Speech By Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Finance, At Greenhub Official Opening Ceremony17 Oct 2013
Ms Susan Chong, Chief Executive Officer, Greenpac,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you here today at the official opening of Greenpac’s new facility, Greenhub at Tukang Innovation Park.
Greenhub – A Truly Green Factory
2. The first thing that strikes anyone about Greenpac is that it is “green” – not just because it calls itself green but in the whole practice of its business. Greenpac’s commitment to do business in an environmentally-friendly way can be seen in this new facility we are opening today. Greenhub is a truly green factory, from the way it was conceptualised and built to the way it operates today.
3. Its solar panels are estimated to reduce annual energy consumption by at least 30%. A rainwater harvesting system is used to irrigate the extensive greenery that helps reduce heat gain in the building. Self-tinting glass shades out excess sunlight from the office. And Greenhub uses green materials, and minimises the use of artificial lights by making use of natural light for its meeting rooms and warehouse. It is therefore no surprise that Greenhub was awarded the BCA Green Mark Gold Award 2013 and the Solar Pioneer Awards 2012.
Innovation for both economic and social benefit
4. What Greenpac demonstrates is that it is possible for a company to pursue commercial gains while contributing to a better environment and social well-being. With innovation, there need be no trade-off between economic and environmental objectives.
5. For instance, one of Greenpac’s innovative products is its internationally-patented Revolutionary-System Concept Packaging (RSCP), a nail-free lightweight, collapsible wooden packaging solution. Besides meeting the needs of clients who wanted to protect their goods from the protruding nails used in conventional wooden pallets, this innovative packaging solution is environmentally friendly: it allows up to 60% material savings and is also made from materials from ecologically sustainable forests.
6. Further, RSCP has led to productivity and cost improvements for Greenpac’s clients. The goods can now be stacked during shipment in a way that allows for a 100% increase in shipping capacity, thereby consuming less fuel in shipment.
Government Support for Energy-Efficient and Innovative SMEs
7. The government is helping our SMEs to innovate and undertake energy efficiency projects. We have several schemes tailored to the needs of SMEs, such as the recently launched SME Energy Efficiency Initiative under SPRING Singapore, and the Innovation for Environmental Sustainability Fund managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
8. Besides these schemes which are directly related to energy-efficiency, we want to help our local SMEs to develop innovation capabilities, as the basis for growth in every industry. Greenpac is a good example, because it is growing its revenues by innovation – re-conceiving its products to meet customers’ needs.
9. Our SMEs can also use government support to groom managers and future leaders. Here too, Greenpac has put staff through a structured training programme under the SPRING-supported Management Associate Partnership.
10. A further initiative is to help companies by developing the infrastructure and environment that enables them to interact and develop synergies. For example, JTC Corporation is developing CleanTech Park, which aims to create an ecosystem to nurture and support commercialisation of innovations in the core clean-tech industries – water, environment and clean energy.
11. Tukang Innovation Park where we are at today is likewise meant to bring together companies with a focus on innovation and knowledge-centric activities. It has attracted leading industry players such as Biosensors, Cargotec, Caterpillar and Menicon, which are engaged in high value-added manufacturing with an interest in green practices.
12. The Park is also home to JTC’s MedTech Hub, which is dedicated to growing the medical technology industry and is set to house a cluster of manufacturers, suppliers and service providers.
13. Greenpac will, I am sure, be part of the synergies that grow out of this Park. As a total environmental packaging solutions provider, it will benefit from, and add to, collaboration opportunities generated from co-location of innovative SMEs and MNCs in the Park.
Championing Environmental Education Initiatives
14. Greenpac has also been active in education and in promoting environmental-friendly practices in the community. It is sharing green packaging with industry partners and students through Greenhub. It is also working on a hydroponics project in the Taman Jurong community, and collaborating with the Public Utilities Board to be an ambassador for water sustainability in Jurong Lake Park.
15. Greenpac is in addition working with the School of Science and Technology (SST) to provide hands-on opportunities for its students through projects and attachments at the company. This provides an opportunity for the students to learn more about energy efficient solutions, and will hopefully help them to develop an interest in pursuing this as a career too. The collaboration with SST has successfully spurred project teams to come up with ideas on operational efficiency solutions for Greenhub. Prototypes for two of these ideas are being showcased today.
16. Greenpac has transformed itself from a one-person start-up ten years ago into a thriving multi-million-dollar company. To reiterate a point, it has done so while showing that companies can create both economic and environmental value. Innovation has avoided tradeoffs between the two. I am sure more companies can do the same.
17. Let me once again express my warmest congratulations to the whole team at Greenpac and your partners on the official opening of Greenhub.