What The World Can Learn From Singapore's Sustainable Practices

Discover the secrets behind Singapore's success in building a sustainable future and learn how the world can implement similar practices to protect our planet for generations to come.
January 17, 2023
4 minutes

Lush vegetation and greenery thriving with diverse species of flora and fauna. It’s no wonder why Singapore was recently named the 11th most beautiful city in the world. Much like Scandinavia, the city-state has come a long way on its journey toward sustainability. With an admirable green vision and community efforts towards a more sustainable future, Singapore not only managed to rank as the most sustainable city in Asia but also as fourth in the world, according to the 2018 Sustainable Cities Index.


Otherwise known as the “City in a Garden,” the island city-state is covered in nearly 50 percent green and currently has 72 hectares of rooftop gardens and green walls. But how exactly has Singapour’s Approach to Sustainable Development helped the city outrank its major eco competitors?


Read on to learn more about Singapore's sustainable practices.


Singapore’s Green Plan


The Singapore government unveiled the Singapore Green Plan 2030 ("Green Plan") in February 2021 with many charts depicting ambitious and concrete targets over the next decade based on five pillars:

1. City in Nature

2. Sustainable Living

3. Energy Reset

4. Green Economy, and

5. Resilient Future.


Along with these pillars came the introduction of a wide array of initiatives and support measures in the “ research and development, energy, green finance, sustainable tourism, and land transport sectors.” More precisely, the government has set an array of targets to help achieve the country’s push for a greener economy. Additionally, during the March 2022 progress update, the government announced several updates to drive sustainable growth for the community and businesses.


Here’s a brief overview.

  • Reduce energy and water use by 10% by 2030 from the last three years’ average
  • Halve the energy used to produce desalinated water and explore new technologies in reverse osmosis to improve the production of clean water
  • Reduce the amount of waste disposed by 30% by 2030 from 2022 amounts
  • All government cars will run on cleaner energy by 2035 which is five years ahead of the national target
  • Reduce schools’ net carbon emission by two-thirds by 2030
  • Even military camps will increase the usage of solar energy

Gardens by the Bay: a great example of sustainable urban development


The impressive Gardens by the Bay project exhibits a successful real-life example of taking an eco-centered approach to modern-day urban development all while exhibiting how sustainable cycles in energy and water throughout Bay South Garden has managed to home the most diverse collection of plants that are not commonly seen in this part of the world.


The two glass biomes of the Conservatories were specifically designed to replicate the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean and semi-arid sub-tropical regions and the cool-moist climate of the Tropical Montane region with the help of cutting-edge technologies for energy-efficient solutions in cooling.


This way, Gardens By The Bay successfully managed to reduce our energy consumption by approximately 20%, compared to buildings using conventional cooling technologies. The roof is fitted with sensor-operated retractable sails that provide shade to the plants when it gets too hot, to boot. Carbon-neutral electricity is generated on-site. All thanks to the Combined Heat Power (CHP) steam turbine – a sustainable system fuelled by wood and horticultural waste from across Singapore.


As for the impressive Gardens lake system, It acts as a natural filtration system for water from the Gardens catchment and provides aquatic habitats for biodiversities such as fishes and dragonflies, as the experts explain. What’s more, naturally treated water from the lake system is also used in the irrigation system for the Gardens.

In conclusion: Singapore's sustainable practices

While there is still a long way ahead, the city has paved a well-planned path ahead when it comes to forging an eco-conscious future. With just over 5.6 million inhabitants, the Asian city-state has the second-greatest population density in the world, yet, they successfully manage to maintain the health and biocapacity of the environment, which in turn supports the well-being of individuals and communities.