Singapore: certification for green manufacturers

Two industry bodies have joined forces to create a green certification scheme aimed at boosting eco-oriented Singapore furniture manufacturers.

The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) plan to certify 100 products within two years.

The initiative, the first of its kind in Asia, should encourage manufacturers, designers, contractors and suppliers to adopt more ‘green’ furniture.It comes in the wake of growing global environmental awareness and strong demand for eco-friendly products.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed today by SGBC president Tai Lee Siang and SFIC president James Goh.

The new furniture certification is an extension of the SGBC’s Singapore Green Building Product certification scheme. The certification criteria will be developed by the two organisations but the scheme itself will be administered by the SGBC.

A validation taskforce headed by Associate Professor Lee Siew Eang, chairman of the SGBC’s technical committee, will set the criteria for the certification scheme, which will be ready in two months.

Mr Tai said the certifying of green furniture will be based on five parameters: energy, water and resource efficiency, pollutant control and recyclability.

It seems there is a market ready and waiting.

The Global Industry Analysts research firm estimates that the market for furniture and fixtures is expected to hit US$436.5 billion (S$548 billion) by 2015, while green building materials could have sales of US$405 billion by then.

Mr Tai told The Straits Times on Thursday: ‘System and fixed furniture makes up 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the interior of office buildings today.

‘We thus saw the importance of collaborating with the SFIC to work towards the certification of green furniture and contribute to sustaining the environment.’

He also stressed the importance of going green for Singapore companies.

‘The demand for green furniture in the European and the United States markets is very high.

‘If Singapore furniture companies which export to these markets do not go green, they will lose that competitive edge,’ Mr Tai added.

Ms Ivy Seah, chief operating officer of office furniture seller Innoplan Technology, told The Straits Times yesterday that the firm will welcome the green certification.

Green furniture typically costs 25 per cent to 35 per cent more to produce, she said, but the ‘green certification will raise Innoplan’s branding and sales volume, both locally and overseas’.

 

Source : The Straits Times

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