that organisations in Singapore will achieve their publicly-disclosed emissions targets in the coming decades.
Less than two-thirds (63%) of Singaporeans are also confident Singapore can achieve its net zero ambitions by mid-century.
This comes as 69% of Singaporeans rank climate change and reducing greenhouse emissions among their top three most concerning environmental sustainability issues – followed by air quality and pollution at 58%.
The findings are part of Schneider Electric’s “Singapore Green Pulse” survey, which tracks sentiments, attitudes, and perceptions around sustainability issues in Singapore that are part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Over 500 Singaporeans took part in this latest edition of the study conducted in June 2022, which focuses on sustainable living.
Most Singaporeans see a need for more investments in new technologies
The survey finds that the younger citizens are generally more optimistic than older generations that organisations can achieve their climate goals, with 58% of Gen Zers saying that they are confident, compared to 46% of Baby Boomers.
Singaporeans also see the need for more technological investments to drive greater progress in achieving sustainability goals. Less than half (49%) think there is sufficient investment in new technologies in the public and private sectors to improve energy efficiency and management.
A rising number of Singaporeans prefer to live and work in green buildings
Over three quarters (77%) of Singaporeans now prefer to live in green buildings. This is a substantial increase from 2021, where only 47% of Singaporeans preferred to do so. However, only 46% of Singaporeans are prepared to pay more to live in a green building.
At work, 81% prefer to work in a green building.
When looking at their employer’s overall sustainability, nearly two thirds (63%) of Singaporeans believe the sustainability performance of the organisation they work for is average at best.
Singaporeans are increasingly environmentally conscious and are shifting their behaviours
An overwhelming 90% of Singaporeans now consider themselves to be environmentally conscious. However, significant differences also exist between age groups with 45% of Gen Zers saying they are extremely conscious, compared to just 18% of Baby Boomers.
With growing environmental consciousness, most Singaporeans are making conscious efforts to reduce their household electricity use (89%). This includes reducing the use of air conditioning and fans when not needed (81%); and choosing more energy efficient home appliances (52%).
While only 42% of Singaporeans can currently monitor their household’s energy consumption on a daily basis, 93% would be keen to install a simple and affordable solution to monitor their household’s energy consumption daily if it was available.
Over three quarters (78%) are also supportive of increasing renewable energy sources in Singapore’s energy mix, even if it means higher electricity bills, and for 80% of Singaporeans, the use of renewable energy sources is now a consideration in how they choose their electricity provider and plan.
Outside of home, most Singaporeans have also increased their use of public transport for sustainability reasons (85%), with 72% using public transport at least three times per week.
Cost is a barrier to living more sustainably
The survey indicates that despite the growing consciousness, cost is still a key consideration in driving Singaporeans to change their actions as consumers. Less than a third (30%) of Singaporeans are willing to pay more for products and services that are environmentally sustainable.
While over half (59%) of consumers want to be customers of environmentally responsible organisations, only a third (35%) would currently stop being customers of a company should it be found harming the environment.
Cost is also one of the main barriers among those who do not plan to own an electric vehicle (EV). However, the survey showed a positive shift in attitude towards EVs, with 51% expressing the desire to own one in the future – up from 45% last year.
Other barriers to owning an EVs are concerns over charging infrastructure and locations, and a lack of familiarity with EVs.
Yoon Young KIM, Cluster President, Schneider Electric Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, said “The findings show sustainability is high on the agenda for Singaporeans, with many making the effort to reduce their carbon footprint, and more preferring to live or work in green buildings.
“These are positive developments that we hope will also motivate organisations to reduce emissions more aggressively, through greater adoption of innovative technologies for sustainability and efficiency.”