Sought after Green Label in Singapore & Pixel Building in Melbourne

Sought after Green Label in Singapore & Grocon’s Pixel Building in Melbourne

An eco label from the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has become so sought-after here and around the world, that the non-profit organisation is expanding its scope and upgrading it.When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Melbourne she raved about the Pixel building as an example for the US and Australia to follow to produce greener, more sustainable & energy efficient  buildings.

Victoria Vaughan in Straits Times (5 November 2010):

An eco label from the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has become so sought-after here and around the world, that the non-profit organisation is expanding its scope and upgrading it.

SEC’s Green Label, which certifies companies whose products – ranging from stationery to shaving foam – meet certain international eco-friendly standards, will have 21 more categories added to its current 45.

By September next year, it will include products such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and clothes dryers.

Each accreditation will also come with additional information, like water consumption, carbon footprint and pollutants generated during manufacture.

Companies from 13 countries, such as Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia, have sought the Singapore Green Label for their products, with at least 18 more products accredited compared to last year.

All in, the council saw a jump in 80 more products certified compared to last year. The increase comes mainly from companies that produce panel boards, paints and coating and products made from at least 50 per cent recycled content such as glass and plastics.

SEC’s chief executive, Mr Howard Shaw, said: ‘There is an atmosphere of greater demand for third-party verification. Since environmental awareness has risen, everyone has tried to jump on the bandwagon.’

Since the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme began in 1992, 1,655 products from 526 companies here and overseas have obtained the stamp of approval.

It has become increasingly important for exporters such as South Korea and Taiwan to receive such certification as buyers in areas like the United States and Europe are demanding them.

Mr Shaw said Singapore’s reputation for good governance is part of the reason the label is growing in popularity.

There are about 30 eco-labelling schemes globally.

SEC predicts it will accredit 2,500 or more products a year based on the current uptake.

The council will also increase its current charges, which range from $300 to $1,000, to a flat fee of $1,005 from Dec 1. The label needs to be renewed each year.

Other accreditation schemes, like those in Australia and South Korea, cost $3,000.

SEC hopes the additional information on the label will also help with calculating payments for a carbon tax or trading scheme if Singapore takes either route.

‘Over time, I think consumers have become more discerning and they demand far more information. The new label will look more like a report card,’ he added.


US Secretary of State visits Grocon’s Pixel Building in Melbourne:

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all to Grocon’s carbon neutral Pixel Building, and thank you very much for your attendance. My name is Daniel Grollo, and I am the CEO of Grocon.

Grocon is the development and construction company that has created Pixel, the building we stand in today. As we are all aware, the issue of global warming is one of international importance. And ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and environmental footprint, as a human race, are under constant investigation with growing momentum. Pixel is a building of which we are very proud at Grocon. It is officially the greenest building in Australia, having received the highest-ever rating from the National Green Building Council, and is the only carbon neutral building of its type in the world.

Further, the building is water-balanced. That is, it requires connection to water only for back-up purposes. That is because it is so efficient with every drop of rainfall being harvested right here on the roof, and being then used three times within the building.

Pixel is also currently being rated by the U.S. LEED and UK BREEAM systems. And with the scores that we are targeting under those systems, we believe Pixel will be confirmed as being at the forefront of sustainable development worldwide. Pixel contains all the latest green technology, like the vertical access wind turbines on the roof, the fixed and tracking solar panels for power, daylight glare control through the colorful sunshades, and the green roof upstairs.

Pixel will produce more energy than it uses, and over time will pay back all of the carbon used during its construction. In creating this pilot project, we have sought to identify best of type technology from around the world in an innovative and sustainable way. We believe Pixel’s greatest opportunity lies in being able to share the solutions illustrated here to help solve a global problem.

Pixel shows that solutions are available today. All that is needed is to the will to make it happen. I believe the announcements of the U.S. and Australian Governments today will demonstrate that both countries do have the will and leadership required.

Hillary Clinton:

Daniel Grollo, thank you for having us at this amazing example of what can be done when contractors, developers, construction companies, owners get together and decide to make the investment that will pay off in clean energy — in this case, zero carbon buildings.

I also want to acknowledge Linda Wilson, the acting executive director of the Australian Fulbright Commission, Nick Otter, the CEO of Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, and Wayne Kent, district general manager of Honeywell.

I have had an extraordinary trip through Asia and — over the last two weeks. I don’t think there is a more important event that I have participated in than this one, to speak about our efforts on climate change and clean technology at a building that represents the future. This building, thanks to Grocon’s commitment, brought together your country’s most creative minds to create a building with ingenious energy-saving features. It puts energy back into the power grid from its wind turbines and its solar panels. It has a living roof, that we just saw, that cuts cooling costs. It uses mainly rain water and filters its own waste water through beds of reeds to reduce the run-off it sends into the sewers.

Now, I am sure that many Australians — and, frankly, Americans and others — will be studying the Pixel Building example. Certainly the State Department will want to send our experts to delve into greater specificity with you, because we are committed to building environmentally sustainable embassies all over the world. So this sets an example.

Unfortunately, it is unique. And in the world we are trying to create, we want it to be typical, standard, routine that buildings do what this one does, in terms of efficiency. We really have very little time to make our buildings, which are massive users of inefficient greenhouse gas produced energy, more in line of what we are seeking. We need innovations like the ones we see here to generate renewable energy and manufacture goods without polluting our air and water. And these tools need to be affordable and available in every country.

So, we need to spark a global, clean tech industry. And that will help our economies grow by creating tens of thousands of new jobs, and give us viable alternatives to fossil fuels, and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy. I think that the United States and Australia, working together, can be pioneers of this movement. And I am excited that we are joining forces, taking our sophisticated research and energy abilities, and putting them together for this purpose.

We each have brilliant scientists working on problems like capturing carbon, increasing food production, developing more efficient technologies. And I think both the people of Australia and America don’t want to see more bickering about what should be done to reduce carbon emissions. They want to see action. And the prime minister and I are here today to say we are committed to action.


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