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Decarbonizing Singapore’s Companies Through an ABS-facilitated Program

The 30-company pilot program was facilitated by The Association of Banks in Singapore. Alister Sheppard, our Director of Customer Success, shares an inside look at the experience.

Decarbonizing Singapore’s Companies Through an ABS-facilitated Program

The 30-company pilot program was facilitated by The Association of Banks in Singapore. Alister Sheppard, our Director of Customer Success, shares an inside look at the experience.

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working on a pilot program that was facilitated by The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

The initiative, which focused on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics, had a key emphasis on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with calculating their emissions.

In Singapore, where SMEs make up 99 percent of all enterprises, we have an especially strong appreciation for the importance of supporting all organizations—both big and small. 

At Unravel Carbon, we have the honor of serving large companies such as Global Fashion Group, but to work on decarbonizing supply chains on a scale like that, it’s critical to be able to relate to and engage with businesses of every size.

Hence, we were thrilled to join the pilot program, and over the course of it, were able to assist 30 of Singapore’s SMEs with measuring nearly 219,000 t CO2-e.

As proud as the Unravel Carbon team and I were to see those kinds of results, there’s actually a different—and much smaller number—that stands out to me the most: three.

In that many months, we were able to take an entire cohort of businesses who’d never measured their carbon footprints before, and support them in creating a detailed breakdown of their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Below, we’ll delve into the specifics, but from the outset, I’d like to note that the main reason this effort became a success was because of ABS’ incredible facilitation, as well as the companies and our program partners who were there with us every step of the way. 

How the program was structured

To begin, we started with welcome sessions for the SMEs that covered everything from the basics of emissions reporting to why decarbonization matters so much for Singaporean companies.

Then, we spent a few weeks working on onboarding the leadership teams as well as the financial controllers of each organization onto Unravel Carbon’s platform. In particular, we wanted to ensure that our participants felt confident with both collecting and inputting the information that would be needed to carry out their greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements.

After that, the companies focused on uploading their data, and from there, we were able to help the businesses with generating customized emissions reports to fulfill the first part of ESG measurement—Environmental metrics.

During this stage, our sustainability team was heavily involved, and worked directly with the SMEs to provide support in areas such as keying in data and developing a deeper understanding of their emissions materiality.

By the pilot’s conclusion, we were able to help the companies measure a total of 218,859 t CO2-e—95.6 percent of which came from Scope 3.

In addition to being able to measure total emissions, our platform provided each SME with the ability to view their emissions data at a business facility, location, supplier, and item level. The aim of all this: by helping companies unlock these insights, they can leverage them to work more efficiently toward reducing their carbon footprint

To close out the program, we spent the final 2 weeks learning about the experiences of each business, as well discussing the next steps in their sustainability journeys.   

Long-term goals

From the very beginning, the primary objective of the program was utilizing learnings to support Singaporean companies of all sizes and industries with their ESG reporting.

Within our cohort, there were organizations that represented sectors spanning from construction to F&B and technology. 

In total, we were able to gather hundreds of feedback points, and the resulting insights are now a powerful resource that can be tapped into when crafting future SME emissions measurement programs.

For us at Unravel Carbon, we’ve also benefited a great deal from these participant responses, and have sought to incorporate their recommendations by making adjustments in areas such as building products and developing customer success strategies. 

Also, when reflecting on the progress that all 30 companies made during the pilot’s duration, we feel quite confident in saying that each SME now has the knowledge, experience and emissions numbers to kick-start the next stage of their sustainability journey. 

We’re really looking forward to supporting them in the future with measuring their GHG emissions, as well tracking their year-on-year impact of making more sustainability-focused business decisions within their value chains.

Comments from the companies

Since the program’s conclusion, we’ve been honored to maintain a strong relationship with many of the organizations we’d partnered with. In particular, this has included being available for follow-up questions, and even collaborating on workshops.

It’s really been fantastic to see the impact of the initiative, and how it’s empowered local companies with a renewed sense of focus and confidence when it comes to working on sustainability.

Specifically, I think one of the most meaningful parts of the entire experience has been hearing firsthand accounts of how the program has made a difference for the organizations that were involved.

Below, I’ve shared 2 of my favorite comments that we received. 

This one’s from Commonwealth Capital:

“We were quite surprised by the final results because we initially believed that many of our activities were very energy-intensive. 

We assumed that our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions would be higher than our Scope 3 emissions.

However, to our surprise, we discovered that our Scope 3 emissions accounted for two-thirds of our overall emissions. 

This revelation changed the game for us. 

It made us realize that to make a significant impact as an organization, we can't solely focus on our internal processes." - Jiawen Cheong, Deputy Director

I also really loved this comment from Medalink:

“We were able to extract information easily to upload to the Unravel Carbon platform, and based on the emissions data, I realised that there are many things that we have to improve in our company—including our processes as well as how we streamline the data collection.

We will think through the different areas that we hope to improve and that is what we are working on right now. 

It is a work in progress at the moment. 

We realise now that we will be able to walk through this whole journey and finally get a good report for our clients who require some of this information.” - Mary Ang, Financial Controller

In closing, we’d like to again extend our heartfelt gratitude to ABS, the SMEs, our partners and everyone else who made the success of this program possible. 

Hopefully, this is just the precursor to even more ambitious efforts that support Singaporean companies and accelerate our collective pace toward a zero-carbon economy.

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